After a disastrous start to the offseason, Kentucky Baseball is pumping life back into the program.
On Thursday afternoon, UK Athletics announced that Nick Ammirati, a former Southern Miss assistant coach, has joined the Wildcat staff as a volunteer assistant. Ammirati and Kentucky head coach Nick Mingione have a history that dates back to 2013 when Ammirati was the starting catcher on Mississippi State’s College World Series runner-up squad and Mingione was an assistant coach.
Coach Ammirati has extensive experience and has won everywhere he’s been as both player and coach! We’re thrilled to have him in Lexington!
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) July 8, 2021
“When I think about the baseball pedigree of Nick Ammirati, I think about a winner,” Mingione said, according to UK’s press release. “He was a state and national champion in high school, a national runner-up in college and early in his coaching career he has proven that he knows what it takes to win and develop young men. Having coached him and followed his career since, I know he will align with the importance we place on developing players both on and off the field. Nick is going to bring a versatile set of skills to this position with experience as a catching and hitting coach at his previous stops. He is going to be a knowledgeable asset to our coaching staff and we cannot wait for him to get started.”
Ammirati comes to Kentucky with a winning reputation as both a player and coach. Most recently, he spent one season as an assistant at Southern Miss where he helped lead the Golden Eagles to the NCAA Tournament and a 40-win season. Ammirati was tasked with coaching the offense and first basemen as Southern Miss ranked nationally in home runs (17th), doubles (23rd), slugging percentage (31st).
Prior to Southern Miss, Ammirati spent four seasons as an assistant at Hinds Community College, taking the Eagles to a Divison II World Series run in 2017. He graduated from Mississippi State in 2013 and earned his master’s in health and human performance from Northwestern State in 2016. Many credit Ammirati’s brilliant baseball mind as a reason for his quick success as a young coach.
Early in the offseason, Kentucky Baseball lost more than a dozen players from last season’s roster to the transfer portal. But over the last week, the Bat ‘Cats have added two transfers in John Thrasher (reigning America East Player of the Year) and Magdiel Cotto (former South Carolina pitcher) while bringing in a new assistant coach in Ammirati.