May 28, 2013
Postseason Success Runs in the Family for Pinzino
By Sean Ryan, CBI Co-Founder
Over the past few months, Jamie Pinzino (left)
has seen his wife only two or three times.
There were a couple days in Boston in mid-March. And then a
brief visit in mid-May at a softball tournament in Medford,
Pinzino, William & Mary's first-year baseball coach, isn't going
through a rough patch in his marriage. Far from it, actually, as
he and his wife are expecting their first baby in August. And he
isn't spending every waking hour away from his wife at Plumeri
Park, home of the Tribe.
Like many college baseball coaches, Pinzino has a great baseball
wife. What makes it unique is that Pinzino just so happens to be
a great softball husband - his wife, Cheryl Mulligan, is the
head softball coach at Tufts University, which makes the spring
a season of texts, emails and phone calls.
"It works," Pinzino said of their unconventional setup. "She
understands what it's like to be a coach."
Together, the couple has had a pretty amazing week.
A week ago, Mulligan guided Tufts to the Division III softball
national championship, capping a miraculous 46-3 season.
On Monday, Pinzino's Tribe was selected as an at-large qualifier
to the NCAA college baseball tournament, the first time W&M has
made the field as an at-large and third time overall.
"To be honest, we didn't really know what was going to happen,"
he said Monday night. "We were one of those bubble teams that it
could have gone either way."
Rather than run the risk of bad news spoiling a selection-show
party for players, parents and supporters, he scheduled a 1 p.m.
meeting. Players either were going to turn in their gear and say
their goodbyes for the summer or get ready to practice. Players
were scattered around Williamsburg, one of America's great
historic cities, when they learned they made a little baseball
In his first year as head coach - Pinzino assisted Frank Leoni
last season and was promoted to head coach when Leoni was
dismissed after a 31-25 campaign - Pinzino led the Tribe to a
37-22 mark and a second-place regular-season finish in the CAA.
After falling to Towson in the CAA tourney final, William &
Mary, with an RPI of 45, found itself in the bubble discussion
with the likes of Florida, Auburn, Texas A&M and Notre Dame - a
pretty remarkable accomplishment for a team with seniors who had
never played a postseason game, including their conference
Now, the Tribe has spoken.
"The biggest thing for me, I'm really proud of our guys,
especially our seniors," Pinzino said.
Pinzino said Leoni and his staffs deserve a lot of credit for
recruiting the pieces to the Tribe's puzzle - guys like senior
pitcher John Farrell (11-2, 2.80 ERA, 109.1 IP, 13 BB, 86 K),
junior second baseman Ryan Lindemuth (.363, 58 R, 47 RBI, 21 HBP)
and sophomore corner infielder Michael Katz (.365, 22 2B, 47 R,
47 RBI), a pure hitter from Northern Virginia.
Like at William & Mary, Pinzino made an early impression on a
fledgling Bryant program that was transitioning from Division II
to Division I. He was a two-time NEC coach of the year before a
disciplinary issue led to his resignation. But his fingerprints
remain on a Bulldogs squad that captured its first NCAA bid by
winning the NEC tournament over the weekend with seniors Pinzino
coached when they were freshmen.
"Obviously, I'm really happy for those guys as well," Pinzino
said. "I give coach [Steve] Owens a ton of credit. He's done a
great job of continuing to build that program. I'm certainly
rooting for those guys this coming weekend."
After losing in the CAA tournament final, Pinzino scanned the
country to gauge the Tribe's chances of an at-large bid based on
what was happening in other conference tournaments.
"Things certainly weren't breaking our way," he said.
As a team and coaching staff, Pinzino added, W&M felt pretty
comfortable knowing it had done all it could and that its fate
was left in the hands of the selection committee. And they felt
pretty comfortable with the fact that it could have gone either
When William & Mary's name appeared on the ESPNU broadcast,
Pinzino turned to the person who supported him coming down to
Virginia to be an assistant coach and then taking over the Tribe
program, ensuring a long-distance love affair between coaches
more than 600 miles away. They shared a hug overwhelmed with
And with it, at least another week of not seeing each other very
(photo courtesy of W&M Media