KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers are pleased to announce that Kalamazoo Valley Community College Head Coach Cody Piechocki will return as the teams Hitting and Fielding Coach for the Growlers. Piechocki received his start in the Northwoods League in 2013 with the Battle Creek Bombers as an assistant coach before serving as the Hitting and Field Coach during the teams’ inaugural 2014 campaign.
Piechocki is excited to be back in the Blue and Gold, “I am honored to have been invited back by Dick Radatz Jr. and Brian Colopy to coach a second season in Kalamazoo.” stated Piechocki. “This community has done an amazing job providing us with the fan base, facilities, and support to become one of the nation's top collegiate summer teams. Moving forward we are building upon that reputation to create a championship caliber franchise. Our ability to recruit the nation's top players has only increased due to the amazing job that everyone involved in this community has done in just one season. There is a lot of excitement around this organization heading into 2015. I will continue to work every day and dedicate myself to bringing the city of Kalamazoo a Northwoods League Championship.”
(pronounced pa-cha-kee): Coach Piechocki enters his third season as head coach of the Kalamazoo Valley baseball program. In 2014 the Cougars won the programs first Rawling’s Gold Glove Award and first Marucci Elite Hitter Award. Valley was also honored by the NJCAA and MCCAA for team academic awards. Over the past two seasons Piechocki has also guided 8 players to All-Conference awards, 3 Academic All-Americans, 12 Academic All-Conference Awards, and 15 players have signed with four year schools.
Previously, he spent three seasons as the assistant coach for Bernie Vallier. During Piechocki’s time as the assistant coach the Cougars broke the school record for wins in a season twice; first in 2010 with 35 wins and again in 2012 with 40. The program also broke multiple offensive records for home runs, batting average, runs scored, and RBI’s. During those three seasons the Cougars also placed seventeen players on to four year programs while qualifying for the regional tournament twice.
During the summer Coach Piechocki will be spending his third year coaching in the Northwoods League. He spent the 2013 summer with the Battle Creek Bombers and 2014 with the Kalamazoo Growlers. As the hitting and fielding coach in 2014, the Growlers catcher was honored with the Rawlings Finest in the Field Award and two position players were selected for the NWL All-Star game.
Before coming to KVCC, Piechocki spent two years, 2008 and 2009, as an assistant coach at Kalamazoo College where he served as the catcher/hitting coach as well as having a large role in the recruiting process. Piechocki also worked baseball camps for the University of Notre Dame, Grand Valley State University, The Michigan All-Star Showcase, and the TPX Top 96 Michigan.
Piechocki was the founder and manager of the Kalamazoo Cubs, a Stan Musial program that was created in the summer of 2008. In four seasons the team had players from 34 different colleges/universities and won two league titles, two state titles, and made two regional appearances.
In 2007, Piechocki was a varsity assistant baseball coach at Mattawan High School where he worked primarily with the catchers and hitters. During that season Mattawan went on to win the Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference (SMAC) West Division Championship. Mattawan also won their district and finished as a regional semi-finalist. In 2006, Piechocki worked as an assistant with the freshman and junior varsity baseball teams at Mattawan while also managing the Mattawan Fall Baseball program.
Piechocki played baseball at Mattawan High School and one season at Glen Oaks Community College before suffering a career ending injury. He was a three-year varsity letter winner at Mattawan High School, and earned First Team All-SMAC, First Team All-District and Second Team All-Region honors as a catcher/third baseman. He also earned First Team Courier Leader honors and won the 2004 Baseball Players Association (BPA) World Series while playing for the Jackson Angels (a.k.a. Jackson Wendy's).
Piechocki worked as a Graduate Assistant at Western Michigan University working towards a Master’s degree in Coaching Sport Performance. Piechocki earned his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education – Coaching Emphasis from Western Michigan in 2010.
Brian Colopy, Executive Vice President of the Growlers, is happy to be able to bring Piechocki back for year two in Kalamazoo “Cody did a tremendous job bringing in talent with the rash of injuries we went through in our inaugural season.” stated Colopy. “He understands the Northwoods League dynamics, he knows the area and he meshes really well with Travis, so I am excited to see the winning atmosphere they will bring to the table this year at Homer Stryker Field.”
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 21-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.