Szefc announces first addition to his staff with appointment of Fecteau

BLACKSBURG – With his first hire at Virginia Tech, head baseball coach John Szefc announced today that a familiar face will join him in the Hokies’ dugout as former Maryland pitching coach/recruiting coordinator Ryan Fecteau has accepted a position at the school and will become the top assistant coach with Tech in charge of the pitchers.

“I’m very fortunate that Ryan has decided to come with me to Blacksburg,” Szefc said. “Coaching and recruiting pitchers is one of the most important parts of building a good college baseball program. Ryan is a pro and he’s had a ton of success.

“When he was working for my friend (head coach) Steve Owens at Bryant, he had a ton of success in building that program. He knows our recruiting area well. He’s very hands-on and is a great developer. He’s great with video and his personality will make him a very good fit here in Blacksburg.”

In just one season with the Terrapins, Fecteau (pronounced Feck-toe) made an immediate impact as he helped pitchers Brian Shaffer and Tyler Blohm to national recognition. Shaffer was the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and an All-American, while Blohm was chosen as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a freshman All-American. Four Maryland pitchers, including Shaffer, a sixth-round selection, were chosen in this year’s MLB draft pushing the number of MLB drafted pitchers under Fecteau to 12.

This past season at Maryland, his staff ranked first in league-only games in the Big Ten Conference with a 3.61 ERA, and the team’s overall ERA of 3.98 was 61st in the nation. The Terrapins also finished in the top 60 in the country in five other pitching categories - 22nd in both walks allowed per nine innings (2.99) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.81), 43rd in WHIP (1.32), 58th in strikeouts per nine innings (8.4) and 60th in shutouts with four.

“My family and I are extremely excited to be a part of the Virginia Tech community,” Fecteau said. “I cannot thank Coach Szefc enough for this incredible opportunity and everything he has done for my family.

“I am looking forward to getting started and building something great in Blacksburg!”

Success on the mound is nothing new for pitchers under Fecteau, as he had a successful six-year stint at Bryant where he helped the Bulldogs win 226 games and achieve three Northeast Conference tournament titles and three NCAA Regional appearances. In 2016, Bryant won 47 contests, the most regular season wins of any team in the country, and earned a No. 2 seed in the Charlottesville Regional, the highest seed in school and NEC history.

The Bulldogs dominated the NEC while Fecteau managed the pitchers with five consecutive regular season titles and three 40-win seasons. Fecteau led his staff to the best ERA in the NEC four of the last five seasons he was on staff and top-25 national marks in 2012 (3.05, 17th), 2013 (2.73, 10th), 2014 (2.84, 21st) and 2016 (3.22, 22nd). In 2013, Bryant became the first team in NEC history to post a sub-3.00 team ERA.

Known for their strike-throwing ability which he continued with his Maryland staff, Fecteau’s groups at Bryant led the NEC in WHIP in five seasons and strikeouts per nine innings in three of the seasons he was in the dugout.

Fecteau’s ability to develop pitchers started at Bryant, as a total of eight Bulldog hurlers he worked with in his time in Smithfield, Rhode Island were selected in the MLB draft, including fourth-round selection Kevin McAvoy in 2014, the highest drafted player in school history.

Another success came in the form of right-hander James Karinchak, who followed up a freshman All-American season in 2015 with the best season by a pitcher in Bryant history in 2016. Karinchak earned All-American honors after setting program records in single season wins (12) and strikeouts (112). The Cleveland Indians selected Karinchak in the ninth round of the 2017 MLB draft.

While on campus, Bryant boasted the NEC Pitcher of the Year four times and had seen 10 pitchers earn 16 all-conference honors over Fecteau’s tenure. Five of his products received ABCA All-Region accolades.

Fecteau’s previous coaching stops include St. Lawrence, USC Upstate and Southern Utah University. As a player, Fecteau starred at Saint Anselm and finished his career as the program leader in wins (20), innings pitched (312.0) and strikeouts (254).

The Gilmanton, New Hampshire native earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Saint Anselm in 2005 and a master’s degree in education from Saint Lawrence in 2007. Fecteau and his wife, Catherine, have a son, Kellan.

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