Jason Szafarski, a veteran college and summer league coach, heads into his first season as head coach of the Saint Michael's baseball team during the 2016-17 school year.
Most recently, Szafarski served as an assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator at fellow NCAA Division II member Eckerd (Fla.) College for the past two years. His debut season in 2015 included 20 wins, one of which was an upset of fourth-ranked Nova Southeastern (Fla.) University during league play in the powerful Sunshine State Conference (SSC). In addition to working with hitters and catchers, Szafarski oversaw the recruiting process for a program that draws student-athletes not only from Florida but New England, New York, the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic and other areas of the Southeast.
During the past two summers, Szafarski was head coach of the Brockton (Mass.) Rox of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL), leading the squad to a combined 61-51 mark. The Rox, whose rosters Szafarski has built by recruiting from Division I, II and III college programs, qualified for the postseason both years. In 2015, he was named FCBL Co-Manager of the Year after a 34-22 performance. Szafarski was head coach of the Montauk (N.Y.) Mustangs of the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League (HCBL) during summer 2014. In their debut season, the Mustangs led the HCBL in fielding percentage (.963).
Szafarski spent the 2014 season as an assistant coach at Division II power University of Tampa, as the Spartans went 54-4, were ranked No. 1 in the nation for much of the spring, won the NCAA South Regional Tournament and advanced as far as the semifinals of the Division II College World Series. Tampa led the SSC with a school-record .972 fielding percentage. During the previous summer, Szafarski served as an assistant coach with the New England Collegiate Baseball League’s (NECBL) North Adams (Mass.) SteepleCats, mentoring hitters and infielders. North Adams claimed the NECBL's individual batting champion and the league lead in fielding percentage (.974).
In 2012 and 2013, Szafarski was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Saint Petersburg (Fla.) College, a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I institution that averaged 21.0 wins during his two seasons. Between 2008 and 2013, he worked with USA Baseball as a scout, site supervisor and trials coach in Cary, N.C., assisting in the selection of a 16U National Team that won five straight gold medals.
Between 2007 and 2016, Szafarski was a teacher for Pinellas County Schools in Florida, at Dixie Hollins High School and Seminole High School. He was Dixie Hollins' baseball head coach in 2011 and 2012, which followed two seasons as head coach at Boca Ciega High School. Szafarski spent 2007 and 2008 as a Seminole High assistant.
A former college infielder at Post University and the State University of New York at Oswego, the Arcade, N.Y., native graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2007 with a degree in adolescent education. He completed his master's degree in sports management from Southern New Hampshire University in 2016.