Staff
Head Coach
John Szefc

Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced the hiring of Tech’s 25th head baseball coach on June 9 and formally introduced John Szefc as the head coach of the baseball program on June 15.

Szefc (pronounced SHEFF) accepted the position after leading Maryland to three NCAA appearances and a 180-122 (.596) overall record as the Terrapins’ head coach. He owns a 392-259-3 (.602) career record in 12 seasons as an NCAA head coach, producing 10 campaigns with 30 or more wins.

In addition to ending a 43-year NCAA tournament drought and becoming the fastest coach to 100 career wins at Maryland, Szefc spent seven seasons (1996-2002) at the helm of the Marist College baseball program, where he led the team to four conference championships, four NCAA Regional appearances and a 212-137-3 (.607) overall mark. Szefc earned Northeastern Conference Coach of the Year honors in 1997 and was the American Baseball Coaches Associate Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2001.

The first coach in Maryland history to ever take the Terrapins to an NCAA Super Regional, Szefc accomplished the feat twice in 2014 and 2015 as he guided the program to the first two 40-win seasons in school history and claimed Maryland’s first two NCAA Regional crowns. Maryland achieved a final No. 14 ranking both seasons, the highest finishes in school history.

He guided the Terrapins to the ACC Tournament final for the first time in 38 years in 2014 and then took Maryland to the Big Ten tournament final in the school’s initial season in that conference, winning a program-best 42 games in 2015.

Szefc has coached 97 players that have been drafted or signed professional contracts since 1997, including six selected in the 2017 MLB draft. Over the last five drafts, 25 of his players have been selected, including the 45th pick of the 2014 draft Jake Stinnett, the highest pick of a Maryland player in almost a decade. He has also helped develop 23 All-Americans, including 10 of the 20 players in Maryland history to earn that distinction.

The Middletown, N.Y. native arrived at Maryland after a two-year stint as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Kansas State (2011-12) and a two-season stay as assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator at Kansas (2009-10). He also enjoyed a six-season tenure as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Louisiana-Lafayette (2003-08). Szefc began his coaching career as an assistant at Sacred Heart (1995) and at Drexel (1990-93).

Szefc managed the New York Generals in the Atlantic College Baseball League during the summers of 1995 and 1996. He led the club to a 47-28 record, earned two consecutive division titles and the ACBL title game in 1996.

Collegiately, he played two years at Connecticut before transferring in 1987 to Drexel. During his senior campaign for the Dragons, he was tabbed an All-East Coast Conference outfielder.

He graduated from Drexel University with a degree in corporate communications in 1989. He also holds a master's degree in sports administration from Temple University.

Szefc and his wife, Barbara, have a daughter, Anna, and two sons, John Michael and Sam.

Assistant Coach
Ryan Fecteau

On June 21, 2017, Virginia Tech head baseball coach John Szefc announced the first hiring of his new staff in Blacksburg and named Ryan Fecteau as the top assistant coach for the Hokies in charge of the pitching staff. Fecteau joined Tech after working the 2017 season at the University of Maryland under Szefc as the pitching coach/recruiting coordinator.

In just one season with the Terrapins, Fecteau (pronounced FECK-toe) made an immediate impact as he helped pitchers Brian Shaffer and Tyler Blohm receive 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 the 2017 MLB draft pushing the number of MLB drafted pitchers under Fecteau to 12.

During the 2017 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.

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 to 226 victories, 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 pitching success for Fecteau 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-America 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.

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 is joined in Blacksburg by his wife, Catherine, have their son, Kellan.

Assistant Coach
Kurt Elbin

On June 23, 2017, Virginia Tech head baseball coach John Szefc announced the hiring of former VCU assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Kurt Elbin to his Hokies’ staff. Elbin currently serves in the same role within the Tech program.

Elbin had worked the prior five seasons at VCU (2013-17) and helped head coach Shawn Stiffler and the Rams to four straight 35-plus win seasons, one conference regular season title, one conference tournament title and an NCAA Regional title in 2015 as the team advanced to the Super Regionals for the first time in school history.

Under Elbin’s tutelage, the 2017 Rams’ offense led the Atlantic 10 Conference in both batting average (.290, 60th in the nation) and on-base percentage (.384, 43rd) and was 14th in the country, first in the league, with 85 hit batsmen. It was the third time in the past four seasons the team had finished in the top 100 in batting average, including 36th in 2014.

The top two hitters in the A-10 at the end of 2017 were products of Elbin, with senior Logan Farrar at the top with a .365 average that helped him earn the A-10 Player of the Year award, the first ever for the program. He added an A-10 First Team All-Conference honor, an ABCA/Rawlings Division I East All-Region First Team selection and an ABCA/Rawlings Third Team All-America accolade to his resume. He was also picked by the Oakland Athletics in the 2017 MLB Draft.

The second-leading hitter in the conference at the end of the season was freshman Paul Witt, a second baseman who hit .374 during the regular season (.361 overall), which helped earn him the A-10 batting crown and the A-10’s Rookie of the Year honor. He added an A-10 Second Team All-Conference selection and a Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s Freshman All-American honor.

In all, Elbin worked with four guys in 2017 that earned All-Conference honors and during his time at VCU had three players get drafted, including Vimael Machin, at number 239 in 2015, the school’s highest selection since 2008.

During the Rams’ 2015 run towards the program’s first Super Regional appearance, the Black and Gold ranked first in the conference in base on balls (223), hit by pitch (114, also led the nation), hits (622), sacrifice bunts (53), sacrifice flies (31), and was third in runs (364).

Nationally, the Rams finished in the top 100 in walks, batting average and on-base percentage. The team ranked among the top 50 in fielding percentage, hits, runs, sacrifice bunts, and sacrifice flies. Defensively, the team was 34th in all of Division I and second in the conference in fielding percentage.

The 2015 club had four players receive All-Region honors (Matt Lees, Heath Dwyer, Matt Davis, Machin), five were named All-Conference (Davis, Dwyer, Machin, Farrar, Sean Thompson) one earned All-American honors (Machin), and four players signed contracts with professional organizations (Lees, Dwyer, Machin, and Daniel Concepcion).

In 2014, the Rams led the A-10 in runs and hits, while finishing the season among the top offenses in the nation in batting average (36th), hit by pitch (25th), hits (38th), on-base percentage (17th), runs (33rd), and scoring (29th).

In his first season with the Rams, Elbin helped guide VCU to 28 victories and saw two players, James Bunn and Joey Cujas, earn All A-10 accolades.

Prior to his time in Richmond, Virginia, Elbin spent two seasons (2011-12) at Division II power Shippensburg University (Pa.). During his two-year tenure at Shippensburg, Elbin helped lead the Raiders to 55 wins and back-to-back PSAC Tournament appearances.

Before joining the Raiders’ staff, Elbin spent three seasons at Thiel College (2008-10). Under his guidance the Tomcats were a Division III powerhouse in the President’s Athletic Conference, being ranked as high as 13th nationally during his stint. Overall, the team won 73 games and the offense finished among the nation’s Top 10 in five categories while compiling eight ABCA All-Region selections, two ABCA All-Americans and two ESPN Academic All-Americans.

A native of Bedford, Pennsylvania, Elbin is a 2006 graduate of Lock Haven University, where he was a three-year starter under coach Smokey Stover. He made 135 starts over the course of three seasons, hitting a team-high .346 as a junior. He earned a master’s degree from California (Pa.) in 2008.

Elbin is joined in Blacksburg by his wife, Jaclyn, and their children, Alexander and Juliet.

Assistant Coach
Micheal Thomas

Virginia Tech head baseball coach John Szefc announced several additions to his staff on June 22, 2017 which included Micheal Thomas being named the Hokies’ Volunteer Assistant Coach in charge of the catchers.

Thomas comes to Blacksburg from Lexington, Kentucky, where he spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons serving as a student manager for his alma mater. Thomas played for the Wildcats from 2011-14, emerging as a star catcher during UK’s 2014 season. He was selected in the 22nd round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers and played the 2014 and the 2015 seasons in the Tigers’ organization, before retiring from his playing career.

Over his Kentucky career, Thomas played in 137 games with 102 starts, batting .279 (107-for-383) with 17 doubles, one triple, 12 homers and 70 RBI, with a career .376 slugging percentage and six steals. As a senior in 2014, Thomas, AJ Reed, Austin Cousino and Max Kuhn formed a dynamic lineup that helped Kentucky to the 2014 NCAA tournament. That season, Thomas belted eight homers and drove in 45 runs, as he hit .315 with a .484 slugging percentage.

During the 2017 season, Thomas worked under first-year head coach Nick Mingione and helped the Wildcats to a historic season that saw the program reach the NCAA Super Regional round for the first time and post the fourth-most wins in school history. Kentucky also reached a top-five national ranking and hosted a regional for just the second time in program history.

Working primarily with the catchers at Kentucky, his top two catchers those two seasons – Kole Cottam and Troy Squires – combined to allow just 17 of 30 stolen base attempts in 2017 and committed just five errors in over 600 chances for a .992 fielding percentage. The previous season, the pair was just as effective behind the plate, limiting the opposition to 22 of 33 in stolen base attempts and a .993 fielding percentage with just three errors in over 400 chances.

In the summer of 2017, Thomas worked with the Waynesboro Generals, a summer league baseball team in the Valley League. He assisted with all aspects of the game and worked with the hitters and catchers and managed a coaching box.

Thomas, born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was a four-year member of the football, basketball and baseball teams at Elizabethtown High School in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. He helped the Panthers to a pair of district titles and was a two-time all-region performer.

He is joined in Blacksburg by his wife Haley.

Director Of Operations
Corey Haines