MCCC Alum To Coach Women’s Softball


Ryan Zegarski has been named the new head coach of the MCCC Women’s Softball Team. Zegarski is no stranger to Mercer’s tradition of athletic excellence, having graduated from MCCC in 2001 after two years on the Men’s Baseball Team. He completed his B.A. degree at Stockton State University, where he continued a distinguished playing career.

Zegarski, a Hamilton native, began playing baseball at the age of six. In high school he was an outfielder for Hamilton High West, which made it to the state quarterfinals in his junior year and the semi-finals in his senior year.

At Mercer, Zegarski played under then Head Coach Dave Gallagher. “Gallagher was a great baseball guy,” Zegarski said. “He combined the best of ‘old school’ fundamentals with a fresh approach. He was really able to relate to the players. There was great chemistry on that team.” The Vikings won Region 19 and the Northeast District his first year (1999) and competed at the NJCAA World Series in Millington, TN. “We played at the Team USA Training Complex. We were there with the seven other top teams in the nation. There were lots of fans, pro scouts and recruiters from four-year schools. I’ll never forget it,” Zegarski said.

At Stockton, Zegarski continued to rack up the accolades, leading the conference in hitting during his junior year and earning a No. 20 ranking nationally. Unfortunately Stockton’s team was not highly competitive, so there were many more losses than wins. “I learned a lot from that experience,” Zegarski said. “There are many positive things that go into college athletics besides winning,” he said.

Working at Mercer has been a natural transition for this talented player, who accumulated years of summer work experience first as a teen counselor and later as a teacher in MCCC’s Camp College. When he was offered the coaching job, he was happy to accept.

Zegarski’s plans for the women’s team will focus, at least for now, on the small stuff. “I want the players to work on the fundamentals,” Zegarski said. “It’s the small things that win ball games.” After five weeks of fall practices, the players have time off for strength training in the Fitness Center. Spring practices begin in earnest in February for opening day on March 5.

Zegarski has a nice mix of seven returning players and nine newcomers. He predicts that they will improve on last year’s 11-17 record. But he will also oversee a process that helps the players develop academically. “It was one of my goals as a student and it’s what the coaching staff is here for, to see progress on the field and in the classroom,” Zegarski said.

Mercer alum Ryan Zegarski '01 is
MCCC's new softball coach.




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