MCCC Baseball Names Russ Stupienski as Head Coach, Succeeding Veteran Coach Fred Carella  


West Windsor, N.J. -  It’s the end of an era, as Mercer County Community College (MCCC) baseball head coach Fred Carella has announced his resignation, according to Athletics Director John Simone. After beginning his career as an assistant coach in 2003, Carella completes his tenure as head coach with a career record of 101-51 over four seasons, culminating with a top four finish at the NJCAA World Series in May.

“For years, Fred has been the consistent backbone of our baseball program, having served as an assistant under five former head coaches,” said MCCC Athletics Director John Simone. “He ultimately served the college as a very successful head coach, and we appreciate his years of leadership and dedication to the program.”

Russ Stupienski, associate head coach since 2012, has been named as Carella’s successor. A former Mercer Viking and 2011 graduate of the College, Stupienski is uniquely positioned to make a smooth transition into head coaching duties next season.

“As a former player and an experienced coach, Russ knows our student-athletes, our system, and the college well, and fits perfectly into the transition to head coach,” said Simone. “We are excited that Russ will bring his experience as a player and coach to the role, and we anticipate he will infuse some of his own style and expertise into the baseball program while providing us with a consistent transition.”

A native of Columbus, NJ, and graduate of Northern Burlington County Regional High School, MCCC, and Saint Peters University, Stupienski has served in multiple roles in the Athletics and Maintenance departments at MCCC since 2013. During his tenure as an assistant on the Vikings baseball staff, he has been tasked with heading up game day strategy, field preparation, and recruiting responsibilities.

“I want to thank the College and Mr. Simone for this opportunity,” said Stupienski. “From being a student-athlete here, to an assistant and now taking over as head coach, I am excited to lead this program forward.”

Stupienski is the eleventh head coach in MCCC baseball history. He played for the Vikings in 2009 and 2010, serving as the team’s starting catcher both seasons and their closer in 2010. After graduating, he joined the program as an assistant coach in 2012, serving under head coach Kevin Kerins for five seasons.

After spending two seasons as head JV and assistant baseball coach at Limestone College in South Carolina, Stupienski returned to Mercer in 2019 and joined Carella’s staff. As an assistant, he’s had a hand in Mercer’s trips to the NJCAA Division II World Series in 2014, 2016, and 2022.

“As a student-athlete, I was very lucky to be able to play for Kevin and Freddy,” said Stupienski. “And getting to coach alongside them has been awesome. They both have been great mentors and friends and I've learned so much from working with them. I only hope to be able to mimic their passion and leadership, while putting my own twist on our program.”

Over four seasons as head coach, Carella was one of the most successful coaches in Mercer baseball history, even despite "time outs” in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This past season, the Vikings played in the postseason for the first time since 2019 and put together a deep run, finishing the season with a 37-19 record.

The Vikings won their first Region 19 championship and District championship since 2017, returning to the NJCAA Division II World Series in Enid, OK, where they advanced to the Championship game that year. A magical run of nine victories in postseason elimination games brought this Vikings team all the way to the semi-final round.

At the end of the season, Carella was honored as All-GSAC Coach of the Year, NJCAA Region 19 Coach of the Year, and NJCAA East District Coach of the Year.

Reflecting on last season’s run to Enid, Stupienski acknowledges that there will be a lot of turnover on the roster but with change also comes opportunity.

“Last year was an unbelievable ride all the way through the World Series. We are losing a large group from that team, but I'm really excited about the freshmen and transfers we have coming in all over the field. The competition for jobs will be tough, but I'm looking forward to seeing how hungry this new group is to compete and work every day. It’s business as usual when we start back up -- our goal is to win the NJCAA Division II Juco World Series.”


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Russ Stupienski

Russ Stupienski was named head coach of MCCC baseball program.


Fred Carella

Fred Carella completes his tenure as head coach with a 101-51 record over four seasons.



The MCCC baseball team celebrates their 2022 East District Championship win.