|Years at Brown:||17th Year|
Head Coach Marek Drabinski is now in his 17th season with Brown and looks to take the Bears back to the top of the Rolfe Division and the Ivy League Championship.
Drabinski had a banner year in his 11th at the helm of the Brown baseball program, leading the squad to the Ivy League title. He led the Bears to a team-record 27 wins, besting the previous mark of 25 set by his 2002 club and earning New England Coach of the Year honors from the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association. Drabinski also recorded three-straight 23-win seasons from 1999 to 2001, which tie for the third-most wins in a season by a Brown squad.
In addition to his head coaching responsibilities, Drabinski works closely with the Bears pitchers and catchers. 2007 was Brown's seventh season with double-digit wins in the Ivy League, six of which have come under Drabinski's watch, as the Bears took the Red Rolfe Division title with a 14-6 mark. Brown was once again the top hitting team in the Ivy League, hitting .346 in League games, 39 points ahead of any other team. The Bears also led the League in on-base percentage, slugging, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, runs batted in, and stolen bases.
Brown's pitchers also were outstanding, finishing second with a 4.22 ERA in Ivy play and recording a League-high 153 strikeouts, 28 more than any other team. The Bears raked in postseason honors as a result, with Devin Thomas' unanimous selection as Ivy League Player of the Year and Jeff Dietz's selection as Pitcher of the Year headlining a list of five First Team and two Second Team All-Ivy, four All-New England, and three All-Northeast honorees. In the last nine years, the Bears have compiled 105 Ivy wins, the second-highest among Ivy League schools.
Drabinski was the runner-up for New England Coach of the Year in 1999 after leading Brown to its first winning season in 10 years. During his tenure, Brown has had 28 First Team All-Ivy, 23 All-New England and 13 All-Northeast Region selections. Drabinski has coached a total of 17 players who have gone on to play professionally, including Thomas, Brown's highest draft pick since 1973 when he was chosen in the seventh round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Detroit Tigers last summer, and Dietz, who signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks after his junior season.
After the 2011 season, senior catcher Matt Colantonio was selected by the San Diego Padres, while senior third baseman Ryan Zrenda signed with the Baltimore Orioles.
Drabinski arrived at Brown after a three-year stint as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Connecticut, under legendary head coach Andy Baylock. He was responsible for the Husky catchers and outfielders, and also served as the conditioning coach and assistant hitting coach.
A 1991 graduate of Connecticut with a degree in finance, Drabinski was a four-year starter for the Huskies at catcher. He was selected as captain both his junior and senior seasons, with the 1990 team capturing the Big East Conference Tournament and advancing to the NCAA Northeast Regional. UConn's MVP in 1990, Drabinski also earned All-Big East Conference honors in 1988 and was a member of the 1990 Big East Conference Tournament Team. After his collegiate playing career, Drabinski spent two-plus seasons with the Atlanta Braves organization, making stops in Idaho Falls and spending two seasons with the Braves' Class A affiliate in Macon, Georgia. After his pro career, he returned to Connecticut in 1994, earning his Master's Degree in Sports Management.
Drabinski is the director of the highly successful Brown Baseball Camps, which has gained the reputation of developing outstanding young pitchers. He and his staff also conduct several youth clinics throughout the year. Marek, a native of Chicopee, Massachusetts, now resides in Lisbon, Connecticut, with his wife, Tracie, and his three children, Brandon (16), Jordyn (14) and Austin (10).
Grant Achilles was named an assistant coach for the Brown baseball program in October of 2012 after spending a year in the assistant position at Georgetown University, a Division I member of the Big East Conference.
While coaching for the Hoyas, Achilles worked primarily with the hitters, developing an offense that had a team batting average of .274 in Big East play, an improvement of .033 from the previous year. Two of his protégés were named to the All-Big East team for the 2012 season, with infielder Mike Garza earning first team honors and outfielder Justin Leeson being selected for the third team. Garza’s 86 hits tied the Georgetown single-season hits record, and he was drafted and signed by the Milwaukee Brewers at the end of the season. Leeson hit a career best .325 and was drafted by the Kansas City Royals.
Prior to his year at Georgetown, Achilles spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant on the staff at Wake Forest, working primarily with hitters and outfielders. At the conclusion of the 2010 season, the Kansas City Royals signed outfielder Steven Brooks to a minor league contract, and in 2011, the Demon Deacons returned to the ACC tournament for the first time since 2008.
Achilles also served on the staff at Western Carolina for two years, earning a promotion to assistant head coach after his first season. While at WCU, Achilles helped guide the Catamounts to two winning seasons, including a 35-22 mark in 2009.
Achilles spent a season with the Charlotte 49ers baseball program before joining the staff at Western Carolina, working with the catchers, assisting with the defense and hitters and also serving as the first base coach. The 49ers completed one of the most successful seasons in program history under his guidance, earning 49 wins and advancing to the Columbia, SC, regional in the NCAA tournament. While in Charlotte, Achilles worked with Kris Rochelle, an All-Atlantic 10 catcher and a 2007 Detroit Tigers draft pick.
A member of the team at Wake Forest from 2002 to 2006, Achilles was a four-year letter winner for the Demon Deacons. He appeared in 56 games, making 19 starts, while playing a variety of positions, including first base, second base, right field and catcher.
Originally from Lynchburg, VA, Achilles graduated from Wake Forest in 2006 with a degree in communication. He has two brothers, Chad and Todd, both of whom attended Wake Forest. Todd also played baseball for the Demon Deacons, serving as an infielder from 1997 to 2001.
Mike McCormack was named an assistant coach for the Brown baseball program in October of 2012 after spending the last four years as an assistant coach under Jedd Soto at St. Mary’s College of California, a Division I member of the West Coast Conference.
While at St. Mary’s, McCormack played a significant role in every aspect of the baseball program, handling off-field responsibilities and also working with the outfielders, hitters and coaching first base. Over the course of his tenure, the Gaels had their highest single-season win total since 1991, as well as their first winning record since 2006. Ten position players received All-West Coast Conference honors, including four outfielders, and two received Freshman All-American honors. Infielder Troy Channing won the West Coast Conference Triple Crown in 2009 and graduated in 2012 as the program’s all-time leader in home runs and runs batted in. McCormack also aided in the development of four position players who were drafted in Major League Baseball’s First Year Player Draft. Outfielder Kyle Jensen (12th round, Miami Marlins) and first baseman Anthony Aliotti (15th round, Oakland Athletics) were selected in the 2009 draft, while infielder Patrick Wisdom (1st round comp. A, St. Louis Cardinals) and catcher Toby DeMello (27th round Seattle Mariners) were drafted in 2012.
McCormack has also honed his skills at the amateur and youth level in both California and Massachusetts. He served as an assistant coach for the Massachusetts Post 150 Greater Newburyport American Legion team that competed in the 2008 Massachusetts State Finals. He also assisted Team Northeast in Massachusetts’ Bay State Games. While at St. Mary’s, he coached the Northern California 13 and under team at the 2011 National Team Identification Series in Cary, NC. He also coached the 14 and under Danville Junior Hoots in the spring of 2012, leading them to national rankings as high as seventh.
After spending his freshman year at the University of Rochester, McCormack transferred to Worcester State University and was a three-year letter winner in the outfield. He was a team captain of the 2008 MASCAC Championship squad and NCAA New England Regional team and was named the University’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year during that same season. In 2010, McCormack was elected to Worcester State’s All-Decade team. He graduated Cum Laude in 2008 with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice.
A native of Newburyport, Massachusetts, McCormack was a three sport athlete at Newburyport High School.