Buies Creek – After helping Miami to an appearance in the 2015 College World Series, Michael DeLucia returns to the Campbell coaching staff.
“We are thrilled to welcome Michael back home to Campbell,” said Justin Haire, entering his second season as head coach of the Camels. “He has shown, over the last couple of years, that he is one of the best young catching coaches in the country, and has an enthusiasm and passion for the development of players that is rare in today’s young coaches.”
“I am thrilled to return to Buies Creek,” said DeLucia. “It is a great opportunity for me to share the knowledge that I have learned over the years and continue to become the best possible coach I can be. I’m grateful to Coach Haire for the opportunity and to be able to coach alongside the same guy who took a chance on me four years ago. He recruited me, made me a better catcher, and most importantly, made me a better man.”
DeLucia will serve as the Camels’ volunteer assistant, working primarily with the CU catchers.
DeLucia also coached Miami’s catchers in 2015, also assisting with the offense. The top-rated Miami offense led the country with 8.16 runs per game, hitting .307 with a .417 on-base percentage.
With DeLucia’s help, the Hurricanes reached the 50 win-mark last season, ranking as high as No. 8 in the nation. Miami won the ACC Coastal Division Championship, as well as the Coral Gables NCAA Regional and Super Regional on the way to Omaha.
DeLucia coached All-America catcher Zack Collins, also named First Team All-ACC and ABCA All-Atlantic Region, ranking second in the ACC with 15 home runs. The Pembroke Pines, Fla. native also coached 14thRound 2015 MLB Draft selection (Los Angeles Dodgers) Garrett Kennedy, who was a Third Team All-ACC pick in 2015.
“Michael’s experience of going to Omaha last year, and his excitement to come back to Buies Creek will serve us well going forward,” said Haire. “We are very fortunate to have him back as part of our baseball family. I, personally, look forward to working with him side by side as he continues to invest in our players and program, with the goal of getting his alma mater to Omaha.”
“It is special to be back at Campbell, not only because I played here but because it’s a place I can call home,” said DeLucia. “The values that are instilled in this program and the relationships that are built between coaches and players really are what makes this FAMILY successful on and off the field. I can’t wait to continue the success Campbell has had in the past and keep striving to reach new limits on a national stage by winning more championships and one day going to Omaha.”
In his first season on the Campbell coaching staff in 2014, the Camels crossed the 40-win mark for the third-straight season on their way to the program’s first NCAA appearance since 1990, claiming the Big South Tournament Championship.
Campbell again ranked in the nation’s top-50 in wins (41, 35th), hit by pitch (122, 2nd), sacrifice bunts (66, 25th), shutouts (6, 40th) and stolen bases (80, 41st). Individually, Steven Leonard, drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 2015 MLB Draft, started 54 games behind the plate for the Camels, earning Big South All-Tournament team accolades.
DeLucia enjoyed a successful two year career behind the plate for the Camels from 2012-13, owning a career .300 average in 90 games after transferring from Brevard Community College. As a senior, the catcher hit .316 with 30 RBI, 21 runs scored, five doubles, four triples and two home runs, earning NCCSIA First Team All-State accolades and a spot on the Johnny Bench Award Watch List.
During his senior season with the Camels, CU finished 49-10, winning the Big South’s North Division Championship and runner-up in the league’s championship game, setting a school record for wins.
The 2013 Camels finished among the nation’s leading teams statistically, ranking eighth in batting (.314), 15th in scoring (7.1 runs per game), sixth in stolen bases (130), third in times hit by pitch (124), 11th in on-base percentage (.404), seventh in ERA (2.63), 22nd in hits allowed per nine (7.95) and an outstanding fourth in win-loss percentage (.831).
The Camels ranked as high as No. 23 (NCBWA, May 28) in the national polls, finishing the season at No. 28 (NCBWA).
DeLucia graduated from Campbell in 2013 with a degree in criminal justice.