By: Matt Rothman
Marjory Stoneman Douglas’s pitching coach, Mike Cimilluca, was named National High School Baseball Assistant Coach of the Year.
Cimilluca, who also coached with Head Coach Todd Fitz-Gerald on the Original Florida Pokers, finished his second year with MSD and first year as pitching coach after coming over from Coral Springs High School.
“It’s a reflection on the entire pitching and coaching staff,” Cimilluca said. “On the pitching side, I had 11 kids that really bought into what we were trying to do and how we were going to attack each game. I also worked with some of the best minds in South Florida.”
Said Fitz-Gerald, “Mike works really hard with those pitchers and also is really good with them. They love him and work hard for him to be the best they can be. He deserves it and does an outstanding job, and I am glad he is on our staff.”
This season, Cimilluca coached a pitching staff highlighted of Christian Rodriguez, Jayden Dubanewicz, Matt Ossenfort, Gavin Gargiulo, Luke Cherry, Brayden McCluskey, James Smith, Breylynn Courtney, Jacob Gomberg, Christian Milliken and Vincent Toloza. They pitched 186 innings and allowed more than one hit in an inning only 18 times. MSD recorded zero or one run in 29 games, striking out 10.3 hitters per seven innings.
“Cimilluca was a great coach and a great person to be around,” Rodriguez said. “He knows what he is talking about and is one of the most open people to talk to. He cares for us like his own and would go out of his way to do anything we need and is the perfect balance between business and fun. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Before coaching, Cimilluca had an excellent playing career as a pitcher. He pitched and played for two years at Manatee Community College in college, including saving the 1991 JUCO World Series. He then joined the competitive Semi-Pro Federal League with the Parkland Braves and pitched a no-hitter in his first start before winning over 300 games.
Cimilluca is now set to make history, looking forward to helping the Eagles win their fourth straight State and National Championship. Despite having several senior pitchers graduate, he is very confident in some underclassmen.
- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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