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Fordham completes 2012 Coaching Staff

Bronx, N.Y. – Fordham baseball coach Kevin Leighton announced his coaching staff for the 2012 season, hiring former Siena assistant coach Jimmy Jackson as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, while retaining the services of Assistant Coach Jerry DeFabbia, Volunteer Assistant Coach Joe Mandile, and Director of Baseball Operations Tony Mellaci from last year’s coaching staff.

Jackson spent the past three years at Siena College, the last two as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. In his years at Siena, the Saints brought in the two largest recruiting classes in the history of the program. When promoted to pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, the team increased their win total by 12 games. The pitching staff also led the conference in ERA in his first season as pitching coach and finished second in the conference in year two. Jackson’s staff lowered their ERA by two full runs each season, and in 2011, made it to the championship game of MAAC tournament.

Before taking over as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, Jackson was the volunteer assistant at Siena for one year. He worked primarily with catchers and outfielders and assisted with the hitters.

In three years at Siena, the Saints had multiple All-Conference and All-Region players, as well as one Freshmen All-American and one All-American. The Saints also had three players sign professional contracts with the Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies.

Prior to Siena, Jackson spent three years as the varsity pitching coach at Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn, Maryland. In that time, they had 17 players who advanced to play in college, ten of which were pitchers. Additionally, Jackson delivered private lessons to over 20 players that moved onto the collegiate ranks, including eight who played at the Division I level.

Jackson played two years of independent professional baseball in the Frontier and Atlantic League after a standout collegiate career at Division II Shepherd University in West Virginia. He was an infielder and pitcher at Shepherd, where he became a two-time First Team All-Conference, All-Region and Preseason All-American selection as a pitcher. He also still holds six school records at Shepherd.

DeFabbia and Mandile begin their second season at Fordham, after helping the Rams to a 31-23-1 mark in 2011, the team’s first 30-win season since 2007.

DeFabbia, who will work primarily with the infielders and hitters, joined the Rams’ staff as an assistant coach last season, following a six-year stint as the head coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he was the Knights’ first full-time coach.

Over his six seasons, DeFabbia guided eight players to All-Northeast Conference selections, while 24 players earned New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association honors and 36 student-athletes made the All-NEC Academic Honor Roll. He also coached and recruited to the Knights the 2009 Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year, Matt Holsman.

Prior to Fordham, Mandile, who will work with the outfielders and assist with hitters, spent two seasons on the Manhattanville staff from 2007-08. In 2007, he was a part of the Skyline Conference Coaching Staff of the Year under head coach Jeff Caulfield, leading Manhattanville to the Skyline Conference Championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III Regionals.
In 2008, Mandile was the third base coach and as well as the hitting and infield coach, as Manhattanville won the Freedom Conference Regular Season Championship. Under his tutelage, the Valiants ranked 20th in the nation in team batting average.

Mellaci has been associated with Fordham baseball for over 25 seasons, serving as an assistant coach for 19 years, and then taking over the role as director of baseball operations, which include handling baseball alumni relations and functions.

As a coach, Mellaci has directed the infield play and the defense, served as first base coach, and championed Fordham’s strong recruiting program, which has brought some of the finest players coming out of high school and junior colleges to Rose Hill, and served as a community service contact with youth programs.

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