Report: Mike Rucci Headed for Gloucester Catholic Coaching Job
The Rams grad is reportedly leaving after a two-year stint with West Deptford to coach Gloucester Catholic's baseball team.
With the departure of longtime Gloucester Catholic head coach Dennis Barth likely to be announced formally on Monday morning, West Deptford may be out of a head baseball coach, according to a report from the Gloucester County Times.
Two-year Eagles coach Mike Rucci is said to be the replacement for Barth, who is expected to take the head coach job at Rutgers-Camden, the Times reported.
Rucci guided West Deptford to an upset sectional title in his first year, as the No. 10-seeded Eagles blew through the Group 2 field before downing Haddonfield in the championship game for the program’s first-ever South Jersey championship.
But Rucci is a Gloucester Catholic grad himself, part of three championship squads, including the team that went 33-1 in 2000 on its way to a state title and a No. 1 national ranking, so a move to the Rams wouldn't be a surprise.
He earned the respect of his Eagles players in a hurry, bringing a hard-nosed intensity to the position, demanding the same level of dedication as he saw at Gloucester Catholic, establishing a rigorous practice schedule to prepare the team for the championship run.
“He’s a phenomenal coach,” Tom Jakubowski said after the South Jersey title game.
It was tough to duplicate that immediate success, however. Rucci’s second year with the team, which lost its one-two pitching punch of Tony Urban and Jason Fox to graduation, saw the Eagles struggle to find wins, compiling a 9-16 record and a first-round loss in the playoffs.
Rucci would be the fourth major departure at West Deptford this year, after wrestling coach John Craig, boys' soccer coach Ryan Dougherty and girls’ basketball coach J McKeown all stepped away from their positions.