With the departure of longtime Gloucester Catholic head coach Dennis Barth likely to be announced formally on Monday morning, 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 .
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, .
Rucci would be the fourth major departure at West Deptford this year, after , and all stepped away from their positions.