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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, 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.

putmeincoach August 26, 2012 at 01:35 PM
See ya...two years, won with mediocore team peaking at its best, totally ruined last years team naming 3 freshman as starters and putting 3 starters from championship team on the bench, beaning kids with balls to prove a point, shame for this years seniors but better for the program in the long run. Good luck in GC but trust me, not sure many will really miss him here in WD
justthefacts August 26, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Please don't exaggerate. There was only one freshman who saw significant time in the field this year. Most of the freshman playing were pitchers with one finishing at or near the top of the pitching stats. The other players who moved in were mostly juniors or other seniors who had not played as much the prior season. Some of them had pretty good seasons and helped win some games. Who plays and who doesn't can always be debated and there are many close calls. I'm sure there was no one who agreed with all the decisions he made during the season -- maybe, in retrospect even himself. High school baseball is a short season -- not the 162 games you have in the major leagues. Decisions have to be made when the team is not going well. However, I think what was clear was that Coach Rucci wanted the team to win and that's what guided his decisions. As to the ball throwing incident, I'm sure Coach Rucci may have regretted that, but unless you were there, it's hard to say it was much to make a big deal about and don't believe there was any physical threat to the player. You can call the 2010 team mediocre if you want -- I think they were much better than that. But where I come from -- winning a championship with a mediocre team is a sign of a good coach, not someone who will not be missed.
Just doing what's right August 26, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Congrats to coach Rucci. Despite his antics he did take a young group of talent and turned them into a cohesive team. Good luck at GC. I now recommend the school board find a coach with McKenna's talent who is willing to stay for a while to build the baseball program back up to a consistant level of competition. The last 8 years this program has had too much turnover in e coaching department. It doesnt boad well for the players to see constant turnover. Every new coach comes in with a new agenda and mindset.
Ernest Kraus August 27, 2012 at 12:16 AM
It would be refreshing to see a headline that says a West Deptford academic department was the leader in their group. How much is spent in salary and other incentives for coaches?
Bryan Littel (Editor) August 27, 2012 at 02:07 AM
That's actually something I've been gathering up, Ernest - needless to say, the coaching carousel has put that salary number in flux over the past couple months. Should have a final number soon for a separate story. And there have been plenty of academics headlines over the last couple years, including actual competition wins, like the high school's Phyiscs Olympics team: http://westdeptford.patch.com/articles/physics-olympians-bring-home-gold Or you could read about the reading program the middle school set up this past year to get kids interested in books: http://westdeptford.patch.com/articles/inaugural-challenge-gets-west-deptford-middle-schoolers-reading Or the kids who spend their summers working on something other than their skills on the baseball diamond: http://westdeptford.patch.com/articles/a-camp-of-a-different-kind That's just a handful of them - browse through the schools category some time, you might be surprised.

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