ALBANY — Russell Sage College’s Department of Athletics has announced the selection of Troy native Nick Pontari as the first head coach for the newly added baseball team. Pontari, a 2016 graduate of SUNY Brockport, joins the Gators staff after serving the past season as an assistant coach at Cornell University this past year.
Sage, an NCAA Division III institution, competes as a member of the Empire 8 conference and will commence varsity baseball play during the 2021-22 academic year, playing their first varsity season in spring 2022.
"Growing up in the 518, specifically Troy, NY, and having the opportunity to come home and find student-athletes, who can become involved and make a positive impact on the community I grew up in is a dream come true,” Pontari said in a news release. “The opportunity to bring kids to Russell Sage College for our inaugural season, and compete for an Empire 8 championship right away will be an experience our program will never forget."
Pontari arrives at Russell Sage after one season as a volunteer assistant coach with the Cornell University baseball team. While the Big Red's 2020 season was truncated to nine games because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pontari played a big role in preparation for the season after his appointment to the position during the previous fall.
Prior to his time at Cornell, he served four seasons as a member of the coaching staff at his alma mater, The College at Brockport. He was promoted to Associate Head Coach of the Golden Eagles for the 2019 seasons, having served the previous three years as an assistant coach. At the time of his move to Cornell, he had taken over daily operations of Brockport’s pitching staff. He also held roles in assisting with recruiting operations and working with the team’s catchers.
Pontari graduated from Brockport in 2016 after transferring from Fulton-Montgomery Community College via Hudson Valley Community College, spending two years as a relief pitcher for the Golden Eagles.