HAMBURG, N.Y. – John Czarnecki, Director of Athletics, announced the promotion of Drew Fittry as the new head baseball coach at Hilbert College June 24th, 2016. Fittry was part of the Hawks' coaching staff that guided the team to the program's first Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference playoff appearance and helped match the overall (11) and AMCC (6) win records in 2016.
"Drew has shown a level of maturity and baseball knowledge beyond his years," said Czarnecki. "His commitment to the program and the student-athletes over the past two seasons as our pitching coach is evident by the success that the program and individuals have seen. I believe Drew is the right person to bring this program to the next level and I look forward to seeing where he is going to take us."
The former Division I standout made his mark on the pitching staff since he joined the program two seasons ago and he is eager to led the Hawks back to the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference playoffs in 2017.
"I am honored to be named the next head coach at Hilbert College. I would like to thank the entire selection committee on putting their trust in me to elevate this program to the next level," said Fittry. "During my two seasons as an assistant here we have had significant growth. I am fully dedicated to working hard to continue that growth in an effort to develop a winning culture here at Hilbert."
The Hawks pitching staff thrived under Fittry's tutelage since 2015.
This past spring, the men on the mound set the baseball program's record for most strike outs looking (61) after establishing a new mark in 2015. The veteran staff garnered new records in lowest ERA (5.62), lowest opponent batting average (.325), most strikeouts/9 inning game (6.34), fewest runs allowed (243), fewest earned runs allowed (157) and most strikeouts (177).
In 2015, his first year with the team, Fittry sharpened his pitching staff as they established new single-season records in: fewest walks per 9-innings (3.71) and the best strikeout-to-walk ratio (1.51 K/BB). For the first time in the program's history since Hilbert began competing in the AMCC league in 2005, the Hawks pitching staff led the league in fewest walks allowed (99) and was the only team in the AMCC to yield less than 100 walks in 2015.
Prior to joining the Hilbert staff, Fittry had a successful and rewarding baseball career at Niagara University. He was a four-year starter for the Purple Eagles and made his mark on Monteagle Ridge. He started 12 games and took his first win (and the programs too) over an ACC power (Virginia Tech) while leading the team in wins his freshman year. Fittry opened his sophomore campaign going undefeated through eight starts and finished the season leading the Purple Eagles in starts, wins, strikeouts and innings pitched. He suffered a season-ending injury his junior year which motivated him to return his senior year on top of his game. Fittry took #5 Florida State with a no-hitter through 5.1 innings in Tallahassee and finished the 2014 season with 10 starts. He is currently ranked in all-time leaders (3rd) in starts (39) and finished with 192.1 innings and 107 strikeouts in his career.
Fittry played year-round, spending his summers playing in collegiate leagues throughout the country. In 2011, he was a member of the Walla Walla Sweets of the West Coast League taking the team to the championship game. The following summer, Fittry played for the Herndon Braves of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball league and then traveled back west again to play in the Pacific West Baseball league for the California Glory. Fittry went 3-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 50 innings and was named to the Pacific West All-Star team his final summer of ball.
The Tonawanda native graduated from Niagara University (2014) with a bachelor's degree in sports management.