John Fugett has been named as the head baseball coach at Drew University, Director of Athletics Christa Racine has announced.
Fugett comes to the Forest after serving as a full-time assistant coach, pitching coach, and recruiting coordinator at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. over the last seven years. A former Division I student-athlete at Lafayette College, he becomes just the 14th head coach in the 88-year history of Drew baseball and only the third since 1984.
"I am very excited to join the Drew University baseball program," said Fugett. "I want to thank Christa and everyone on the search committee for offering me the position, and Coach Leary and everyone at Lehigh for helping me along the way. I am anxious to get rolling!"
"We are extremely pleased to welcome Coach Fugett to Drew University," said Racine. "His knowledge, passion, and competitiveness will make him a great addition to the Ranger baseball program."
The first full-time assistant baseball coach ever at Lehigh, Fugett helped guide the Mountain Hawks to a five consecutive 20-win seasons from 2014-18. Lehigh qualified for the Patriot League Tournament three years in a row (2014-16) under Fugett, including consecutive championship appearances in 2014-15. The Brown and White captured the second Patriot League title in program history in 2015 to earn a berth in the NCAA Division I Tournament.
As pitching coach, Fugett helped the Mountain Hawks post the program's lowest team ERA in the Patriot League era (1991-present) with a mark of 3.92 in 2014. He coached 25 All-Patriot League selections, including three Major League Baseball draft picks in pitcher Mark Washington (Los Angeles Dodgers, 25th round, 2017), infielder Mike Garzillo (New York Yankees, 38th round, 2015; Miami Marlins, 25th round, 2016), and outfielder Justin Pacchioli (San Diego Padres, 10th round, 2015).
Fugett also helped Lehigh to success away from the field, with the team collecting 13 Academic All-Patriot League selections during his tenure. In addition, the squad's team GPA rose during each of the last seven semesters under Fugett.
Prior to Lehigh, the Philadelphia, Pa. native coached at Germantown Academy, one of the premier high school baseball programs in the Philadelphia region. The pitching coach in 2010 and associate head coach in 2011, he coached a pair of players who were taken in the MLB draft, including one third-round pick.
A former pitcher himself at fellow Patriot League member Lafayette, Fugett landed first-team all-league honors as a reliever in 2005. The team's closer from 2005-07, he helped the Leopards win the league title in 2007. Fugett also played for the Kitsap Bluejackets in Kitsap, Wash. in the summer of 2006 and the Kutztown Rockies in Kutztown, Pa. in the summer of 2005.
Fugett will inherit a Drew squad that is just two years removed from a Landmark Conference playoff berth. Next year's team returns all but five seniors, including a first-team all-conference selection, and loses just two pitchers.