2011 NECC Coach of the Year
2011 Newbury Coach of the Year
2012 Newbury Coach of the Year
Kraig Kupiec enters his eighth season as the Head Coach of the Newbury College baseball program. With 120 career wins, he guided the Nighthawks to the program's first 20-plus win season in the spring of 2012 with a 23-22 overall record.
Following a rebuilding season in 2013, the Nighthawks rebounded strongly in 2014. In the second game of the season, junior right-hander Danny Lumb fired the first shutout in program history, an 8-0 shutout against Emerson College in Fort Myers, Fla. on March 2, 2014. A few weeks later, he came two outs shy of tossing the program's first no-hitter in a 6-0 road win over Mitchell College on March 22nd before taking the season series, 2-1, against the Mariners with a 4-1 victory at home on March 23rd.
Offensively, Newbury finished third as a team in on-base percentage posting a team single-season best, .382 OBP. In the process, first-year centerfielder Ian Hruniak passed 2012 graduate Patrick Curry registering a staggering .474 on-base percentage from the top of the Nighthawk line-up.
On-base percentage was not the only offensive statistic that fell in 2014. Hruniak also surpassed the program's single-season walk record, surpassing Ryan Zahornasky with 30 free passes while senior backstop David Dubay eclipsed 2014 graduate Michael Dwyer's single-season stolen base record, successfully swiping 21 bases on the year.
In 2012, the Nighthawks found themselves in elite company, joining the likes of Bridgwater St., Wheaton (Mass.), St. Joseph's (Maine), with 23-plus wins. In his second year as head coach, Kupiec directed the Nighthawks their first ECAC Tournament appearance in program history as well as to the final day of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship Tournament after claiming the third seed with an 11-7 NECC record.
After besting their previous single-season benchmarks in runs (265), hits (440), doubles (70), RBIs (221), total bases (567), hit by pitches (47) and stolen bases (72) six Nighthawks were selected to the All-Conference team - including the Player of the Year, Alex Chetelat. Newbury tied for the most players on the All-NECC team with Becker.
In his first year at the helm, the baseball program broke single-season record in wins (18-17) surpassing the total from the four previous years. The Nighthawks improved in all facets of the game-breaking single-season team marks in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, hits, runs, RBIs, stolen bases, and ERA. At season’s end, Kupiec earned the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Coach of the Year Award and was named Newbury College Coach of the Year.
Prior to Newbury, Kupiec served as the hitting coach at UMass-Boston where he helped lead the Beacons to the Little East Conference Championship, NCAA Regional Championship, and the College World Series in 2010. In his tenure as hitting coach from 2007 to 2010, the team improved to become one of the most dominant offenses in all of Division III baseball. The team batting average improved 56 points to .325 with nine single-season team records being surpassed including hits, runs, RBIs, total bases, slugging percentage, stolen bases, doubles, and home runs.
He was selected by the Houston Astros in the MLB draft following his senior season at Durfee High School in Fall River, Mass., but opted to accept a baseball scholarship at Division I, Wake Forest University. He patrolled center field for four seasons for the Demon Deacons in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Kupiec was selected to the ACC All-Scholastic Team in 1993 and enjoyed a season with the Wareham Gateman in the legendary Cape Cod League the following summer. A severe quad injury during his senior season ended his post-college playing career. After graduating from Wake Forest in 1995, Kupiec attended the University of Southern Mississippi where he earned a Masters degree in 1998.
During his playing career, Kupiec made a name for himself with his hard-nosed, aggressive style of play. This reputation is carried over to his coaching where he encourages his players to strive for excellence, both in the classroom and on the playing field. Coach Kupiec is a strong advocate of player development and believes that teaching and improving baseball fundamentals is the path to success. This strategy, in part, parallels his belief that successful collegiate athletes demonstrate high levels of achievement in all parts of their life. A former history teacher at Randolph High School, Kupiec emphasizes academic accomplishment as much as athletic success.
For nine years before joining UMass Boston, Coach Kupiec operated and served as the lead hitting instructor at Inside the Park, Inc. Indoor Batting Cages in Fall River, Mass. In 2006, a book written by Kupiec was published entitled "Hitting Made Simple: A Guide for Parents and Coaches" which brings to print his uniquely simple and successful philosophy on hitting.
In addition to his duties as Head Baseball Coach, Kupiec serves as the Assistant Athletic Director as well as the Recruiting Coordinator, a Humanities Instructor and Student-Athlete Academic Program (SAAP) Coordinator.
A native of Fall River, Mass., Coach Kupiec resides in Lakeville, Mass with his wife Melissa and two daughters; Maya (5) and Chloe (1).