Mike Armstrong has been named the new head baseball coach at Alfred State after an extensive nationwide search. Armstrong becomes just the third coach at Alfred State since in the team was brought back to campus in 1994.
"It is an absolute honor to be named the next head baseball coach at Alfred State," stated Armstrong. "I would like to thank Dr. Sullivan, Greg Sammons and the entire Alfred State community for the opportunity to coach great student-athletes and be a part of an excellent athletics department. I am very excited to start the season and begin working hard with our players to build the best baseball team possible for this spring."
Vice President for Student Affairs Greg Sammons looks forward to Armstrong leading the program. "In the final stage of our national search, it became clear that Mike possesses a strong baseball mind, contagious optimism, and a strong desire to build something special with our baseball program. It is precisely those three things that makes me excited for Pioneer baseball this spring."
College president Dr. Skip Sullivan is exicted for the student-athletes. "Mike brings a level of enthusiasm and a commitment to winning that is exactly what we need."
Armstrong joins Alfred State after spending the last four baseball seasons as the head assistant coach at Amherst College (Amherst, MA). At Amherst, he helped the team to a 105-48 record and to three NCAA DIII NCAA Tournament appearances. As the hitting coach he was in charge of the offensive strategy and designing practice and game plans. Armstrong was also key in the nation wide recruiting and development of competitive culture.
Prior to coaching at Amherst, Armstrong spent two years coaching at Ithaca College. With the Bombers he helped the varsity team to a 47-24-1 record and a NCAA DIII Tournament appearance in 2012 while running all aspects of the JV program.
During the summer, Armstrong has served as the head coach of the North Adams SteepleCats (New England Collegiate Baseball League - 2015 & 2016) and the head coach of the Newark Pilots (Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League 2013 & 2014). He was named the 2014 PGCBL Coach of the Year and led the Pilots to the championship series and led the Steeplecats to just their third trip to the division finals in 2015. With both franchises, Armstrong was in charge of day-to-day operations of the team and was key in the recruitment of the team.
Armstrong also served as an Envoy Coach at the Swedish National Baseball Academy in August of 2013 & 2014, served as a camp instructor at Amherst, Ithaca, and Stanford, and spent a semester (August 2012-December 2012) working as a coach in the Cardinal Baseball Program in Palo Alto, CA.
Armstrong played at Ithaca for two years after spending a year at Clarkson and St. John Fisher for a year each. During his junior and senior years at Ithaca, the catcher started 51 games and led the Bombers to the NCAA New York regional while guiding the pitching staff to a 3.18 ERA in 2011. During his career, Armstrong caught 83 collegiate games. He also spent two summers playing for the Elmira Pioneers of the New York Collegiate Baseball League. He was a 1st team All-County selection during his senior year at Penfield High School
He holds a bachelor's degree in history from Ithaca and a master's degree in higher education from the University of Massachusetts.
Armstrong is looking to get started at Alfred State. "First and foremost we want to ensure that our student-athletes have a great experience during their time at Alfred State. It is of the utmost importance that our players are learning on and off the field and developing into outstanding young men, while having an enjoyable experience on the baseball team. Second, it is important for us to establish a process for success now and in the future. We will work very hard establishing and adjusting our process leading to a greater understanding of ourselves and the game of baseball. Through our hard work we will build on the strong culture that already exists to maintain a winning attitude."
Armstrong will begin his duties immediately and takes over a Pioneer baseball team that has finished the last two seasons 14-25.
What others are saying about Mike Armstrong
George Valesente, Head Baseball Coach, Ithaca College
"Mike Armstrong has wanted to be a head baseball coach from the time he joined our program and I am very happy for him and Alfred State. You are getting a very serious hard working young man who is committed to the sport and the individuals playing it. He will build upon the tradition at Alfred State and add to it significantly."
Brian Hamm, Head Baseball Coach, Amherst College
"Mike is an outstanding tactician of the game and a true teacher. His knowledge and approach to hitting led our teams to be in the top 10% in many offensive statistics nationally to include breaking NCAA Tournament records during the last four years. But, above all, is his passion for coaching, the respect he shows for the game, and how much he cares for his players are the traits of his that stand out to me. Amherst is losing an outstanding coach, mentor, and friend."
"Mike is incredibly loyal to his players, coaches, and the schools that he has been a part of. He leaves Amherst and our baseball program a better place. No doubt he lived up to the expectations set by the outstanding coaches who have come before him in our storied program's history and he sets the bar high for the next coach who follows in his footsteps."
Jeff McKay: MLB Envoy Coach, former coach at the University of California
"Two things stand out about Mike Armstrong: his infectious enthusiasm and his phenomenal work ethic. Do not be surprised to see the light on in the baseball office at midnight, Mike grinding away with a smile on his face. He is a blue collar coach with a world-class Pedigree–including coaching at the Stanford University Baseball Camp, the Swedish National (Olympic) Baseball Academy, and for the North Adams Steeple Cats of the New England Collegiate League. He is a winner!"
Michael Lindberg: Director of Athletics, Wells College
"Coach Armstrong is an extraordinary talent with his knowledge of the game and understanding of student-athletes. Not only will he coach the fundamentals of the game, but he will teach valuable life lessons that transcends the game."