Cary McConnellCary McConnell – Partner / Baseball Instructor Rams Athletic Complex

Suffolk University announced the appointment of Cary McConnell as Director of Athletics in October 2014. McConnell has served as interim director since August of 2013 following the retirement of James Nelson earlier that year.

McConnell becomes Suffolk’s third athletics director in the program’s sixty eight year history. McConnell joins Charles Law (1946-1975) and Nelson (1975-2013) as the only other people to hold that title in the institution.

McConnell joined the University in 1996 as associate director of athletics and head baseball coach. He had been head baseball coach position at the University of Rochester.

In his time at Suffolk, McConnell has won 479 contests (.635 winning percentage), recording at least 20-wins in a year for 17 consecutive seasons. He has guided Suffolk to four NCAA Championship Tournament appearances, along with four Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) titles. Suffolk has appeared in the GNAC’s Conference Championship game for eight consecutive years. He has been named the GNAC Coach of the Year on five occasions and has taken Suffolk to ten Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournaments, including championships in 2000 and most recently in 2014.

In 2013, McConnell received the Jack Butterfield Award by the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA). The award is given to an active New England coach who demonstrates integrity and dedication to the game of college baseball.

In 22 seasons as a collegiate head coach McConnell has amassed 534 career victories.

In May 2013, McConnell was inducted into the Suffolk University Athletics Hall of Fame alongside his 2000 Baseball team. That team set a school record with 38 wins in a season, while his pitching staff led all NCAA Division-III baseball programs in earned run average (2.69) and strikeouts (401). They made their first NCAA appearance while winning both the GNAC and ECAC Tournaments. They were also inducted into the GNAC’s inaugural Hall of Fame Class of 2010.

McConnell is also an enshrined member of the Medina County Hall of Fame (2007) and Brunswick High School Hall of Fame (1994) in his native Ohio.

A graduate of the College of Wooster, McConnell was a four-year starter in the infield for the Scots and was selected to the All-Decade Team for the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) for the 80’s. At Wooster, McConnell played in four straight NCAA Tournaments and one World Series finishing fifth. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and earned certification to teach at the Secondary level. In addition, he holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Rochester (Rochester, New York).

The longtime baseball coach is also a co-founder of the Team Boston baseball program, which has produce over 15 Division 1 players in the past two seasons and the owner of the Rams Athletic Complex, an indoor baseball training facility in North Reading, Mass.

McConnell resides in Reading along with his wife Kathy, son Charlie and daughter Annie.


Jeff MejiaJeff Mejia – Partner / Baseball and Softball Instructor Rams Athletic Complex

Jeff Mejia came to Northern Essex as the Knights Head Coach in the 2013 season. Since his arrival the team has been crowned New England Regional Champions and earned a bid to the NJCAA World Series for the third, fourth & fifth overall time for the program.  For these accomplishments Coach Mejia has been named the New England Regional Coach of the Year 2013, 2014 & 2015 as Head Coach of the Knights.  Before his arrival at NECC, Jeff was a long time Assistant Coach of Suffolk University.

In 2015 the Knights enjoyed their best season under the direction of Coach Mejia. Finishing with an 28-4 record, 19-0 in New England, 13-0 in Conference and 3-0 in the Regional Tournament.  Earning them there fourth bid in as many years to the NJCAA National Championships.  Seven players were 1st Team All New Engalnd Team, Two players were named NJCAA All Americans and One was named the NJCAA National Defensive Player of the Year.

Since Coach Mejia’s arrival the Knights have produced 3 NJCAA All Americans, 16 First Team All New England players. During the past three seasons, the Knights finished 67-34 (.665%), with a 40-17 (.700%) record in New England, 31-10 (.760%) in League Play and a 9-2 (.825%) record in the New England Regional Tournament.

The longtime baseball coach is also a co-founder of the Team Boston baseball program, which has produce over 15 Division 1 players in the past two seasons and the owner of the Rams Athletic Complex, an indoor baseball training facility in North Reading, Mass.

Mejia holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Salem State College in Sports Fitness and Leisure Studies, with a concentration in Coaching. He also served in the United States Army and served in Operation Desert Storm. He and his wife Colleen currently reside in North Reading with their two children, Jeff Jr. and Isabella


Kevin KelleyKevin Kelley – Baseball and Softball Instructor Rams Athletic Complex

Coach Kelley has been with the Boston Rams program since 2007. As a four-year player at Suffolk University from 2000-2003 he appeared in two NCAA Regional Tournaments. In 117 career games, Kelley hit .305 as second baseman.  Entering his 4th year as Assistant Coach at UMass-Boston Kelley oversees the Beacon’s infield. In 2010 the Beacons won the Little East Conference Championship.  Coach Kelley works with young athletes who want to improve their hitting, base running and overall game.



Steve PalazzoloSteve Palazzolo – Picthing Instructor Rams Athletic Complex

Steve pitched 8 years of professional baseball, including stints with the Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners. A graduate of UMass Lowell with a degree in Finance Palazzolo led the team to their only trips to the Division 2 College World Series in 2001 and 2002. In 2002, he was named MVP of both the Northeast 10 tournament and the NCAA Northeast Regional Tournament. Palazzolo is a local North Reading High graduate and ranks 2nd all time in school history with 26 wins. As a pitching coach, Steve has been in youth sports and baseball camps for over 10 years. Available for private lessons and clinics, Coach Palazzolo is always someone the kids can look up to.


derekdanaDerek Dana – Baseball and Softball Instructor

Derek played for St. Mary’s High School on the 1987 and 1988 State Championship teams, and his professional career began as he was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 1991 draft in the 28th round. He played in both the San Francisco Giants and the Atlanta Braves organizations as well as the Texas Louisiana League. This spring Derek begins his 6th year as the Head Baseball Coach at St. Mary’s Regional High School in Lynn. Derek teaches catching and hitting for both baseball and softball.


Michelle Greene

Michelle Greene – Softball Instructor Rams Athletic Complex

Michelle Greene is the head varsity coach at Arlington High School. Prior to Arlington High School Michelle was head coach at Emmanuel College and the pitching coach at Emerson College in Boston. She is an assistant coach for the Junior Olympic Tanner Pride Softball travel team. As a four year starting pitcher for the Division I Holy Cross, Michelle is currently second all time in career strikeouts. She provides pitching lessons and showing pitchers the proper techniques, while understanding all players are different and therefore she needs to individualize with each player to understand strengths and weaknesses.

Ariel La Rosa – Softball Instructor Rams Athletic Complex

Ariel LaRosa enters her first year as Head Softball Coach at Wheelock College in the fall of 2015.  “We are excited to welcome Ariel to our department”, said Director of Athletics, Dwight Datcher. “She brings tremendous softball knowledge and enthusiasm to Wheelock, and I know she will be an excellent leader to our softball program.”

Coach LaRosa comes to Wheelock after a solid, four-year career as a student-athlete at Curry College. The Saugus, Mass. native was a four-year starter for the Colonels as a third baseman, from 2012-2015. During her time in purple and white, Ariel played in 153 games, posting a .312 batting average and a .340 on base percentage. In 478 at-bats, LaRosa recorded 150 hits, 88 runs, 97 RBI’s, 27 doubles and 17 home runs.

LaRosa led the Colonels to four competitive, playoff-run seasons while in Milton. In 2013 and again in 2015, she earned herself a spot on the All- Commonwealth Coast Conference Second team.

Ariel currently works as Head Softball Instructor at Rams Athletic Complex in North Reading, Mass., where she is responsible for coaching as well as coordinating camps, lessons, conditioning and clinics. In addition, she has served as a Head Coach/Batting Instructor for BatBusters Softball since 2013.

LaRosa gained valuable coaching experience at the high school level at Saint Mary’s High School in Lynn, Mass., when she served as the program’s Assistant Coach in the Spring of 2013.

Maria Nazzaro

Maria graduated from St. Mary’s of Lynn in 2010 where she played centerfield. In 2010 she received the Boston Globe All-Scholastic award while batting .500. She graduated from Lesley University in 2014 As a Junior she was named to the 2013 National Fast pitch Coaches Association All-New England Third Team. She was also named New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) First Team All-Conference as a junior and New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Second Team Outfield as a Senior. She helped lead the Lynx to their sixth straight NECC title and fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship. She  has been coaching for the Boston Batbusters Softball Program.  She works with outfielders, hitters and slappers. Both slapping and hitting were a big part of Maria’s college career.


Walter Beede – Pitching Instructor Rams Athletic Complex

Walter Beede was the 313th overall selection in the 1981 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs. Walter receive a scholarship to attend Arizona State under legendary coach Jim Brock.  He Played 2 Years in minors, played in Boston Park league, and was the MVP in 1986. Walter has head coaching experience at the High School level and 6 years NCAA D3 Head coach at Becker College in Worcester Mass. While at Becker, he had five players go on to professional careers. He Stopped coaching to work with his sons Kyle and Tyler. Kyle played at JUCCO National Champion Louisiana State University Eunice LA, and Louisiana State in Alexandria LA, Tyler player for NCAA D1 National Champion Vanderbilt University.

Currently a Staff Advisor for Team USA in Cary NC and helps in selection process for development and National teams. Walter is the New England Regional director for Team USA National Team Identification Series. Walter owns and operates and has helped over 100 student athletes and families earn scholarship opportunities with Universities such as Arizona U, Cornell, George Washington, Northeastern, LSU, Vanderbilt, Richmond, Tufts, and Harvard. Walter has over 30 years of playing, coaching and instructor experience. His son Tyler was a High School and College 1st Team All American and a two time MLB 1st round draft pick. He has been around the game at every level and can teach all aspects of arm care, strength development and pitching instruction. His basic philosophy is learning to THROW first and then being able to PITCH.

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