Former Olympian named Seminole baseball coach

Vincent Parisi was recently named head baseball coach at Seminole High School.

Vincent Parisi, a former member of the Italian Olympic baseball team, was recently named head baseball coach at Seminole High School, replacing Jeff Pincus who stepped down.

Parisi brings 25 years of experience as a player and coach, including selection to the Italian national team that competed in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

“I was extremely honored to be considered for the coaches interview process, let alone to be thought of for the job,” said Parisi. “To be able to land in a baseball high school, especially with one of the top baseball schools in the county, I’m just excited that I got the opportunity.”

Pincus stepped down as head coach after five seasons with the Warhawks and finished with an 84-54 record. He worked with such players as outfielder Brett Phillips, pitcher Joey Krehbiel and first baseman Corey Baptist, who were all drafted by major league teams.

“I felt that it was time to step down,” said Pincus. “My coaching and teaching career are nearing an end and I felt that this would be a great opportunity if the correct individual, once hired, would allow me to help out with the coaching transition. I also think it was the best thing for the program.”

When school officials made the choice on May 16, Pincus was pleased with the selection given Parisi’s knowledge and experience.

“I can say that the school made an excellent decision in selecting Vince,” Pincus said. “I think that he is going to be a tremendous asset to the Seminole baseball program and the Seminole baseball community, especially with his enthusiasm and his team management.”

Parisi is no stranger to baseball in Pinellas County. He grew up playing in Dunedin Little League before attending Countryside High School where he stood out as a catcher. While at Countryside, he was even coached by Scott Miller, who led Seminole to a state championship in 2001.

After graduating high school in 1996, he played college baseball for Hillsborough Community College and the University of South Florida. Parisi received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from USF in 2001 and earned a master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration for exercise and sport science from Concordia University-Irvine in 2012.

After USF, he played professionally in the Italian Baseball League for three different teams including the Italian National Team and the Italian Olympic baseball team, that competed in the 2004 Olympic Games.

“It was a time of my life where I had the heart and desire to play again,” said Parisi. “I was in awe of everything that happened with that point in my life. At the time, when I played on the Italian leagues and in the Olympics, I really didn’t have a chance to take it all in because I was focused on the tasks that I had to do as a player. It’s what I learned from those experiences that I want to pass onto the players.”

After returning to the United States, he returned to HCC as a recruiting scout and a pitching coach from 2012 to 2015 before coming to Seminole High in the fall of 2015 to teach physical education.

Parisi said the 2017 season would be a year of redevelopment and a reminder to the players and student body of how important baseball is not just to the school, but also the Seminole community.

“It’s about being a family,” he said. “This team and community is a baseball family. We pick each other up. This day and age you have to create cohesiveness. At the end of the day I am all about baseball and the opportunities that can be presented to these kids.”

Joining Parisi in the dugout will be a group of coaches that he worked with in the past and had ties to Seminole’s baseball legacy. Kris Wilson will be the pitching coach; former Seminole baseball player Gary Fecarotta will be the infield and hitting coach. Pincus will return as the director of baseball operations.

For Parisi, he is excited to see what is on the horizon for next season and what accomplishments the players could achieve if they are ready to go to the next level.

“The quote I have always lived by in life is that 10 percent is what happens to you and 90 percent is how you react to it,” Parisi said. “I want them to stop focusing so much on the next chapter and focus on the current chapter they are on with their baseball careers in high school. My job is to develop and to teach them how to be life long learners on and off the field.”

From that work, good results will happen, he said.

“Like all of us, we have sets of goals,” Parisi said. “Through the processes my staff and me will place, the players will get bigger, faster and stronger. With next season, I want to see the team have the lowest ERA, highest on-base percentage and make a run for a district championship again. The long term goal would be them making a strong run during the post season.”

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