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Mike Armstrong, Hitting Coach
Entering his third year at Amherst College, Mike Armstrong serves as the hitting and catching coach. In addition, Armstrong coaches third base and is in charge of the team’s offense.
Under Armstrong's tutelage, in 2013 Amherst posted a .319 team batting average and a .385 on-base percentage en route to a NESCAC title and automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship. In 2014 Amherst’s hitters posted a .301 team batting average and a .365 on-base percentage while slugging 20 home runs, doubling their mark from 2013. The efforts of Armstrong’s Jeff hitters earned them a second trip the NCAA New York Regional and a program record 31 wins.
Before coming to Amherst, Armstrong served as an assistant varsity coach and the head junior varsity coach at Ithaca College from 2010 to 2012. During the summer of 2012, he was named the hitting coach for the Newark Pilots in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL), helping the team advance to the postseason after a 26-20 regular season. After a successful first year with the Newark Pilots, Armstrong was named head coach, and in the summer of 2013 guided the Pilots to the second seed in the postseason. In the summer of 2014, Armstrong coached the Newark Pilots to a 27-19 record and the West Division title advancing the Pilots to the championship for the first time since 2011. For his efforts Armstrong was awarded the 2014 PGCBL Coach of the Year award. Since coaching the Newark Pilots, Armstrong has seen three of his former players drafted, and had five of his players on the PGCBL’s top prospect watch list.
In addition to coaching the Newark Pilots, Armstrong has spent two weeks of his 2013 and 2014 summers as an Envoy coach at the Swedish National Baseball Academy in Leksand, Sweden. Assisting the academy players with hitting, game strategies and skill development, he has worked with many players who have competed for the Swedish National baseball team, competing on the international level. Armstrong’s motivation behind the trip to Sweden is to expand upon his teaching methods and grow the passion for the sport of baseball abroad.
While at Ithaca, Armstrong contributed to a 37-24-1 overall record, and played a vital role in raising the Bombers’ batting average from .308 to .328 in his two years working with the hitters. He also lengthened the junior varsity team’s season from eight games in 2011, to 22 in 2012, as the Bombers put together a 14-8 record in 2012 under Armstrong’s development. His efforts saw five of his Junior Varsity players in the starting Varsity line-up for the 2013 Bombers team who advanced to the College World Series.
Although he played at Ithaca for two years, Armstrong began his collegiate career at Clarkson University. 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, and five players were drafted or signed into Major League affiliations. For two summers, he also played for the Elmira Pioneers in the New York Collegiate Baseball League.
Armstrong hails from Rochester, N.Y., where he was a First Team All-County honoree during his senior year at Penfield High School.