Coaches

Kelly Nicholson - Field Manager

 

Orleans is indeed fortunate to welcome back Coach Nicholson for his 20th summer and 16th as manager, the longest tenured Orleans skipper in the “modern era” (1963-present). Kelly (or "Coach K" as he’s known in the pitching fraternity) is a native of Corona, California where he won numerous scholar-athlete awards in both baseball and basketball while in high school. He was a four-year letter winner and two-time all-conference pick during his pitching career at Loyola Marymount University.

After earning his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from LMU, he began his career teaching mathematics at Loyola High School of Los Angeles, while completing his master’s degree in Education from LMU. He was the head coach of the Loyola HS Cubs for 11 seasons, leading the team to seven playoff appearances and a league title. Kelly then spent three seasons as Loyola Marymount’s pitching coach; each year the Lions won the West Coast Conference title and went to the NCAA regionals. In the summer of 2000, Kelly worked with the Team USA pitching staff in its early preparation for international play. Kelly joined Orleans as the pitching coach in 2001. In 2002, Coach K’s staff had a 2.11 ERA (the best ever by Cardinals pitchers) and in 2004 it led the CCBL with a 2.37 ERA. His 2003 championship pitching staff was lights out, with a 2.36 ERA and a league-leading 397 strikeouts in 401 innings pitched. All told, Kelly’s pitching staffs have led the CCBL in ERA an astounding eight times.

Co-winner of the Hossfeld Spirit Award with Coach Steve DeBlasi in 2004, Kelly became the field manager in 2005. In his first season, Nicholson was the unanimous choice of his fellow managers for the CCBL Mike Curran Manager of the Year Award after leading the Cardinals to a record-setting 30-win season and the championship. Coach K was again named Manager of the Year in 2008 as his squad finished the regular season in first place overall (25-17-2). In 2015, Kelly led the Firebirds to a franchise record of 31-12-1 (.716) and again was named the CCBL Mike Curran Manager of the Year. In 2017, his Birds captured the President’s Trophy once more, and he received his fourth Mike Curran Award. Under his leadership, Orleans has captured five Eastern Division titles and is a perennial playoff contender. Coach K’s overall regular season winning percentage of .544 leads all active CCBL Managers. Last summer, Kelly attained his 350th win in the CCBL. In addition, 24 former players have been selected in the first-round and 77 former Orleans Cardinals/Firebirds have reached MLB since his arrival in 2001.

 

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows him that Kelly enjoys the respect, affection and admiration of his players, fellow coaches and colleagues here and around the league, and in the wider baseball community. He’s a favorite around town, having made countless friends over the years. Orleans fans know they’ll see a first-class team on the field every summer with Kelly at the helm. Orleans welcomes a true gentleman and a terrific leader back for his 20th summer.

 

Kelly lives with his wife Donna in Playa del Rey, CA. He can be found on Twitter @CoachK21 and at knicholson@loyolahs.edu.

 

 

Jamie Quinn - Assistant Coach

 

Jamie Quinn enters his fifth season with the Firebirds. He joined the staff in 2016 as the Birds pitching/catching coach, and took over the offense/third base coaching duties in 2019. In 2017, Quinn's pitching staff led the entire Cape League in ERA, WHIP, Batting Average Against, Shutouts, and Strikeouts. That season he mentored three pitchers that were Major League Baseball First Round Draft Picks (Logan Gilbert to the Seattle Mariners at pick 14, Ryan Rolison to the Colorado Rockies at pick 22, and Daniel Lynch to the Kansas City Royals at Pick 34).

After being named the head coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University - Florham in the summer of 2018, Quinn captured 13 wins in his first season at the helm, and his 2020 squad was off to its best start since 2012, with a 7-4 record before the season was cancelled.

He spent three years as the recruiting coordinator role and 17-under development coach at ZONED Baseball Academy, where he started in 2015. That same year, Coach Quinn was named head coach of the Shelter Island Bucks in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League. In his only year as Shelter Island’s skipper, the Bucks set a league record in wins with 31 on their way to the team’s first HCBL championship.

Dating back to 2013, Quinn was the top assistant coach at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. In addition, “Q” worked with the Hillsboro Hops, a Single-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, as the team’s video coordinator and catching instructor for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. In this role, he instructed the catchers while helping break down hitting and pitching video, working alongside former Major Leaguers Mark Grace, Doug Drabek, and J.R. House. In 2014, the Hops were crowned Northwest League champions.

 

In 2012 he worked as an assistant, catching specialist, and bullpen coach at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. Prior to Hofstra, he coached at Queens College in 2009-2010 and LIU Brooklyn in 2011. From 2011-2012, Quinn was with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League as their bullpen coach. In 2009, Coach Quinn was mentored under 1986 World Series champion and Hall of Famer, the late Gary Carter. Q’s pen led the league in saves in 2011, before the Ducks won the Atlantic League title in 2012.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2008 from Queens College, he earned a master’s degree in Coaching Education and Athlete Development from Xavier University in 2017.

We are ecstatic to have “Q” back with the Birds for another summer! Jamie, his wife Jordyn, daughter Teagan Shea, and boxer Lonnie, live in Hillsborough, NJ. Coach can be found on Twitter @CoachQ_14.

 

 

Ryan Erickson - Assistant Coach

 

Ryan Erickson has been with the Firebirds for three summers, becoming assistant coach in 2018, after serving as the Birds MLB Scout Liaison in 2017. In 2020, Ryan will serve primarily as the defensive coach.  He will also assist with the hitters and be the Birds first base coach.

Prior to his work with the Firebirds, Erickson played outfield for the Loyola Marymount University Lions from 2012-2016. After his playing career, he joined the staff as a volunteer assistant. That year, he helped guide the 2017 team to a 38-10 record; the 38 wins tied for 6th most in LMU history.

In his third season on the LMU staff, Erickson helped steer the 2019 squad to their first ever WCC Tournament Championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000. The Lions finished the season with a 34-25 overall record, which was highlighted by a 3-2 victory over #1 UCLA in the Los Angeles Regional. Erickson played a huge role in player growth and development as he helped produce 6 all WCC selections for LMU.

At LMU, Ryan also has the role of running camps and clinics for kids of all ages. Erickson graduated from LMU in 2016 with a degree in English and is currently pursuing a master's degree in Educational Studies from LMU. He is also president of his own baseball club, the Silicon Beach Baseball Academy.

We are happy to have this LMU Lion on the staff once again and can’t wait to see him soon! Ryan resides in Manhattan Beach, CA.  He can be found on Twitter @ryanerickson5.

Matt Troupe - Pitching Coach

Mathew Troupe is returning to the Firebirds for his second summer as their pitching coach, but his fourth summer overall in Orleans, as he was a member of the 2012 and 2013 squads.

In 2019, Coach Troupe got his Cape League coaching career off to a great start, as the Orleans pitching staff led the league in ERA and had two members on the East All-Star team. In 2013, as a member of the Orleans pitching staff, he earned himself an all-star selection and the Firebirds Tom Yankus Award for being the team’s top pitcher. In his role as a closer that summer, Troupe had a 1.35 ERA, 11 saves, and 32 strikeouts in 20 IP. He helped lead Orleans to the championship series vs. Cotuit, the eventual CCBL champions.

Troupe was a four-year member of the University of Arizona baseball program, serving as their team captain for four years. Troupe finished his career with 15 saves, tied for third-most in program history. He emerged as the team’s closer midway through his freshman season, finishing the year with a 6-1 record and a team-high six saves. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 24 appearances, spanning 36.1 innings. Troupe recorded the final four outs in Game Two of the National Championship Series against South Carolina, helping the Wildcats capture the 2012 National Title.

After graduating from Arizona in 2015, Troupe transferred to California State University Northridge where he took on a player-coach role. Two years later he joined Emory University’s coaching staff, and in his first season, helped the Eagles clinch a berth in the conference tournament. In 2019, Troupe was the Director of Baseball Operations at the University of San Diego, and currently he serves as the pitching coach for the Great Britain Senior National Team.

Troupe has also coached with the Arroyo Seco Saints of the California Collegiate Summer League in 2018 and the Walla Walla Sweets of the West Coast Collegiate League in 2016.

The Birds are beyond excited to have Mathew Troupe, aka “The Mayor,” back for his fourth summer in Orleans! Mathew resides in Northridge, CA. Find him on Twitter @MathewTroupe.

 

 

Alex Simone - Assistant Coach

Alex Simone returns for his second season with the Birds, after serving as the strength and conditioning coach in 2019. This summer, Alex will serve as the bench coach for Orleans, as well as continuing in his strength and conditioning role. Alex is the owner and operator of Simone Baseball Performance LLC, a company dedicated to helping high school, college and professional baseball players worldwide. He has established himself as one of the elite baseball trainers in the country.

A 2010 Major League Baseball draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers out of high school, Alex elected to attend college, playing four years of at the University of West Alabama and LaRoche College.

Following Alex’s college career, he went on to play in the California Winter League, where he was recognized as the batting champion and earned himself a professional contract from the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League. After the conclusion of his professional career, Alex started Simone Baseball Performance.

Since establishing his business, Alex has worked under Eric Cressey of Cressey Sports Performance and has been recognized as a Certified Physical Preparation Specialist (CPPS), one of the industry's leading certifications, and endorsed by world-renowned sports performance coaches Joe DeFranco and Jim Smith.

Alex has coached baseball players at all levels from prepubescent to professional and has consulted for high school and college baseball coaches worldwide. He’s also written articles for various websites and frequently provides free information daily on his Instagram (@Simone_Baseball_Performance), and Twitter (@Simonebaseball) accounts. He resides in Austin, Texas.