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 (29-15), and he received his fourth Mike Curran Award. In 2019, the Birds shared the regular season East title with Chatham. Under his leadership, Orleans has captured five Eastern Division titles and is a perennial playoff contender. In 2019, Kelly attained his 350th win in the CCBL. In addition, 28 former players have been selected in the first-round of the MLB draft and 98 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.
Jamie Quinn - Assistant Coach
Hometown: Hillsborough, NJ
Jamie Quinn enters his fifth season with the Firebirds, joining the staff in 2016 as the Birds’ pitching/catching coach, and taking 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 who were MLB first round draft picks (Logan Gilbert, Seattle Mariners, pick 14; Ryan Rolison, Colorado Rockies, pick 22; and Daniel Lynch, Kansas City Royals, Pick 34).
After being named the head coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University 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.
Beginning in 2015, he spent three years as the recruiting coordinator and 17-under development coach at ZONED Baseball Academy. That same year, 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 team 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. In 2014, the Hops were crowned Northwest League champions.
In 2012 he worked as an assistant, catching specialist, and bullpen coach at Hofstra University. Prior to that, he coached at Queens College in 2009-2010, and LIU Brooklyn in 2011. From 2011-2012, Quinn was the bullpen coach with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League; Q’s pen led the league in saves in 2011, and the Ducks won the Atlantic League title in 2012.
Q played college ball at SUNY Old Westbury and Queens College. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Queens in 2008, he earned a Master’s degree in Coaching Education and Athletic Development from Xavier University in 2017. Jamie, his wife Jordyn, daughter Teagan Shea, and boxer Lonnie, live in Hillsborough, NJ.
Ryan Erickson - Assistant Coach
Hometown: Manhattan Beach, CA
2021 will be Ryan Erickson’s fourth summer with the Firebirds. He became an assistant coach in 2018, after serving as the Birds’ MLB Scout Liaison in 2017. Ryan will serve primarily as the defensive coach, and he will also assist with the hitters and be the 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, 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 six all-WCC selections for LMU.
Ryan also has the role of running camps and clinics for kids of all ages at LMU. He graduated 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, and he coaches with the Del Rey America Little League.
Ryan resides in Manhattan Beach, CA.
Matt Troupe - Pitching Coach
Hometown: Northridge, CA
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 pitcher on 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, the league’s Manny Robello 10th Man Award, and the Firebirds Charles F. Moore, Jr. Award (outstanding performance on and off the field) and the Tom Yankus Award as 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. He 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 College World Series Championship round 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 on the pitching council 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.
Matt’s popularity in the Orleans community earned him the nickname “The Mayor.” He resides in Northridge, CA.
Alex Simone - Assistant Coach
Hometown: Austin, TX
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.
Jay Banfield - Mental Skills and Team Building
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Jay Banfield joins the Firebirds for his second summer on the Cape as the team’s Mental Performance Coach.
Jay graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Psychology. His research in self-efficacy, a concept which has led to the growth mindset framework, has appeared in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology.
Jay has had a wide-ranging career in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining the Firebirds, he helped lead a national youth and workforce development organization, Year Up, that has trained and placed tens of thousands of low-income young adults, ages 18 to 24, into careers in the nation’s leading employers such as Google, JPMorgan Chase, Kaiser Permanente and Facebook. Applying the research-validated principles of Year Up, combined with his playing and coaching experience, Jay created a tailored program for the Firebirds. He has his Mental Performance Mastery Coaching Certification.
Jay currently serves as the Chief Officer of Economic Mobility for All Home, an organization designed to disrupt homelessness and poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jay played baseball at Foothill College (CA) and in Europe semi-professionally, and has coached at various levels since 2007.
Brendan Eygabroat - Bench Coach
Hometown: Roslindale, MA
Brendan Eygabroat returns to Orleans for his second summer. He’s the most successful coach in the history of the UMass Boston baseball program. Since 2005, his cumulative record is 368-292-1, a winning percentage of .565 over 17 seasons. The only coach in program history to ever lead the Beacons to the College World Series, he’s also the only coach to ever make 14 straight Little East Conference Tournament appearances.
He currently sits as just the second coach in any sport in UMass Boston history to record over 300 career wins. He has led the Beacons to three consecutive (2016-18) and four overall (2010, 16-18) 30+ win seasons.
The 2018 New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) and 2017 D3Baseball.com New England Region Coach of the Year, Eygabroat has led UMB to two Little East regular season titles (2016, 2018), four Little East Conference Tournament titles (2010, 2017, 2018, 2019), five NCAA Tournament appearances (2010, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), three NCAA Regional titles (2010, 2017, 2019), one Super Regional title (2019), and three College World Series appearances (2010, 2017, 2019).
A true teacher of the game, Eygabroat’s coaching philosophy has helped numerous players earn multiple All-American, All-Region, and All-Conference accolades.
Eygabroat’s success has been recognized throughout the collegiate levels, and he’s a popular presenter at many coaches’ conventions and clinics.
A native of Rochester, New York, Eygabroat played college ball at Mary Washington College in Virginia, earning conference honors and graduating in 2001 with a degree in business administration. He completed his Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at Suffolk in 2003.
Coach Eygabroat’s wife, Joanna Bengel, and their daughters Ella and Emma will be joining him this summer.