Little Falls, New York – The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) is excited to announce the return of assistant coach John Fureno for the 2022 season.
Coach Fureno returns for his second season with the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs, where he helped the team to a 23-19 finish in the PGCBL’s Central Division alongside head coach Steve Luby.
Fureno is no stranger to Veteran’s Memorial Park in Little Falls, NY, having previously served as the assistant coach for the DiamondDawgs from 2008-2011, During his time with the DiamondDawgs, Fureno has coached two players who have reached Major League Baseball (MLB) in Baltimore Orioles All-Star pitcher John Means and San Francisco Giants reliever Tyler Rodgers. The return of Fureno to the dugout ensures the DiamondDawgs bring back strong leadership and extensive baseball experience to the diamond.
“As an organization, we are excited to be able to bring Coach Fureno back for another season. He is an important piece of what we are building here as an organization”, said Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs owner Travis Heiser. “Coach has extensive knowledge of the game and is a key component in the development of our players. The players benefit greatly from his coaching and the players love him. In addition, the fans and this community respect him for all he does both on the ball field and in the community.”
Fureno brings extensive coaching experience having served eight years as an Assistant Coach with the Fort Plain Hilltoppers high school baseball program under legendary high school coach Craig Phillips. Coach Fureno was instrumental in the success of the Hilltoppers and was part of several accomplishments in the program, including:
- New York State Championship (2016)
- New York State runner-up (2018)
- Sectional Championships (2016, 2018, and 2019)
Heiser added, “Having Coach Fureno as part of our organization translates to having a championship-caliber coaching staff. His record of accomplishment in coaching is extensive and speaks for itself. It’s not every day you can say you coached three guys who have reached the major leagues (John Means, Tyler Rogers, and Patrick Corbin).”
In addition to baseball, Fureno has also coached bowling, football, golf, and softball for over 35 years.
At the collegiate level, Fureno has coached four seasons with Division III Mohawk Valley Community College of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). In his time with the Hawks, he coached future MLB pitcher Patrick Corbin (Washington Nationals/Arizona Diamondbacks).
“I am truly honored to be back with this organization”, said Fureno. “I am so honored and lucky to work with the coaches in this organization as well Travis. Our number one goal as a coaching staff every season is to ensure that each player that leaves here in August leaves a better player than they were when they arrived in June. As a staff, we work very hard to make sure the players come together as a cohesive unit just like family. Our goal is to work hard to put out the best product as a team for our amazing fan base here in the Mohawk Valley.”
Coach Fureno, a retired 31-year school teacher of the Fort Plain school district, resides in Canajoharie, NY with his wife Kristina. The couple has three sons – Drew, Brady, and Vinny. Drew and Brady, both catchers, are currently teammates on the LeMoyne College baseball team and have both played with the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs.
The 2015 and 2017 PGCBL Champions Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs play at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Little Falls, New York, and have had several players reach the MLB level including MLB World Series Champion (Houston Astros) James Hoyt, 2019 Baltimore Orioles All-Star pitcher, and American League Rookie of the Year finalist John Means and San Francisco Giants pitcher Tyler Rogers.
The DiamondDawgs will kick off their quest for another PGCBL title in June 2022. We look forward to seeing all our Dawgs fans back at the ballpark this summer.