Adam Taraska enters his seventh season as head coach of the Panthers in 2019-2020.
Over the past 6 seasons at the helm, Taraska has won 83 games and coached 13 All-Skyline Conference players. He has coached one Skyline Player of the Year, one Skyline Rookie of the Year, and multiple Skyline players, pitchers, and rookies of the week.
The 2014 team was one of the most successful in the program's history. The team advanced to the semi-finals of the Skyline Conference tournament for the first time after finishing the regular season in a first place tie with a 12-4 conference record. The Skyline Conference took notice as seven Panthers were elected All-Conference, including senior 2B Mike Sarni, who was named Skyline Conference Player of the Year. Taraska was named Skyline Coach of the Year in his first season at the helm. The 2014 team was also recognized by the NCAA Division III as the national leader in stolen bases per game (3.86).
Taraska came to Purchase in the fall of 2011 and served as an assistant under Bill Guerrero for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. In 2013, Guerrero was named Skyline Coach of the Year and Ron Echavarria was named Skyline Player of the Year.
Prior to Purchase, Taraska served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at DI Fairfield University in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He also served as an assistant coach for the 2009 season at Fairfield foe, Iona College. He coached 2010 and 2012 drafted players for the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres during his time in the MAAC conference.
Taraska started his collegiate coaching career as an assistant at DII Caldwell College in 2008, the same year the Cougars won the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference regular season crown and conference tournament, advancing to the DII Northeast Regional Tournament.
At the high school level, Taraska spent the 2006 and 2007 seasons as head coach at Greens Farms Academy in Westport, CT. In addition, he has been a coach for the AAU Connecticut Blue Jays since 2002, in which time he has led many teams to Top 10 regional and national finishes. He has coached at every level from 13U-18U. Most recently, he coached the CT Blue Jays 18U Scout team in 2017.
Prior to coaching, Taraska was a decorated athlete and four-year starter at the University of Bridgeport. Captain of the Purple Knights in 2003, he earned a B.S. in Human Services. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from SUNY Cortland. He resides in Bridgeport, CT.
Mark Jurczak enters his seventh season coaching for the Panthers after coaching and instructing for the last decade at the high school and AAU level. His responsibilities include handling the pitching staff and recruiting.
Following a career as a pitcher at the University of Bridgeport, Jurczak completed a B.S. in Sociology at Southern Connecticut State University. He also achieved a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from Post University.
Since 2004, Jurczak has been on staff for the Connecticut Blue Jays as a head coach and lead instructor for every age level. As a head coach, Jurczak’s teams have finished ranked in the top ten nationally for five straight years, won two Connecticut state championships, and six overall tournament wins. In 2010, Jurczak led his 14U club to a CABA National Championship in Detroit, MI.
He resides in Stratford, CT.
Joe Napolitano is a graduate of Medaille College with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management.
Collegiately, Napolitano started his career at Eastern Nazarene College where he made an immediate impact as a freshman. He was a top arm for the Lions where he finished with a 1.54 ERA and team best .190 batting average against. Joe spent the next three seasons at Medaille College where he was a key utility player, playing everywhere on the diamond. He was named to the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) All-Academic team.
Napolitano graduated from Housatonic Valley Regional High School where he was named All-Berkshire League and team captain his junior and senior seasons. He broke the single season record in doubles and mound appearances during his junior season with the Mountaineers. Joe played elite travel baseball for Team Connecticut where he was a catcher for the 18 and under Nationals team who placed 33rd out of 180 teams in the WWBA perfect game national tournament in East Cobb, Georgia.
Joe will be entering his third summer coaching with the Connecticut Blue Jays premiere travel baseball club.