Fuscardo retires from Fullerton College classroom but still going strong on the diamond

Fullerton College head coach Nick Fuscardo (Courtesy Fullerton College Athletics)
Fullerton College head coach Nick Fuscardo (Courtesy Fullerton College Athletics)

By Phil Thurman
Fullerton College Sports Information Director

FULLERTON -  Longtime coach Nick Fuscardo recently wrapped up his 32nd season as the skipper of the Fullerton College Hornets. Officially retiring this spring, from the class room only, Fuscardo will remain as the head coach and is very optimistic about the program's future.

"As usual, I will always look forward to the challenge of molding our young Hornets into a serious challenger for OEC and post season successes.  We have surrounded ourselves with an extremely capable group of coaches that will help us to accomplish this difficult task.  I feel confident that the 2019 edition of Hornet Baseball will be up to the challenges ahead", said Fuscardo.

A well-respected fixture on the Fullerton College campus, Fuscardo does not plan on leaving the game any time soon.

"Each morning I look forward to getting to Fullerton and working with our players and coaches, and it thrills me to watch our Hornets compete at major universities and professional baseball. There are plenty of recent success stories coming out of the Hornet program in Justin Row (South Carolina), Laine Huffman (Long Beach State), David Miranda (MLB Mets), Shane Carrier (MLB Twins), and Jose Rojas (MLB Angels). "As each of our players know, we stress what the future holds for them and to watch them compete and strive towards those goals makes what we do very worthwhile- Let's win a title in '19!", claimed Fuscardo.

Hired as a full-time faculty member in 1988, Fuscardo took over the Hornet program in 1986 after working as a teacher and head baseball coach at nearby Troy High School. While at Troy, Nick also worked as an assistant coach under FC Hall of Famer Mike Sgobba.

Now that Skip is leaving his teaching duties behind, it will free up more time to focus on his family, which includes 5 grandchildren. He will also have more time to spend on the baseball field sharing his vast knowledge and love of the game with his student-athletes.

Over 150 people attended Fuscardo's retirement banquet on Sunday at the Alta Vista Country Club. The room was filled with folks who came to honor a man who has given so much to so many over the years. The theme of the day; Once a Hornet, Always a Hornet!

Fuscardo's Coaching Bio

Coach Nick Fuscardo has devoted his heart and vast experience to Fullerton College as a coach and educator.

In 2013, Fuscardo led the Hornets to an Orange Empire Conference title (32-15 overall, 15-6 OEC) and to the final four CCCAA State Tournament where Fullerton was the state runner-up. He was voted the Orange Empire Conference Coach of the Year and the All-American Coach of the Year.

In 2015, the Hornets made it to the postseason and swept Cypress College in the first round. In the Super Regionals, Fuscardo's Hornets fell to Santa Barabara City College in a hard-fought series.

The 2016 season saw the Hornets making it all the way to the Super Regionals after sweeping the #2 seed Glendale College Vaqueros. FC ended up falling to Cypress College in the Super Regionals in a close two games to one series.

Fuscardo locked down his 500th win on a 3-2 come-from-behind 11 inning victory against Allan Hancock College on February 25, 2011.

On February 2, 2016, Fuscardo won his 600th game as the Hornet Skipper on opening day at San Diego Mesa College 10-4.

Coach Fuscardo also holds the Hornet record for most career wins with 655. It was an 8-3 win on March 18, 2010 against Irvine Valley College that gave Fuscardo his 488th win surpassing the previous mark set by FC Hall of Fame coach Mike Sgobba (487 wins).

Fuscardo has led the Hornets to 25 wins or more in seven seasons, including 1988 (30 wins) and 2013 (32 wins - school record). He also has 16 seasons with 20 or more wins with the Hornets.

Fuscardo has coached more than 70 players who have been drafted or have signed professional contracts, including New York Mets standout pitcher Steve Trachsel, San Diego Padre catcher Tom Wilson, Mitch Levier to the Oakland A's, and Jose Rojas of the Angles. Other recent draftees include outfielders Shane Carrier (Twins) and Austin O'Banion (Rangers) off the 2016 Hornets. Recently, David Miranda (2016) was drafted in 2018 by the New York Mets. Fuscardo is also proud of two other 2016 grads in Laine Huffman (current starting shortstop for Long Beach State) and Justin Row(currently starting at 2nd Base for the University of South Carolina). 

More than 200 of Fuscardo's players have gone on to play baseball at the four-year level.

Before coming to Fullerton, Fuscardo was the head coach for 13 seasons at nearby Troy High, where he led the Warriors to a 205-68 record, five Freeway League championships and 11 playoff appearances.

Fuscardo was offered an assistant position at Cal State Fullerton under Titans Coach Augie Garrido in 1981, but instead, accepted a position as an assistant under Sgobba in 1982. Four years later, he was named the ninth coach in Fullerton's history.

Fuscardo has been on the other side of the lines in community college baseball as well. He was the starting second baseman at El Camino College in 1962 and 1964, when he was an All-Metro Conference selection.

During the 2004 season, Fuscardo was inducted into El Camino's Athletic Hall of Fame. He attended West Liberty University in West Liberty, West Virginia, where he started at shortstop and earned All-West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors. Coach Fuscardo was also named as the CCCBCA/Victory Athletics Coach of the Year in 2010.

Fuscardo earned his bachelor's degree from West Liberty College in physical education and speech in 1968, and later received a Master's degree in Education Administration from Cal State Fullerton.

Fuscardo is also an avid golfer and coached the Fullerton College women's golf team to a share of the Orange Empire Conference title in 2000 (Coach of the Year). During that time Hornet Golf had State Golf Championship finalists, including Hye Yoon Jung (1999,2000) and 2-time finalist, Jeri Costello (2002), He also served a two-year term as president of the California Community College Women's Golf Association.