Continuity In Coaching Staff `Imperative' To Team's Success; Rebels Face Eight Ranked Teams
Mike Perniciaro just completed his second season with the Ole Miss softball team, and was promoted to associate head coach on June 7, 2013.
Perniciaro, who works primarily with the Rebel outfielders and hitters, while assisting with recruiting and camps, saw the Ole Miss offense continue to get better in year two, as well as the Rebel outfield.
In his second year at Ole Miss, Perniciaro helped guide the Rebels to program records in hits (384), walks (145) and stolen bases (79). The Rebels also set a program record with a .979 fielding percentage, which was the fifth best in the country in 2013. The Rebels' offense scored 20 more runs than they did the previous year, hit five more doubles, two more triples, 11 more home runs and 16 more RBI.
In his first year at Ole Miss, Perniciaro helped coach then-sophomore RT Cantillo into an All-SEC Second Team outfielder. At the plate, Ole Miss recorded 73 more runs than they did in 2011, 48 more hits, eight more home runs and 88 more total bases. The Rebels' team batting average also increased by .030.
"I'm thrilled that Mike is such an integral part of our staff," said Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees upon Perniciaro's promotion to associate head coach. "He was a head coach for so many years prior to coming here. The mix of Mike, Julie Meyer and I is what will help take this program to a level Ole Miss has never been before."
Perniciaro came to Oxford after serving the previous six seasons as the head coach at Wichita State. Before taking over the Shocker program, Perniciaro was head coach at Northwestern State for one year after serving as an assistant for six seasons at Auburn and two years at Georgia.
Perniciaro, who took over as Wichita State's head coach in 2006, led the Shockers to five Missouri Valley Conference Tournament appearances in his six-year tenure, including a second-place finish in 2006. He posted a 168-179 career at Wichita State and coached 13 players to All-MVC honors.
At Wichita, Perniciaro tutored Ashly Bright, who set the MVC single-season strikeout record with 366 K's in 2010, and Ashley Lynn, who became the school's career leader in home runs, RBI and total bases. His guidance also helped former Shockers Britnee Barnett and Katie McGeeney earn four-straight all-conference first or second team honors during their careers.
His teams also excelled in the classroom, as Wichita players earned four CoSIDA Academic All-District honors in his time as head coach while earning six academic all-conference accolades as well.
Perniciaro served as head coach at Northwestern State during the 2005 season, as the Lady Demons hit .295 as a team en route to a 35-28 record. The squad also hit 49 home runs and scored 4.7 runs per game, while also breaking several offensive records. Five players from that team received all-Southland Conference honors and three players were named to the SLC All-Academic Team, the most of any Southland Conference school.
Prior to his time at Northwestern State, Perniciaro spent six seasons as assistant coach and hitting coach at Auburn. While at Auburn, Perniciaro helped lead the Tigers to their first-ever top-25 ranking and appearances in the 2002 and 2004 NCAA Tournament. During his tenure with the Tigers, Auburn ranked near the top of the SEC in home runs and doubles and led the conference in home runs in 2001 and 2002. In addition to responsibilities with the hitters, Perniciaro also had duties coaching the outfielders, as well as serving as the program's recruiting coordinator. He was also a member of the 2002 SEC Coaching Staff of the Year that was also honored by the NFCA as the South Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
Before his six seasons at Auburn, Perniciaro served for two years as an assistant coach at Georgia. He helped guide the Bulldogs to their first winning season in 1998, and also served as recruiting cooridnator. Perniciaro also worked as an assistant coach at Centenary from 1995-97 where he coached the outfielders and assisted with hitting instruction and also oversaw the weight and conditioning program.
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