Pete Wilk enters his 18th season as the head coach of the Georgetown baseball program in 2017 after taking over duties in the fall of 1999 and helping to rebuild the program in that time. On the field, the Hoyas have become a competitive program in the always-tough BIG EAST Conference and his 348 wins make him the all-time winningest coach in program history. Off the field, his team has been successful in the classroom and involved in the community, both on-campus and off.
Georgetown reached the 25-win plateau in 2016 for the second-straight season and the third time in four years. The Hoyas defeated two ranked teams on the road, winning at No. 15 Florida Atlantic and No. 23 Creighton. The Blue & Gray tied a program record with four All-BIG EAST selections and had three players sign professional contracts after the season.
In 2015, Wilk led the Hoyas to a 25-28 overall record and qualified for the BIG EAST Championships for the first time in 29 years with an 8-10 conference record. The Hoyas set a program record with a 3.95 ERA in 2015 while Nick Collins was named the BIG EAST Player of the Year, becoming the first ever Player of the Year in Georgetown's history. Additionally, the Hoyas had a program-record four players named to All-BIG EAST teams and three Hoyas selected in the 2015 MLB Draft.
In 2012, the Hoyas won 24 games overall, including 10 in the BIG EAST and went into the final day of play in the regular season with a chance to make the BIG EAST Tournament. In 2004 and 2005, Wilk guided the team to its most successful two-season win total (50) since the 1984-85 seasons. Wilk also was named Coach of the Year by The Hoya for his efforts in 2004.
During his tenure on the Hilltop, Wilk has implemented a Career Night for current Hoya baseball players to get career advice and network with GU baseball alumni. Georgetown players have also been involved in community efforts, working with the on-campus Hoya Dreams program and annually taking part in the D.C. Heart Walk, which raises money for the American Heart Association as well as volunteering with several other off-campus projects.
Wilk has also initiated the preseason First Pitch Dinner which is a fundraiser exclusively for the baseball program. The inaugural First Pitch Dinner in 2005 featured Terry Francona, manager of the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox, as the guest speaker. Over the 12 years of the First Pitch Dinner, Wilk has secured a long list of celebrities to speak to the Hoyas.
Ryan Wood joined the Georgetown baseball coaching staff in August, 2015 as the hitting coach.
In his first season with the Blue & Gray in 2016, the Hoyas ranked third in the BIG EAST in batting average (.263), home runs (21) and on-base percentage (.350). Georgetown ranked second in the league and set a program record with 44 sacrifice bunts. Sophomore Michael DeRenzi finished fourth in the conference with a .332 batting average and was among the lead leaders in hits, triples, slugging percentage and stolen bases. Both DeRenzi and Jake Kuzbel were named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team.
Before arriving at the Hilltop, Wood served as the hitting and third base coach for the Bison for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He took over a Bucknell offense that batted a Patriot League-worst .236 in 2013, improving the batting average to .243 in 2014 and .266 in 2015, good enough to rank second in the Patriot League. In 2014, the Bison tied the program's single-season record for wins in a season (31) while winning the Patriot League regular season title, the Patriot League Tournament championship, an NCAA Regional berth and earning the program's second-ever NCAA Regional win. In Wood's two seasons with the Bison, seven position players were selected to All-Patriot League postseason teams and Bucknell had the 2014 unanimous Patriot League Rookie of the Year.
Prior to Bucknell, Wood served as a student assistant coach in 2013 at his alma mater, East Carolina, while finishing his degree requirements.
During his four-year career for the Pirates, from 2006-09, Wood boasted a .328 average with 285 hits, 35 home runs, 154 RBI while starting 226 of 237 games. He produced 82 multi-hit games, ranking among the all-time leaders in school history and, at the close of his career, Wood also held the program record for runs scored (225), walks (151) and assists (655). An All-America selection in 2009, Wood helped the Pirates to three NCAA Regional appearances (2007-09), one Super Regional (2009), the 2009 Conference USA regular season title and a combined 161-90 record, which included three 40-win seasons.
Following his senior season, when he earned All-Conference USA First Team honors, Wood was selected in the 11th round by the Kansas City Royals in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. He played three seasons in the Royals' minor league system, rising as high as Advanced Class-A Wilmington. Wood had previously been drafted following his senior year in high school in 2005 by the Cleveland Indians in the 49th round as well as by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 42nd round in 2008 following his junior year at East Carolina.
Eric Niesen joined the Georgetown baseball coaching staff in July, 2017 and will serve as GU's pitching coach.
Niesen comes to the Hilltop after spending the 2017 season as a student assistant coach for the Demon Deacons while he completed his degree in communications. He assisted the Wake Forest pitching staff and served as the bullpen coach for the Demon Deacons and Georgetown alum Tom Walter.
Prior to returning to his alma mater, Niesen had a 10-year professional career, reaching as high as Triple-A while playing in the Mets, Mariners and Red Sox organizations, as well as independent ball. He was a third-round draft pick of the New York Mets in 2007.
In the minor leagues from 2007-13, Niesen pitched in more than 150 games and won 21 games along with a 4.51 ERA. He spent parts of five seasons in the Atlantic League, and had a 0.93 ERA with the Bridgeport Bluefish in 2015, his last full season.
The New Boston, Michigan native stepped away during the 2016 season to be with his wife, Tina, as the couple had their first son, Gideon.
A three-year letterwinner at Wake Forest, Niesen led the pitching staff his junior campaign with a 6-5 record and 3.00 ERA in 84.0 innings, totaling 83 strikeouts. He finished his career with a 14-9 record from 2005-07.
Connole joined the Georgetown coaching staff in September 2015. He will serve as the volunteer assistant for the Hoyas and his responsibilities will include baserunning and working with the outfielders.
Connole comes to the Hilltop after spending the 2015 season as a graduate assistant coach at Springfield College. Along with serving as the team's first base coach, he also assisted with all aspects of the program, including working with both the hitters and pitchers as well as assisting the manager with roster decisions.
He most recently served as an assistant coach this past summer for the Torrington Titans in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL). He helped lead Torrington to a 24-28 record and a third-place finish in the West Division.
Connole played four seasons at Washington College as both an outfielder and left-handed pitcher. In 124 career games, he batted .370 with 119 runs scored, 74 RBI, 41 stolen bases, 10 triples and 29 doubles. On the mound, Connole made six career appearances, going 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in 21.1 innings pitched. He earned All-Centennial Conference Second Team honors in 2011 and 2013 and was selected to the first team as a junior in 2012.