John Susi enters his 35th year in coaching, 25th as a Head Coach at the collegiate level, and 18th at the helm of the Colonials baseball program. His 12th season made him the longest consecutive season as the Head Coach in Western baseball history, and now holds the program record with 265 wins.
In the 17 seasons under Susi, Western has compiled a record of 265-368-2. They have made eight trips to the LEC Tournament. In 2002, the Colonials won the LEC Tournament championship and Susi guided Western to it's first-ever NCAA Tournament. They returned to the LEC Tournament championship game in 2005 before losing to Rhode Island College. In 2016, the were runners up again.
He has coached 28 All-LEC players, nine All-New England selections and three All-Americans. He was LEC Coach of the Year in 2002, and received his 25-Year Coaching Award from the ABCA in 2007.
Susi's coaching career started 35 years ago in his hometown of Waterford, CT. At the age of 18, he guided his first program to an undefeated season and a league championship. After following that season up with a second straight championship, he then joined the New London American Legion baseball program as an assistant in 1985. It was there under the tutelage of Head Coach Jim O'Neill where he was schooled in the fine art of coaching baseball. For seven seasons New London Legion dominated, winning six zone championships, three state championships, and two New England championships. In 1985 and '86, it appeared in back to back American Legion World Series competitions.
During those years, Susi also became the Head Freshman Baseball Coach at Farmington High School in 1986 and '87 while attending Central Connecticut State University. At Central, he was a four-year letterman with the Blue Devil soccer program as a goalkeeper. He was named captain his senior year in 1986 and received a degree in Physical Education with a concentration in coaching. After graduation he returned to his alma mater, Waterford High School where he lettered in both baseball and soccer, and assisted National High School Coach of the Year Gerry Rousseau from 1988-1990. They won three straight conference championships and the Class M state title in 1988.
In 1991, Susi took over as Head Coach at Montville High School. In his first season, he guided the Indians to a 17-4 record and #16 ranking in the final state poll of all size schools. In 1992, Montville finished a disappointing 7-12-1, and that summer Susi also ended his long stint with New London American Legion.
In August of 1992, Susi was on the move again and became the Head Coach at Manchester Community College, a junior college in Connecticut. There he took over a program returning only three players with single-digit wins the prior season, and guided the Cougars to the NJCAA Division III National Championship game. After losing the title game in 1993, Manchester won a second-straight New England title in 1994, returned to the World Series and finished fourth. Susi was named Regional Coach of the Year in his first two seasons. The Cougars appeared in the regional tournament all seven of his years at Manchester from 1993-99, finishing runner up twice to go along with the two championships. He compiled a record of 142-108-3, while coaching five All-Americans.
While at Manchester, Susi became Head Coach of the Eastern Tides in the newly formed New England Collegiate Baseball League. He guided the Tides to the NECBL Championship in the league's inaugural season in 1994. After a second straight appearance in the NECBL playoffs in 1995, Susi stepped down as Head Coach of the Tides with a record of 46-40-1.
Arriving at Western in the fall of 1999, Susi took over the league's last place team since its inception. The Colonials quickly jumped up two spots and qualified for their first LEC Tournament. After an injury plagued season in 2001 kept them out of the tournament, the Colonials came back with a vengeance in 2002, winning the LEC Tournament and qualifying for the school's first NCAA appearance.
Susi was named LEC Coach of the Year in 2002. The Colonials followed that championship season with a Final Four appearance in the 2003 Tournament, and a third-place regular season and 21-18 record in 2004. In 2005 the Colonials made it back to the Conference Championship game, falling just short of a second NCAA appearance.
In the summer of 2014, Coach Susi guided Southington Jr. Legion, and his two oldest sons Brett and Zac, to a (20-4) record and a Zone Championship. His team was ranked 3rd in the state at the end of the regular season and finished in the final 8 in the state tournament. Along the way his team earned him his 400th overall coaching victory.
Coach Susi currently lives in the town of Southington, CT with his wife of 23 years Mary Ann, and their three sons Brett (21), Zac (19), and Garrett (16).