Program Spotlight: Amherst College

Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator Kyle Bonicki of Amherst College shared a look into his recruiting process and hit on some important advice for players that want to succeed at the next level. He also added some of the attributes that he looks for in players and what players can do to standout in the recruiting process.

The Mammoths are an NCAA Division III school that competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

“Be proactive with coaches and get in front of the schools that you want to go to. Regardless of how the process is going for you, continue to put in the work and get better.”

– Coach Bonicki, Amherst College
courtesy of

Quick Facts

School:Amherst College
Division:NCAA Division III
Conference:New England Small College Athletic Conference
Location:Amherst, MA
Student Population:1,970
Questionnaire:Recruit Form

Recruiting Q&A – with Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator Kyle Bonicki

What are your typical scouting methods?

Our prospect camps, showcases, tournaments.

How do you recommend players contact you if they are interested in your program?

Email and questionnaire.

If a player contacts you, what are you most interested in?

Video and camp schedule.

Any general advice for players that want to play college baseball?

Most of the players we look at have very similar skill sets…become obsessed with mastering the little things. Get in the weight room. Everyone playing college baseball, regardless of the division, is a DUDE in high school. Be proactive with coaches and get in front of the schools that you want to go to. Regardless of how the process is going for you, continue to put in the work and get better.

Any other comments about your program that you’d like to share?

We are the oldest college baseball program. The academic piece of the recruiting process is extremely important to us. If you are looking for a high academic school, stay on top of your schoolwork and take challenging classes. Student comes before athlete (but being a great athlete is really important too!).

>> Read more: Recruiting Q&As from college coaches <<

Program Overview – Mammoth Baseball

Amherst College played the first intercollegiate baseball game ever in 1859 and is the oldest college baseball program in the world. A program rich in history has seen many decades of success for student-athletes both on and off the field.

The program is led by Head Coach J.P. Pyne, who took over in 2018. Coach Pyne has an extensive coaching background. He has coached at multiple college levels and within several professional organizations throughout his career.

Also on staff is Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator Kyle Bonicki. After an All-American collegiate career, Coach Bonicki played two seasons of professional baseball before joining the coaching staff with Amherst. Between Coach Pyne and Coach Bonicki, the Amherst program is fortunate to have a staff with a wealth of knowledge and experience playing and coaching the game of baseball.

An interesting anecdote about Amherst baseball alumni, is there have been players that have gone on to be an MLB team vice president, an MLB bench coach, minor league managers, scouts, and many other positions within professional baseball organizations. Along with players that have signed professional contracts after their time at Amherst, this demonstrates the program’s ability to develop players physically but also teach them to be students of the game.

Student-athletes that are interested in attending upcoming prospect camps are encouraged to visit As Coach Bonicki mentioned in the Q&A, these camps are a great opportunity to get in front of the coaching staff and learn more about the program.

School Overview – Amherst College

Located in Amherst, MA, Amherst College is home to almost 2,000 students. A highly regarded academic school, Amherst College offers over 41 majors and more than 850 courses with an average class size of 19. With an acceptance rate of around 8%, Amherst College is highly competitive academically and can be a great fit for student-athletes who are looking to challenge themselves both on the field and in the classroom.

Amherst, MA is known for its culture centered around art and food. The area contains several prestigious colleges, including Amherst College, creating many opportunities for students to network and explore their interests and passions. Around 2 hours from Boston, MA, the school also provides students with many opportunities that a big city can offer such as internships and post-graduate positions.

Students who are interested in learning more about the academic programs, admission requirements, and student life at Amherst College are invited to visit for more information.

Closing Remarks

We would like to thank Coach Bonicki for taking the time to answer the Recruiting Q&A. We really appreciate Coach Bonicki placing an emphasis on academics. It is important for players to understand the importance of academics in the recruiting process. At highly regarded academic schools, such as Amherst College, the staff is looking for players that can excel in the classroom and have the desire to challenge themselves in all aspects of being a student-athlete.

The other point Coach Bonicki brought up was “mastering the little things.” This is incredibly important for players to embrace as they advance in their baseball careers. The talent gap closes quickly as players progress and it becomes increasingly difficult to gain an edge over the competition. Mastering the little things is one of the best ways to do so. There are so many areas to cut corners during training such as going through the motion in batting practice, or stopping a rep or two short in the weigh room. These add up over time and are ultimately determine the outcome of games and even a players career. Developing the mental discipline to focus on the little things early on in a players career is one of the best skills they can acquire.

Players interested in Amherst College and the baseball program are encouraged to follow Coach Bonicki’s advice and visit the above links to learn more. Again, we’d like to thank Coach Bonicki and wish the Mammoths the best of luck in their upcoming season!