Who is Coach Bagonzi?
Dr. John Bagonzi has made his greatest mark in the professional world as an extraordinary coach. His winning records in both baseball and basketball are true testaments to his ability. But an even greater testament is the success at life that so many young men who have been coached by the Coach have enjoyed.
Coach Bagonzi was born in Woodsville, New Hampshire where his father operated a bowling alley. From his father he gained an understanding of what it takes to be good at something. His father was an exceptional tournament bowler with a capacity to make a bowling ball magically move.
That fascination of course later
manifested itself in Coach's incredible curveball.
After a very successful high school career, Coach Bagonzi had the opportunity to sign with the Boston Braves organization as a catcher right after graduation. But abiding by his parent's wishes, he went on to the University of New Hampshire where he was a standout both in basketball and baseball -- not to mention academically. Many of the pitching records he set at UNH - including five no-hitters - still stand today.
In 1953, Coach Bagonzi signed a bonus contract with the Red Sox, as a pitcher. However, an ROTC obligation following the Korean war waylaid his baseball career and shrunk his window of opportunity. During
the two years he was in the army, Coach Bagonzi pitched many games at Fort Jackson, South Carolina against many professional and major league players. After he returned from the service, he resumed his career, having some success with the Red Sox organization, but also developing some arm problems. In 1958, he signed with the Cubs organization, but at that time, 27 was considered old for a prospect. Also, having a
wife and two children, as well as having gained a Masters degree from Indiana University (he would later go on for his doctorate), he gave up his dream of making it to the show. Even though he still had a curveball that many said was the best in baseball, it was time for him to move on.
He did a stint in Canada as a player-coach, but when he was pursued to come teach and coach at his hometown high school, he decided it was time to settle down. He taught biology at Woodsville and also coached baseball, basketball, and soccer. His '59 baseball team went undefeated and won the state championship. And from that point he was hooked, a coach for life, and a coach of life as well. In the Coach's own words,
"I am totally committed to seeing young men better themselves, probably due to the fact that my dream of being a major league pitcher was side-tracked largely due to my own consequences and choices. My athletic career has spanned 40 years from high school to now and I haven't lost a drop of desire."
One amazing fact is that during his years at Woodsville, his pitchers hurled twenty-five no hitters!
From 1982 through 1985 Coach Bagonzi served as an adjunct professor and baseball coach at Plymouth State. While at Plymouth, Coach made his impact felt right away in helping to transform the baseball program from perennial losers to a playoff bound team. In his first year as pitching coach, Plymouth led the nation in ERA for almost the entire season. After a year as pitching coach, he then served two years as the Plymouth head coach. Also, Coach was appointed Associate Scout with the Major League Scouting Bureau in 1983.
Coach Bagonzi continues to teach both individually and at seminars. He continues on with the energy of a man half his age, constantly motivated by his desire to keep improving at that which he already does so well. He still lives in Woodsville with his wife of 45 years, his inspiration and his muse, Dreamer Deese Bagonzi from the Olympia section of Columbia and Winnsboro, South Carolina. He has been blessed with three children of his own as well as four beautiful grandchildren. And it would not be an exaggeration to say that there are hundreds of grown men and women who consider him as
a father-figure, helping to have shaped whom they have become today.
More on Coach Bagonzi:
Coach's Honors & Highlights