SWAMPSCOTT– The Swampscott High School baseball team has found its new head coach.
Swampscott Athletic Director Kelly Farley confirmed that Joe Caponigro, a former Big Blue assistant, has been tabbed to take over the program.
“We’re very excited to have Joe on board,” Farley said. “He’s a long-term Big Blue guy. He’s coached here before. He was very successful at Lynn English. He cares about the kids. We’re very excited to see what he does with the program.”
A Swampscott native, Caponigro spent the 2018 spring season as an assistant under former Big Blue coach Jason Calichman, who stepped down from the role in June after six seasons. With Caponigro on the staff, Swampscott was 11-10 this past spring. In the Division 3 North state tournament, the 13th-seeded Big Blue defeated No. 4 O’Bryant and No.5 Latin Academy in the tournament before falling to No. 1 Austin Prep in the sectional semifinals.
“Joe assisted our varsity program under Jason Calichman,” Farley said. “He was able to build good repertoire with the kids and kind of see how everything works right up on the front lines.”
Prior to joining the coaching staff at Swampscott, Caponigro spent 14 seasons as the head baseball coach at English. He stepped down from his role shortly after the 2017 season concluded. One of his coaching assistants, Doug Mullins, took over the helm of the Bulldogs program.
During Caponigro’s tenure coaching the Bulldogs, two of his players, Ben Bowden and Roberto Reyes, signed professional contracts.
Reyes, a catcher, spent three seasons in the Red Sox farm system. Bowden, a left-handed relief pitcher, played college baseball at Division I Vanderbilt. Bowden was selected by the Colorado Rockies with the 45th overall selection in the 2016 MLB Draft. He’s currently in Colorado’s minor league system with the Single-A Lancaster JetHawks.
Caponigro also manages the Swampscott Sox of the North Shore Baseball League, and has done so for the past 34 years. Under his watch, the Sox have reached the NSBL playoffs in each of those 34 seasons. This summer, the team finished the regular season at 9-14 and qualified as the No. 7 seed for the league playoffs.
The Sox defeated the No. 2 North Shore Phillies in the first round. They’ll take on No. 1 Peabody in a winner-take-all Game 5 in the semifinals tonight (7:45) at Twi Field in Danvers.
Caponigro resides in Swampscott and works at Panakio Adjusters in Lynn.