Fairview High School is looking for a new direction on the baseball field and the Yellow Jackets turned to Dominic “Nico” Gregali to lead the way. Gregali was officially introduced as the new baseball coach at Fairview on Friday morning.
“We are excited about our hire of coach Gregali and are looking forward to the knowledge and passions he brings to the classroom and the baseball diamond,” said Fairview principal Dr. Kurt Jones.
Matthew Putnam was released after the season in April following a 10-15 record. The Yellow Jackets haven’t produced a winning season since 2008 and haven’t advanced out of the district tournament since 2003 when they reached the Class AA Sectional round.
“I felt we needed a new direction and new vision for our baseball program,” Jones said of parting ways with Putnam.
Fairview has enjoyed success in other male team sports, which included the Yellow Jacket soccer team reaching the Class AA state semifinals for the second consecutive year just last month. The football team has reached the Class 3A playoff quarterfinals in back-to-back seasons, while the boys’ basketball team achieved a third trip to the Region 6-AA tournament this season and was a win away from reaching the state stage two years ago.
Jones said he’s ready to see more success on the diamond as well.
“I am confident (Gregali) will bring our program back to the level of competing for championships on a yearly basis,” he said.
Last season, Gregali worked as pitching coach at Oakland. He said he is thankful for the opportunity to take over the Yellow Jackets program.
“Our family is excited to be a part of the Fairview community,” he said on social media.
Gregali’s coaching career began at the Top Performance Baseball Academy in St. Louis, Mo., where he severed as the assistant director, instructor and head coach. He also coached the hitters, catchers and outfielders at the St. Louis Community College-Meramec.
In 2009 Gregali took over as the head baseball coach at Southeastern Illinois College and eventually was introduced as the athletic director. He coached 16 players to four-year institutions and had several GRAC All-Conference players. He even coached the 2011 NJCAA Region 24 All-Region Player of the Year winner.
In 2012, Gregali packed up his family and moved to Tennessee to begin coaching at Oakland High School. In 2014, he relocated again and got his first taste of Williamson County at Ravenwood High School, working with then-head coach Teddy Craig.
Gregali helped coach the Raptors to the 2015 District 11-AAA championship and Class AAA state tournament. The Raptors were sectional champs and state participants again in 2016.
During his time in Tennessee, Gregali has coached 16 players who went on to play college baseball and had a 2015 MLB Draft selection.
Gregali played catcher at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. He served as the team captain, became a member of the athletic honor roll and was a Great Lakes Valley Conference All-Academic Team member in college.
He’s not just interested in baseball however, his passions extended into the class room. Gregali, a history buff, taught AP United States History, Contemporary Issues, U.S. Government and Civics.