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FIRECRACKER SPORTS LEADERSHIP

MARK COOKE

Mark has owned and operated Firecracker Baseball, now Firecracker Sports since its inception in 2008. The company has grown from 6 teams that very first year to over 380+ teams in 2019. Some of his proudest moments running Firecracker Baseball are when we can include former players, current players as staff, coaches and other roles within the company, some are listed below.

During his playing days, he graduated from Bishop Feehan in 1997 on a team that went 20-2 his senior year and won the EAC Conference. Mark was a pitcher during that time and continued on at Salve Regina University playing 4 years and during his senior year won the Conference Championship and competed in the NCAA Division III Tournament in Harwich, Massachusetts.

After playing finished in 2001 he went into coaching at different levels through the Pawtucket RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) Program, bringing his teams to the World Championships in 2001, 2002 and 2004. For the next 8 years Mark also coached American Legion baseball in Cumberland, RI and High School baseball at the Wheeler School in Providence, RI and at Bishop Feehan HS in Attleboro, MA. After Bishop Feehan HS finished in the top 25 in the state of Massachusetts in 2014, Mark moved onto Dean College as a recruiting coordinator/assistant coach ultimately ending up at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island as the top assistant/pitching coach for the last 2 years concluding in 2018.

Coach Cooke was named the Head Coach of the Coastal team for the prestigious Bay State Games in Massachusetts in 2014. He carried that role through 2018 when Skip McCarty took over the position and lead the Coastal team to medals in 3 out of the last 4 years. Coach Cooke has coached over 91 players that have moved onto the collegiate level and 13 players that have played professionally in his 17 years of coaching.

DON PERRY

Don Perry has been with Mark Cooke and Firecracker Sports for all 12 years. Don’s vast experience in coaching baseball encompasses over 15 successful years at numerous levels of the game to include town, travel, high school and college baseball. Some of the teams Don coached with were Team Nokona, New England Predators, Bishop Feehan High School, North Attleboro High School and Salve Regina University. After 20 years in public service, Don is pursuing his passion now full time by staying connected to the game he loves and coaching in a slightly different way. As Director of Operations, Don will wear a variety of hats. His favorite hat to put on though is the one when his job entails giving the players the resources they need to improve their skills and make the successful transition from one level of the game to the next. Don helps find quality venues for our tournaments, top notch competition to improve players athletic skills, the latest resources and technology to assist players in their growth, and with connections between players and college coaches.

Dan Kennedy

Dan has taken on the role as Director of Events for Firecracker Sports. He will be part of our team that oversees the tournaments and college camps. He will be focused on growing Firecrackers “Showcase” footprint while heading up our Elevated Exposure Events coupled with USABaseball/NTIS.

Dan is a graduate of Attleboro High School(‘86). As a player at AHS Dan earned All-State as well as All-Conference honors.

After graduating from AHS, Dan attended Community College of Rhode Island(‘88). Under the watchful eyes of Head Coach Art Pontarelli and Assistant Coach Jay Grenier, this is where he grew as a young man on and off the baseball field. In Dan’s two years at CCRI, the Knights were arguably the best team in the school’s history and in 1988 were one of the Top Teams in the country. Dan earned All-New England Honors his sophomore season while the 1988 Knights advanced to the JUCO World Series where their success continued with a 3rd place National Finish.

Two months after returning from the JUCO World Series, Dan signed a free agent minor league contract as a catcher with the Chicago Cubs. His professional career saw many injuries with additional stops in the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox systems.

After his playing days, Dan found his calling to coach and give back to the young player. He left his hometown of Attleboro, Ma. and moved to Manchester, CT. to co-found the Connecticut Baseball Academy and Team Connecticut Baseball(TCB). In his 29 years, he was the President and the Primary Hitting/Catching Instructor. He also served as the Director of Player Development and Baseball Operations.

Under Dan’s direction, The TCB program won 17 National Championships while he won three(‘99, ‘14, and ‘15) as a head coach. In his 25 years as a manager, Dan compiled a .750 winning percentage with an 862-290 record. Dan explains, “ With all that we have accomplished as a program, what we are most proud of is that 97% of the players who graduated from our program went on to attend college and/or the military.”

Dan was recognized and involved in many other baseball ventures.

  • Perfect Game Northeast Showcase Director.
  • Perfect Game State Showcase National Director.
  • President of Super East Baseball Tournaments and Showcase.
  • Head Coach at St. Paul HS(CT).
  • Assistant Coach at Avon Old Farms(CT) and East Catholic HS(CT).
  • General Manager of the Bristol Collegiate Baseball Club(NECBL).
  • Northeast Director for USA Baseball/NTIS.
  • Named one of the Most Influential People in New England Baseball by the New England Baseball Journal.
  • Speaker/Presenter(2010, 2011, and 2013) at the World Baseball Coaches Convention.
  • Organized the Michael Zabroski Memorial Golf Tournament.
  • Organized the Strikes For Kids Toy Drive.
  • Organized the “TCB Supports the Wounded Warrior Project”.
  • Organized the Connecticut “VS. CANCER FOUNDATION TOURNAMENT” to Cure Kids Cancer.
  • Lifetime Member of the Professional Ball Players of America.
  • Lifetime Member of Minor League Baseball Players Association.
  • Member of USA Baseball.
  • Member of the American Baseball Coaches Association.
  • Member of the Irish American Baseball Society.

Dan currently lives with wife Diane in Manchester, Connecticut. He has two Sons, Danny and Dylan and two Stepsons, Brandon and Spencer.

Andrew Ciechanowski

Andrew joined the Firecracker Sports’ team in the summer of 2022.  As a former intern, he had the opportunity to grow within the company and expand into a full time role, where he now wears a variety of hats.  One of his favorite things to do during a tournament weekend is manage championship games, citing its competitive atmosphere and top level of play.

 

After attending James Madison University, where he was a member of the club lacrosse team, Andrew transferred to Johnson & Wales University to complete his bachelor’s degree in Sports, Entertainment and Event Management.  Andrew had previous internships with Applause, and the Pawtucket Red Sox.  He also coached lacrosse at Xaverian Brothers High School, where he graduated from.

TBA

Position is open…apply today!

BRYON TEMPESTA

Bryon oversees the facility sales operations for our teams, programs and clients. He has worked in this industry for over 20+ years for organizations such as Sport Facility, On Deck Sports and GT Grandstand. Coached collegiately at Bridgewater State University and Curry College for 10+ years. Began current role in 2019 and has a passion for helping customers make their facilities the very best for their players and their teams’ development. Expertise and craftsmanship in his customer service are why the customers always return for their next product, service and much more.

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