Bonfiglio named Starfires Manager for 2024 Season

Bonfiglio Named Manager

WESTFIELD, Massachusetts (January 22, 2024) – The Westfield Starfires, proud members of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, have named Paul Bonfiglio the team’s manager ahead of the upcoming 2023 season, Starfires Owner Chris Thompson announced on Monday, January 22.

“Paul Bonfiglio is an outstanding baseball mind who is the perfect fit to be our next manager. Coach Fig has the respect of our players in the clubhouse and he is deeply committed to our organization and the Westfield community. His leadership will bring us success on the field this summer,” Thompson said.

Starfires Director of Player Personnel Hunter Golden noted “Any time you’re replacing the manager with the most wins in franchise history, you’re filling some pretty big shoes, but we definitely feel like Fig will be more than up to the task,” adding that “Guys that have success in spots like Fig will be stepping into are guys who take a great deal of ownership over the position while still at its core – helping to maintain the culture you’ve built over a variety of years, and Paul checks both those boxes.”

It will be Bonfiglio’s first season as manager after serving as an assistant coach in each of the past three seasons. Bonfiglio does have head coaching experience as well, having served as the head coach at Wayland High School in Wayland, Massachusetts from 2018 to 2022.

“I’m excited to elevate to the position of field manager, where I’ll have a chance to lead an excellent group of talented ballplayers,” Bonfiglio said, adding, “To represent this franchise and the City of Westfield is a tremendous thrill. I’m hungry for success.”

Bonfiglio’s presence on the coaching staff is tied into the two most successful on-field seasons in franchise history, including the 2022 campaign that saw the team reach the FCBL Playoffs for the first time and the 2023 season that saw a franchise-best 31 wins.

That success was what ultimately led to the offer being made to Bonfiglio.

“It’s obviously helpful when you get to watch a guy coach operate within your own organization and the way and manner in way Fig goes about his business is what we like to see as a ballclub,” Golden said. “He’s prepared, extremely organized and an excellent communicator. He’s also a teacher at heart – and we feel strongly that he’ll be able to help our guys meet their personal goals while pushing us towards that ultimate goal of becoming a consistent championship organization…We cast a really wide net in terms of candidates – and while it was a really strong field of candidates – as Chris and I continued to assess the ingredients that we were hoping to get out of this role, the more we just kept coming back to the qualities that Fig has. As far as the continuity, the preparedness, the communication skills, and a guy who was really going to take strong ownership over the role is concerned, he has all of those,” Golden concluded.

In-game, Bonfiglio was previously the team’s bench coach and first base coach, while in practices he primarily worked with the infielders, drawing the best out of players such as 2022 FCBL All-Stars Jack Power and Jackson Hornung and 2023 FCBL All-Star Game MVP Nick Serce, the latter two of which each set the franchise’s home run record in succeeding seasons.

Serce noted that Bonfiglio had his support.

“Fig is a great guy. He would show up early right after work and do early early work with the players, and would go above and beyond with getting the field ready. Fig is a great man and is always ready for a challenge,” Serce said.

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