Red Sox vet Denny Berni works with pro mindset

Domenic Loschiavo
Sports Reporter

Humber Varsity Baseball coach Denny Berni, who once played for the Boston Red Sox’ single-A affiliate, brings professional experience to Humber’s men’s baseball.

Berni, 46, began teaching baseball when he established Pro Teach Baseball in Etobicoke. He started the teaching program for aspiring athletes and coaches after completing his professional baseball career in 1993.

“It was a great experience,” Berni said about his time with the Red Sox organization. “I got to play with some great players and be around some great coaches.”

Berni founded and ran Pro Teach for seven years before he officially became a head coach, and spent over a decade coaching at the midget level before becoming the head coach of the Hawks men’s baseball team in 2009.

“I didn’t get into it (coaching) instantly. I think it was a little bit of a wait, and obviously as you get a little bit more mature and you get a little bit smarter, it sort of helps. I started my baseball school in ‘93 and it wasn’t until 2000-2001 that I started coaching a team,” Berni said.

Matthew Ferreira, 27, assistant coach of the men’s baseball team said having someone with Berni’s experience is “huge and it gives you a sense of credibility.” Berni was also the recipient of last year’s Ontario Colleges Athletic Association’s (OCAA) Men’s Baseball Coach of the Year.

Second-year radio broadcasting student and first baseman Will Adams, 19, said the knowledge Bernie brings to the table is major league quality.

“Denny always gives instruction and tries to do everything he can to help us win,” Adams said. “I was excited and proud of Denny,” he said of his coach winning the OCAA award.

He described Berni as one of those coaches you want to try and give 110 per cent every time you step on the field.

Berni said his goal for this year is to win championships – and he feels that his team is more than capable of pursuing that goal.