COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland baseball head coach Rob Vaughn announced the promotion of Anthony Papio to volunteer assistant coach Wednesday morning. Papio previously served as a student assistant coach for the Terps in 2017 after a distinguished five-year playing career in College Park.
"Anthony Papio goes down as one of my favorite players of all time and to watch him seamlessly shift from player to coach has been fun to watch,” Vaughn said. “Over the last year, I have watched him coach players that he played with the year before, and that is not an easy thing to do. He did an outstanding job coaching our outfielders and spearheading the running game that saw us go from 28 bags in 2016 to 101 this past season. He is an outstanding person and is going to be an absolute star in the coaching business and I'm pumped we get to keep him around."
As a player and coach, Papio has been a part of the three winningest seasons in Maryland baseball history (2014, 2015, 2017). Maryland has won 212 games in Papio’s six years with the program, the most successful six-year stretch in school history. In his first year as a coach, Papio assumed the first base coach role and was Maryland’s main base running coach. The former outfielder also assisted with outfield defense and Maryland’s hitting efforts.
The Terps won 38 games, tied a school record with 15 conference wins and advanced to the NCAA Regionals in Papio’s first coaching campaign. Papio’s work with Maryland’s baserunners paid dividends as the Terps went from 28 stolen bases in 2016 to 101 this season.
“I’d like to thank coach Vaughn for the chance to continue my coaching career in my home state and at my alma mater which is something a lot of coaches don’t get the chance to do,” Papio said. “I also have the opportunity to absorb a wealth of knowledge from some of the best young coaches in the sport. We are going to hit the ground running and I fully expect the program to take off from here.”
The Olney, Md., native is the second winningest player in Maryland history as the Terps captured 174 victories over his five seasons. He played the most games in school history (230) and ranks second all-time in triples (9). Papio starred in Maryland’s run in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, helping the Terrapins reach its second consecutive Super Regional. He earned Los Angeles Regional All-Tournament team honors after his clutch hitting and superb defense helped the Terps topple No. 1 overall seed UCLA.
In 2016, Papio started 50 times between center and right field and batted .261 with four home runs, a team-high four triples and eight doubles. A versatile outfielder, Papio started all 66 games during Maryland run to a second straight Super Regional appearance in 2015. He had his finest offensive season, batting .262 with a .425 slugging percentage, six home runs, 40 runs scored and 26 RBIs.
As a sophomore, Papio started 53 games as the Terps advanced to their first NCAA Regional since 1971. He batted .271 with nine doubles and two home runs and once against came up clutch in the postseason, nabbing two hits and two RBIs in both the ACC Championship game against Georgia Tech and the Columbia Regional final against South Carolina. Papio's redshirt freshman season saw him appear 47 times with 39 starts.
A respected team leader during his playing career in College Park, Papio won Maryland’s internal “Iron Terps” competition in three consecutive seasons and was considered the strongest pound-for-pound player on the team. He also earned Big Ten All-Academic honors twice and was honored by the Big Ten as Maryland's Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winner in 2016.