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From Cougar to Coach: How one Clarkie turned his passion for athletics into a career 


Alumni Highlight: Kyle Bonicki ’17, MBA ’18 

Since graduating from Clark, All-American athlete and former Cougar of the Year Kyle Bonicki ’17, MBA ’18, elected to take a career path that allows him to pursue his passion: baseball. Gabrielle Totten ’19, MBA ’20, sat down with him to speak about his career in sports, how Clark impacted his career path, and the good times in Worcester. His key takeaway? Follow your passions and you can’t go wrong! 


Tell me about your current job. 

I am the Recruiting Coordinator/Assistant Coach for the Amherst College Baseball program. I work with student-athletes from the recruiting process in high school, throughout their career at Amherst, and into their post-graduate life as they become Amherst College Baseball alumni. I am in the athletics industry, but most of what I do happens off the field.  


  What was your career path like after Clark? 

I had a bit of an unusual path after Clark. I graduated undergrad in 2017 but had another year of eligibility for baseball. I enrolled in the accelerated MBA program, finishing up in December 2018. I was fortunate enough to go play professional baseball at the independent level for two years following my collegiate career. After my first summer of Indy ball, I joined the Clark Baseball coaching staff as a graduate assistant while I finished my MBA and trained for the upcoming season. Following my last professional season in the United Shore Professional Baseball League in Michigan, I jumped on the coaching staff at Amherst full-time and have been coaching there ever since.  

Kyle Bonicki '17 coaching Amherst College baseball during a game


What made you want to get into this field? 

I have always had a love for sports, baseball especially. After my playing career concluded, I wanted to find a way to stay involved in the sport. Coaching was the most organic path to do so. I’ve been fortunate to be able to turn my passion into a full-time career. 



How did Clark play into your decision to get into your field?  

My experiences at Clark were vital in my career path for sure. I wasn’t on the baseball team my freshman year of college at the University of New Haven. I knew playing baseball was going to be a significant part of my college experience, which is why I ended up transferring to Clark.

At Clark I was able to meet and play with several coaches and players that helped me develop as a player, person and leader. I was challenged in the classroom, learned how to work in groups, how to use my strengths and elevate others around me to do the same.

I never thought that the things I was learning in my classes at Clark would translate into a career like coaching…

I am finding out that more and more of the skills I’ve developed can translate into several industries. I think that really speaks to Clark’s Management program in particular.  


What is your favorite Clark memory? 

Kyle Bonicki in baseball uniform number 21, swinging a baseball bat

It’s really tough to choose a favorite memory. I have countless memories on the field with my teammates that I will never forget. One that sticks out is a huge win over Springfield College that helped us secure a top playoff spot on Senior Day. We were a close group off the field as well, which I think was part of the reason we started to win more than we were used to. Any of the 2 a.m. Bistro outings or Oliver/Beaver Street nights could very easily make the cut as well.  


How do you stay connected to Clark? 

I think I’m officially too old to know anyone still at Clark that I played with or coached, but I still check in on the sports team and follow how they’re doing. I was asked to come back and speak to a student-athlete leadership group a few years ago, which I really enjoyed. Of course, I stay in the know with Clark GOLD emails as well.  


What advice do you have for recent Clark grads? 

Don’t be afraid to pursue something that you’re passionate about. You could end up making a career out of something that you love.

You would also be surprised to see how many skills can easily translate; so, try not to box yourself, your career, or your future into one category. No matter what you’re doing after college, it’s as valuable an experience as you want it to be.