Briana Chiusano begins her first year with the Bryant softball team in 2017-18.
Chiusano joins the Bulldogs after an outstanding career as a student-athlete and a coach at Coastal Carolina University.
"I am extremely excited to have Briana aboard for our 17-18 season," Lotito said. "She had a great career during her four years at Coastal and we are looking forward to her bringing her knowledge, passion and leadership skills to our coaching staff. Specifically she will add a wealth of knowledge to our slappers, outfield and base runners as a whole, giving them the attention and coaching that could really help our players elevate their game."
A native of Mansfield, Mass., Chiusano played four years at Coastal Carolina before spending a year as a volunteer assistant coach with the Chanticleers. She was part of a staff that helped guide CCU to a 32-23 overall record and an 11-16 mark in its first year in the Sun Belt Conference in 2017. Chiusano was the first base coach, coached the outfielders, was responsible for the base running instruction and specialized in the instruction for left-handed slappers.
As a player, Chiusano helped the Chanticleers post a 148-83 record during her four years and will go down as one of the best to don the Teal and Bronze. She was a three-time first team All-Big South selection and an all-freshman selection during her rookie season. Chiusano hit over .400 twice during her career and stole 29+ bases in all four years at CCU.
She graduated as the all-time leader in runs scored (208) at Coastal Carolina and in the Big South Conference. Chiusano graduated with a .380 career average, 269 hits (6th in Big South history), a .465 OBP and 145 stolen bases (2nd in Big South history).
In addition, Chiusano also served as an assistant softball coach for the Carolina Teal. She was responsible for assisting in all aspects of the 16U travel ball program.
Chiusano graduated from Coastal Carolina in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in communication.
Nick French begins his first year as an assistant coach with the Bulldogs in 2017-18.
French comes to Smithfield with 10 years of coaching experience, including eight at the Division I level. He has helped two teams advance to the Women’s College World Series and also has one year of head coaching experience under his belt.
“We are very fortunate that Nick has decided to join our staff,” Lotito said. “His variety of experience gives insight to what it will take to compete at the highest level consistently, as well as help our players reach their maximum potential both on and off the field. His love for the game as a coach and a player is infectious and I believe will help our players stay motivated to be their best every day. Specifically he will be working with our hitters to help our program take the next steps toward becoming a consistent contender in the NEC and beyond.”
A native of Abington, Mass., French has made stops at Georgia, Arizona, Memphis, Holy Cross and most recently, served as the assistant softball coach at Towson, working primarily with the pitching staff. Under his watch, the Tigers pitching staff posted an ERA of 3.54 and issued just 96 walks in 328 1/3 innings.
Prior to his time in Maryland, French spent the 2016 season as a volunteer assistant coach at Georgia. He helped in all aspects of the team that helped knock off the two-time defending national champions and top-seeded Florida in one of the greatest upsets in NCAA Tournament history. The upset victory sent the Bulldogs to the WCWS for the first time since the 2010 season.
French spent 2012-15 just up the road in Worcester, Mass., as an assistant coach at Holy Cross. He worked with the pitching staff and assisted in the offensive instruction with the Crusaders. During his time at Holy Cross, French coached eight All-Patriot League selections and two NFCA All-Region honorees. French also oversaw the development of knuckleballer Gennifer Durham who went on to throw the school’s first-ever and the Patriot League’s second-ever perfect game in 2013. In addition, two of his hurlers finished in the top 15 in the nation in fewest walks.
Before his stint in Worcester, French was a part of two very successful programs at Memphis and Arizona. At Memphis, French helped the Tigers enjoy their best season (36-14) and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. French also oversaw the academic achievement of a team that finished with a 3.2 GPA and had 16 of 20 student-athletes finish with a 3.0 GPA or better.
At Arizona, French served as a volunteer assistant coach under eight-time national champion and two-time United States Olympic team coach Mike Candrea. French helped the Wildcats to a national runner-up finish as he oversaw the daily operations of the program and assisted with the development of the outfielders.
French served as the interim head coach at Simmons (Mass.) College in 2008 before becoming an assistant coach at Piedmont (Pa.) College. At Piedmont, he coach four all-conference players and the rookie of the year.
He began coaching at the age of 14 under his father, Marty French, who ran the highly-successful Bay State Blaze Junior Olympic program. During that time, he took part in six national tournaments, sending many players on to college programs. He also served as pitching coach at his alma mater, Abington High School, for five years in addition to Emerson College.
French attended Emerson College where he played basketball for a season and assisted with the softball program. He graduated in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and minor in political science. He has previously worked for the Boston Globe and served as a sports editor for the Community Newspaper Company.