University of Alabama head baseball coach Brad Bohannon officially announced the addition of Jerry Zulli to the Crimson Tide coaching staff on Friday, June 9. Zulli, who spent the past year with Louisiana Tech, will serve as an assistant coach for the Tide. He is the first addition to Bohannon's staff and brings a wealth of coaching experience to UA.
"I am so excited to add Jerry to our staff," said Bohannon. "When you're heavily involved in recruiting, you know who does a great job on the road, and he is clearly one of the best recruiters. I've known him a long time, and he checks every box that I am looking for. He's a guy of high integrity and character, he has a high motor, he can relate to a wide variety of personalities, he has a great network and is a very talented evaluator. In addition, he is a very skilled instructor, and we share a lot of the same ideas regarding team offense. Jerry is a tremendous addition to my coaching staff and will be a huge part of helping us build this program at Alabama."
Zulli has spent 15 total seasons as an assistant coach, building a reputation as a tireless recruiter and one of the top hitting coaches in college baseball. Prior to his time in Ruston, Zulli was with the Missouri staff for the 2016 campaign and was at South Alabama for four seasons from 2011-15. He began his Division I coaching career at Memphis for seven years prior to USA, spanning 2004-10. Zulli got his start in collegiate coaching at Middle Georgia College from 2002-04.
In his lone season at La Tech, his efforts helped the Bulldogs rank in the top three in nearly every offensive category in Conference USA. The offense recorded a .313 average with 203 RBI and 213 runs scored while slugging .475 and sporting a .413 on-base percentage – all totals that were second in the league. Zulli coached four hitters to all-conference honors, including a pair of first-teamers in 2017. Brent Diaz, who was one of the Bulldogs' first team all-conference selections, was also tabbed a Third Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball News while earning a spot as a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award.
Prior to his time at Tech, he was with Missouri for one season in 2016, running the Tigers' offense while serving as recruiting coordinator, infield coach and third base coach. His time in Columbia was highlighted by his recruiting efforts, where he was responsible for adding seven recruits to the Tigers' recruiting class, including five of which who were selected in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft. In addition to his recruits that were drafted, Zulli also had two of his players from the 2015-16 Missouri roster selected in Ryan Howard (5th Round, San Francisco Giants) and Jake Ring (31st Round, Baltimore Orioles).
Before heading to Columbia, Zulli assembled the 2016 signing class at South Alabama, a collection of talent that helped lead USA to the 2016 Sun Belt regular season co-championship and an NCAA Regional appearance. Three of his four seasons in Mobile featured top-50 recruiting classes, including a 2013 class that ranked 29th by Collegiate Baseball News. That class played a significant role for the 2015 Jaguar squad that won 37 games and the Sun Belt Conference Championship.
During his four seasons at USA, Zulli coached nine of his hitters to All-Sun Belt Conference honors, one conference player of the year winner, an All-American and one Freshman All-America selection.
His offenses at South Alabama ranked atop the Sun Belt in batting average twice (2012, 2015) and was second in in 2013. His teaching made an immediate impact on the Jaguars in his first season, as the offense led the SBC in conference play in seven categories, including: average (.306), hits (321), RBI (184), runs scored (205), total baes (474), and on-base (.389) and slugging percentage (.452).
In his seven seasons at Memphis, Zulli helped the Tigers lead Conference USA in hitting and on-base percentage on three separate occasions, while ranking top-five in the league in virtually every hitting metric. He coached eight players to a combined 10 All-Conference USA honors, including Chad Zurcher, who was tabbed the 2011 C-USA Player of the Year and a Third Team All-American after leading the NCAA in average and on-base percentage. He also coached 12 players who were selected in the MLB Draft, including a five who were taken in the 2011 draft.
His first season at Memphis saw the Tigers increase their win total by 19 games from the year prior, the second-best turnaround in NCAA history at the time, while the offense finished ranked 30th nationally. His efforts continued to help the Tigers progress, eventually leading Memphis to 36 wins and a postseason berth in 2007, the program's first NCAA Regional appearance in 13 years.
Zulli began his collegiate coaching career as the recruiting coordinator at Middle Georgia College from 2002-04. The Warriors went 130-51 in his three seasons, including two JUCO World Series appearances in 2002 and 2004. His 2002 team finished sixth nationally, while the 2004 squad wrapped up the season fourth in the national polls.
As a player, Zulli began his career at Middle Georgia College for two seasons where he won the Terry Daniels Award and helped MGC to a Region XVII Championship in 1999. He then transferred to the University of New Orleans for his final two years where he lettered each season for the Privateers.
Zulli earned his bachelor's degree from UNO in sports management in 2002. He is married to the former Kristen Bell. The couple has one daughter, Zoe Madelyn.