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About Aaron Nieckula

Aaron is the co-founder and CEO of Mission 360, and is the current head baseball coach at Marmion Academy. Prior to his current role, he served as Field Coordinator for the Oakland Athletics, where he is responsible for coordinating, managing, and leading all on-field activity for minor league Spring Training, Extended Spring Training, Arizona Summer League, and the fall Instructional League. An additional component to his position includes helping create and lead the A’s minor league leadership development program. After graduating from Fenwick High School in Oak Park, IL, Aaron attended the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign majoring in Communications and playing baseball for hall of fame coach Richard “Itch” Jones. Drafted in the 22nd round as a catcher by the Athletics in 1998, Aaron played five minor league seasons, four with the A’s and one with the San Francisco Giants, reaching the Triple A level.

After his playing career, Aaron began coaching in 2004 within the minor league system of the Athletics. Starting as a hitting coach for the Kane County Cougars, Aaron began his managerial career in 2006, managing the Cougars. He went on to manage at various levels --  including for the MLB Partner Frontier League's Joliet Slammers in 2021 --  the highlight being when his team the Midland Rockhounds, won the Double A Texas League Championship in 2014. He credits his tremendous coaching staff and phenomenal players, including current A’s third baseman Matt Chapman and current Dodgers infielder Max Muncy, in securing the Championship. Subsequently, he was promoted to a hybrid role of Field Coordinator and manager of the Vermont Lakemonters, New York Penn League affiliate of the Athletics. After holding this position for 5 years, Aaron was promoted to his current role of full time Field Coordinator, a position he strongly feels aligns with his professional goals and ambition. Throughout his tenure as a professional coach, he has assisted many players in achieving their dream of playing in the Major Leagues.

After coaching for 10 seasons and realizing the significant importance and impact that effective leadership has in not only developing players, coaches, and leading teams, but also in driving an organization to excellence, Aaron chose to earn a Master’s degree and enrolled at Lewis University studying Organizational Leadership. Graduating in 2016, Aaron understands the importance of a growth mindset and that the learning process is ongoing and considers himself a devout student of athletics, leadership, and maximizing human potential. One of Aaron’s favorite quotes by Matshona Dhliwayo, “A Lifelong learner is a lifelong winner,” embodies what he feels is an essential component to achieving personal excellence.

Additionally, Aaron has been offering private baseball and softball instruction for youth in the Chicago area since 1998. Entering his 23rd year of instruction, he thoroughly enjoys the privilege of coaching amateur athletes. Focusing his instruction on what he calls the “what & why” principle, Aaron explains what it is the athlete is working on and why it’s important and the benefits it will have on his/her skill development. He has also dedicated his instruction to developing both the athletic and mental skills of every athlete with whom he works. Devoted and committed to the learning process, Aaron is focused to bringing his professional experiences and dedication to personal growth and development to the Hawks organization.

A current resident of Yorkville, IL, Aaron thoroughly enjoys spending time with his family. A father to three beautiful girls, Ariyana, Hailey and Trinity, he and his wife Renee both enjoy the outdoors, birdwatching, exercising, reading, and cooking.

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