BHS coach happy to share tips of the game

Jacob Kapstein is busy all three seasons at BHS

By Josh Bickford
Posted 4/24/24

He played college hockey and professional baseball, and now he is busy coaching a variety of sports at Barrington High School.  

In the fall, Jacob Kapstein helps out as an assistant coach …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Register to post events

If you'd like to post an event to our calendar, you can create a free account by clicking here.

Note that free accounts do not have access to our subscriber-only content.

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.

BHS coach happy to share tips of the game

Jacob Kapstein is busy all three seasons at BHS


He played college hockey and professional baseball, and now he is busy coaching a variety of sports at Barrington High School. 

In the fall, Jacob Kapstein helps out as an assistant coach for the BHS football team. In the winter, he and his brother Zach coach the Eagles’ boys ice hockey team. And in the spring, Kapstein can be found coaching the school’s Unified Basketball team.

Kapstein started working in the Adaptive Physical Education department at the high school about three years ago and it was not too long after that before he found himself called back into coaching. 

Sports have always been a big part of Kapstein’s life.

He grew up in Little Compton and played football, hockey and baseball. Each season had its own sport.

At age 11 he was invited to attend a national hockey program in Minnesota, but his father wanted him to continue to play a variety of sports. Kapstein said his dad wanted him to have a regular childhood.

By the time he was a student at Tiverton High School, he was turning the heads of pro baseball scouts. It did not hurt that his older brother, Zach, had been selected two years earlier in the Major League Baseball draft.

In 2012, the Detroit Tigers drafted then-Tiverton High School senior Jacob Kapstein. 

Two weeks after graduating from THS, Kapstein relocated to Lakeland, Fla. and became a professional baseball player.

“It was awesome,” Kapstein said. “Luckily, having my brother’s experience (to work from), visiting him in his first couple of years with the Red Sox, gave me insight on what to expect and how to carry yourself as a professional. Being the first guy in, the last guy to leave. Taking the extra reps and doing everything possible to stand out or try to find a spot on the field. I loved it.”

“Obviously I wanted to make it to the Big Leagues, but it didn’t happen. Everything else that’s transpired I wouldn’t change for the world,” he said. 

Toward the end of his baseball career, Kapstein found himself with a second chance at playing another sport he loves — ice hockey. (He and his brother had actually gotten permission from their organizations to skate in the off-season as part of their conditioning.)

“I had been thinking, during those last couple years of pro ball, that I never lost the passion,” Kapstein said of ice hockey. “I was like, if this ever does come to an end, if I’m going to go to school, I’m going to try to find some place where I could possibly play. I was fortunate enough to have that opportunity (at URI). He (the URI coach) actually came and took a look at me at the men’s league we play at over in Cranston, and said, ‘Yeah, come on down.’ I had to go through tryouts and all that. And I did. Obviously playing for the state college is exciting.”

Kapstein made the hockey team at URI and loved being back on the ice.

“Another part of it was I wanted to be a part of a team, especially being older going back to school. I was kind of dreading sitting in a classroom with other 18 year olds who might have the mind-set — I’m finally away from home, I want to party, we’re out. I was there, ‘I’ve got to get this piece of paper. I want to continue my athletic career any way I can. Or transition into possibly coaching and then get out of here,’” he said.

“But being able to be on that hockey team, you have a built-in group of friends. It was great. A lot of those kids played a year or two of Juniors. It worked out to my benefit. I met a lot of great kids I’m still friendly with now.

“Going into tryouts my third year of hockey, I was still ready to play but I had been thinking, ‘I’ve gone through high school and pros with really bare minimum injuries,’ and one part when we growing up, trying to focus on a sport, was our dad always said, longevity-wise, do you want to be one of those football players or hockey players that come out at the end of it where your hips are banged up, knees gone, head is all over the place?”

Kapstein’s focus began shifting back to baseball.

“I had been thinking about reaching out to the URI baseball staff who had recruited me,” he said. “The head coach, Raphael Cerrato … I talked to them, they took me on. I started my junior year and coached the next three years. It was awesome. Just being back on the baseball field and injury-free and being able to start sharing those experiences with the kids, recruiting wise, helping with the baseball team.

“That was really special to be a part of that group because without a doubt, in my mind, they are the best college baseball staff in the country. They’re unbelievable. Especially with having limited resources, compared to these other big conferences. These guys know their baseball.”

A short time after finishing up at URI, Kapstein made the move to Barrington High School. 

“I’m pretty fortunate after graduating, my girlfriend at the time now my fiancé, she’s a Barrington girl, Cori Zielinski…We were talking. I already had my foot in the door coaching college baseball, but I just got my teaching degree…” Kapstein said. 

He decided to apply for teaching positions.

“I got lucky and the Adaptive Phys Ed position was open here (at Barrington High School). I applied. It’s been unbelievable. There’s no such thing as a bad day here.”

In addition to his Adaptive Physical Education position, Kapstein has also jumped back into the coaching world, and he has enjoyed sharing his experiences with students at the high school. 

“To be able to share that and talk to these kids and tell the stories that I have, just those little tid-bits about what it takes if you want to play at the next level, or just being a great person, that’s something you can control. Trying to share those insights…” Kapstein said. “I love sharing my experiences.”

Barrington connections 

Kapstein said his roots in Barrington run pretty deep. 

“My aunt spent a year or two here, her teaching career started in the Barrington School District. My dad coached baseball and football here for a few years back in the 70s. We’ve had Barrington ties,” he said. 

“I was actually fortunate enough, my eighth grade year of Pop Warner, Tiverton didn’t have a Midgets team and my dad had coached a bunch of those guys who now had kids who were now my age. I played in Barrington. My team consisted of Jack Ryan, Drew Brown, Vinny St. Angelo, Max King, Ryan Hamilton, it was such an awesome group.

“We always joke that if Zach and I could have come here for high school, we could have been a part of a couple state championship football teams. 

“It’s full circle.”

2024 by East Bay Media Group

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email