Former Warrior, Keydet moves to coaching

Published 10:50 pm Friday, December 2, 2011

Former Nansemond River baseball and football standout Justin Topping, and current graduate school student at William and Mary, was named a volunteer assistant coach for the Tribe baseball program this week.

Topping, who played in 158 games as a catcher, outfielder and designated hitter in four seasons at The Virginia Military Institute, will be William and Mary’s catching coach and first base coach.


“I am very pleased to announce the addition of Justin to our staff,” said Tribe head coach Frank Leoni.

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“He is an extraordinary young man, having completed an undergraduate degree at VMI and pursuring an MBA in the Mason School of Business. Our catchers and team, in general, will benefit from Justin’s knowledge and experience, leadership qualities and dedication to being a quality coach,” said Leoni, who’s going into his seventh season as head coach.

Topping graduated from VMI in 2011. On the field for the Keydets he started 119 games hitting .282 and driving in 64 RBI. Topping was a team captain as a senior.

Topping earned the Keydet Club Board of Governor’s Resolution, an honor for a senior who best exemplifies leadership, athletic and academic excellence, and the Lieutenant General Edward Mallory Almond ‘15 Award, given to a senior for academic, athletic and military excellence.

Also off the baseball field at VMI, Topping was an assistant prosecutor for VMI’s Honor Court and the cadet in charge of VMI’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter.

The Tribe went 26-29 overall and finished fifth, at 16-14, in the Colonial last spring.

Andy Topping, Justin’s younger brother and a 2008 Nansemond River grad, is a junior linebacker and long snapper on William and Mary’s football team, playing on special teams in all 11 Tribe games this fall.