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A look at the increasing success of the USF Baseball Program!







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Nino Giarratano

 

Head Coach

USF head baseball coach Nino Giarratano prepares for his 13th year on the Hilltop after guiding the Dons to 153 wins in the past five seasons. Since 2006, USF owns a 153-141 (.520) record. San Francisco has had just one losing season in the past six seasons

Giarratano guided the Dons to a fourth-place finish in the demanding West Coast Conference in 2010. USF just missed returning to the 30-win mark at 28-28 overall, with a 10-11 WCC record.

REACHING A MILESTONE
Giarratano entered the 2009 campaign with 280 victories at USF, needing just 20 wins to reach the 300th win milestone. On April 24, 2009, the Dons gave Giarratano his 300th victory in style as they shutout Bay Area rival San Jose State 10-0 at Benedetti Diamond. Giarratano is just the third coach in Dons athletics history to surpass 300 victories on the Hilltop and joins NSCAA Hall-of-Famer Steve Negoesco (544) and baseball legend Dante Benedetti (373) in the 300 victory club. All previous Dons mentors to reach 300 career wins played and graduated from the University of San Francisco.

With 28 wins in 2009 and 2010, Giarratano sits at 336 wins at USF and counting. Overall, he now has 646 collegiate victories, which includes the junior college level. Among all-time West Coast Conference coaches, he is currently eighth in overall wins, 35 games behind seventh-place Marv Wood (LMU). Giarratano overtook Pepperdine's Frank Sanchez and Wayne Lopez to move into eight-place in total WCC wins with 153. He is now 13 wins back from seventh-place Marv Wood (LMU).

2010 SUMMER
Giarratano served as an assistant coach, during the summer of 2010, for the U.S. Collegiate National Team that went 16-3 and won a silver medal in the FISU World Championships in Japan. The team spent two weeks traveling in Taiwan and Japan. Giarratano coached the team's offense, which finished with a .289 batting average, with 103 RBI, 30 doubles and 16 homeruns. Team USA's opponents hit just .173.

2008 SUMMER
During the summer of 2008, Giarratano helped lead the U.S. Collegiate National Team to a 24-0 record and a gold medal in the FISU World Championships in the Czech Republic. As an assistant coach, Giarratano traveled with the team throughout several eastern States, the Netherlands, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Giarratano coached the offense and the team finished with a .265 batting average, 209 hits (36 doubles, five triples, and 25 homeruns), 138 RBI, and 150 runs scored. For some perspective, Team USA's opponents batted .154 with 16 doubles, one triple, and one homerun.

DIAMOND DONS BREAK THROUGH
Giarratano directed the Dons to the best season in program history in 2006. San Francisco captured the program's first WCC Championship and NCAA Regional berth and set a program wins record with 39. After guiding the Dons to only the second runner-up WCC showing in 2005, the Dons responded in 2006 by winning seven games against top-25 opponents, including the first ever road series victory over Pepperdine, eight wins against 2006 NCAA Regional participants and a school record 19 road victories. The Dons led the league in pitching for the second-straight season, posting a 2.69 ERA during WCC games.

After propelling the Dons to the first league title, Giarratano was selected by his peers as WCC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season, joining current men's soccer coach Erik Visser as the only Dons mentor to win coaching accolades in back-to-back years since the 1960's. Giarratano is only the second baseball coach in school history to win the honor and first since USF Hall-of-Famer Dante Benedetti won it in 1971 following one of just two second place league finishes.

BUILDING A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE ON THE HILLTOP
A proven recruiter, Giarratano continues to shape the Dons into a force to be reckoned with on the West Coast and in the WCC. During his tenure on the Hilltop, 32 players have signed professional contracts, including a program record of four drafted in the 2004 and 2008 Major League Draft. In addition, 26 players have earned First Team All-WCC honors, while an additional 11 players have earned second team all-league selection, and one earned WCC Defensive Player of the Year.

Giarratano is committed to excellence in the classroom and 32 have earned All-WCC Academic selection, including a program record four in 2004, 2006-2007, and 2009. In addition, 73 USF baseball student-athletes were named to the WCC Honor Roll in the last seven seasons.

DIAMOND DONS MAKING AN IMPACT
Since Giarratano's arrival on the Hilltop, USF has made steady progress in the challenging WCC schedule, posting a first place finish in 2006 and second place divisional finishes in 2003 and 2005.

Multiple team records have fallen since Giarratano arrived 13 years ago. The Dons led the WCC in ERA for the first time ever, posting the best mark in program history (2.86). Four program records fell in 2004, including hits (688) and pitching strikeouts (389). His 2000 club set no fewer than four offensive team records, including hits (656), doubles (127) and RBI (378). USF's pitching has never been stronger after a record setting campaign in 2005, the 2006 (3.77) and the 2001 (4.57) squads posted the three lowest team ERA's in the metal bat era. In 2008, the Diamond Dons pitching staff compiled a record 400 strikeouts. USF issued 133 walks in 2007, 141 in 2006 and 165 in 2005, easily the lowest back-to-back-to-back tallies since 1975. In the 2010 season, the Dons' hit a program best 145 doubles, smashing the previous record set in 200 by 18 doubles.

In the last 10 years, USF's recruits have earned three Freshman All-American honors, most recently Matt Lujan and Connor Bernatz in 2008. Two players earned All-District VIII selection (Steve Booth & Taggert Bozied) and Bozied was a three-time All-American. In 2008, the first year the award was given, Joey Railey was named WCC Best Defensive Player of the Year.

DIAMOND DONS ENTERING PROFESSIONAL RANKS
USF made more history in 2007 when LHP Aaron Poreda became the first Diamond Don selected in the first round (25th overall) of the Major League Baseball Draft. History was repeated as the Dons had back-to-back first round selections when LHP Evan Fredrickson went 35th overall in 2008.

After the 2010 season, four Dons were drafted. Senior right-handed pitcher Doug Murray was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 19th round, while classmate Ryan Lipkin, a catcher was taken in the 24th round by the Oakland Athletics. Fellow senior Derek Poppert, a shortstop, went to the Seattle Mariners in the 30th round and red-shirt sophomore Matt Chavez was a 44th-round selection by the Chicago White Sox.

Before they were selected in the 2010 draft, Poppert was also drafted in the 23rd round by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2009 drafter. Lipkin's name was also called in 2009 by the Oakland Athletics in the 43rd round.

In 2008, a school record five Diamond Dons were drafted. Following Poreda, RHP Daniel Morales went to the Cleveland Indians in the 14th round. Outfielder Luke Sommer was taken by the Chicago Cubs in the 30th round. Two more Dons went in consecutive rounds with 3B Brian Chavez going to the New York Yankees in the 32nd round and RHP John Quine heading across the bay to the Oakland A's in the 33rd round.

Three Dons were selected in the 2006 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, headlined by WCC Player of the Year Scott Cousins, a third round pick by Florida. WCC Co-Pitcher of the Year Patrick McGuigan was taken by Toronto in the 27th round and WCC First Teamer Stefan Gartrell was chosen by the Chicago White Sox in the 31st. In 2005, Nick Pereira was a 10th round selection by the San Francisco Giants, and T.J. Franco was tabbed in the 30th round by Oakland.

Four Diamond Dons were drafted in the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft, led by Kevin Rose (Philadelphia, 23rd), and followed by Joe Jacobitz (Seattle, 25th), Armand Gaerlan (New York Mets, 28th) and Derek Tate (Toronto, 34th).

USF sent two more players into the professional ranks following the 2002 campaign and boasted a player selected in the first 10 rounds of the Major League draft for the third straight season (Steve Booth, ninth round). The success in 2002 was an encore to the 2001 draft, which included three players drafted, led by pitcher Jesse Foppert, who was selected in the second round by the San Francisco Giants, becoming the highest Dons pitcher ever drafted. Bozied was selected in the third round by the San Diego Padres following three First Team All-American seasons at USF. All-WCC outfielder Jeramy Janz also signed with Arizona. Five Diamond Dons signed pro contracts in 2000, highlighted by left-hander Ian Perio, selected by Boston in the 14th round and All-WCC outfielder Danny Trumble chosen by San Francisco in the 25th round.

GIARRATANO AMONG THE NATIONAL ELITE
Prior to coming to USF, Giarratano spent two seasons serving as an assistant coach at Arizona State under head coach Pat Murphy. Giarratano served as hitting instructor, offensive coordinator and third base coach for the Sun Devils. During his final season in Tempe, Giarratano helped ASU reach the 1998 College World Series Championship game and constructed a staggering offense, boasting a .318 team batting average, driving in 557 runs off 723 base hits, including 57 home runs to go along with 120 stolen bases. In 1997, the Sun Devils hit .327 with 217 extra-base hits, 54 homers, 430 RBI and posted a team slugging percentage of .497. Giarratano also served as recruiting coordinator for Arizona State and the 1996 class was ranked third in the country by Baseball America, while the 1997 class was rated second.

A THREE-TIME NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR
Giarratano has also had a wealth of success as a head coach in the junior college ranks, earning Collegiate Baseball's National Junior College Coach of the Year on three occasions while at Trinidad State Junior College from 1989-94. He led the Trojans to five College World Series appearances in six seasons as Trinidad State posted a 233-86 (.730) mark during his tenure. In between his posts at Trinidad State JC and Arizona State, Giarratano spent two seasons (1995-96) as the head coach at Yavapai Community College in Prescott, Arizona. He posted a 77-36 (.681) record at Yavapai in just two seasons and sent 25 players into the professional ranks. Giarratano's overall record as a junior college head coach was a sparkling 310-122 (.718).

In addition to his wealth of experience at the Division I level and at the Junior College levels, Giarratano owns additional coaching experience. Giarratano coached collegiate summer league teams in both the Cape Cod and Alaskan leagues and was a head coach at La Veta High School. He has also directed camps at both Trinidad State Junior College and Yavapai Community College, in addition to participating in numerous camps including the Chicago White Sox and the Kansas City Royals.

A STRONG ACADEMIC FOCUS
Giarratano compiled an impressive resume as a coach and recruiter, and has demonstrated a fierce commitment to academic as well as athletic achievement at every stop of his coaching career.

The 2007 USF College of Arts and Sciences Valedictorian was none other than shortstop Tavo Hall, who also earned the West Coast Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. In 2008, the Dons recorded their highest-ever team G.P.A. at 3.18. The 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2009 teams boasted a school record four All-WCC Academic Team selections and a school record 14 student-athletes earned selection to the 2003 and 2007 WCC Commissioner's Honor Roll (3.0 GPA or higher).

Giarratano's assistant coaches are no strangers to the correlation between academic and athletic success. Both Greg Moore and Troy Nakamura were named to the All-WCC Academic Team during their careers with the Green and Gold.

During his time in the junior college ranks, Giarratano graduated 97 percent of his recruited freshman athletes and sent 100 percent of his student-athletes into four-year universities.

EXPERIENCE MATTERS
After 11 years at San Francisco, Giarratano ranks second in tenure among head coaches in the West Coast Conference. San Francisco has been a picture of coaching stability and Giarratano is just the sixth head coach for the Dons since 1946. USF also boasts the most stable staff in the conference with the three assistant coaches amassing 31 years coaching the Dons and all three competed for the University of San Francisco.

Assistant Coach Greg Moore is back for his ninth total year with the program after leaving for one season to coach at the University of Washington. Before his short absence, he was with the Dons for eight years after spending one as a volunteer assistant, Troy Nakamura, completed his 12th season as a coach. Moore pitched three seasons under Giarratano and Nakamura was a four year letter-winner for the Diamond Dons.

THE GIARRATANO FILE
Giarratano received his Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education from William Jewell College in 1985. One year later, he earned a Master's Degree in Secondary Administration from Adams State. He lives in the City with his wife Brenda and their son Nico. Daughter Bianca is attending college at USF.

  • 2010 United States National Collegiate Team Assistant Coach - Silver Medal
  • 2008 United States National Collegiate Team Assistant Coach - Gold Medal
  • 2006 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year
  • 2005 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year
  • Three-time National Junior College Coach of the Year

Troy Nakamura

 

Assistant Baseball Coach

San Francisco head baseball coach Nino Giarratano announced today that long-time assistant coach Troy Nakamura will undertake the role of recruiting coordinator for the program.

"It's a great feeling as a coach to have Nakamura's loyalty, respect and hard work since the day I walked onto campus," USF head coach Nino Giarratano said.

"We've been together for 13 seasons and I've seen Troy grow into the one of the best base running, outfielder and short-game teachers in the game of baseball. His new role as recruiting coordinator opens up another great chapter that will push USF baseball to new heights in Division I collegiate baseball."

Nakamura has been part of the USF program for the past 16 seasons, coaching for the Dons in 12 of those years (1999-current) and playing for the Green and Gold for four years (1995-98) prior to coaching. He has been part of 910 consecutive USF baseball games.

In addition to his responsibilities as recruiting coordinator, Nakamura's other on-field duties include coaching third base, overseeing the team's SPARQ training and leading the team's visualization and imagery training program.

"In 1998, coach Giarratano had a vision of building something special with difference makers on and off the field," Nakamura said. "That vision is reality on the Hilltop as we attack the recruitment and development of young men every single day."

"I'm honored to carry the torch of recruiting coordinator into the bright future of the program and have had wonderful mentors in Coach G and Greg Moore. The people closest to the program know that we have approached recruiting and player development differently for a long time. I'm excited for release the release of our new recruiting contract on September 30th to spread the word even further into the baseball community."

During his coaching career at USF, Nakamura has coached 10 All-West Coast Conference outfielders, including Scott Cousins, who was an all-American and the WCC Player of the Year in 2006. Cousins was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the third round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft and was recently called up to the Marlins' major-league team in early September of 2010.

Nakamura also coached Stefan Gartrell, a 31st round pick by the Chicago White Sox, and Luke Sommer, a 30th round pick by the Chicago Cubs, along with seven others who have signed professional contracts.

Last season, Nakamura guided junior outfielder Connor Bernatz to first-team All-WCC honors after he was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American two seasons ago with a .347 batting average.

Nakamura's knowledge and ability to teach the art of base stealing produced a season in which the 2009 Dons stole 107 bases, second only in program history to the 1995 effort of 112. Under Nakamura's instruction, Zach Kim stole a program-record 42 bases in 2009.

"I have had the unique opportunity to be a teammate, be coached by and now be mentored by Troy for my life both on and off the field," said Taggert Bozied, a three-time all-American at USF. "Both he and the USF staff as a whole have continually provided a growing experience that exceeds any value you can put a number on for anyone who chooses to be a Diamond Don. Playing for USF was an experience that I, now eight years removed from college, still consider a blessing to have benefited from."

"Since my professional career began, I made it a priority to surround myself with the culture on the Hilltop that Troy has been instrumental in creating. I can honestly say that the direction of my life has been changed profoundly for the positive because of the person and baseball man that Troy has been, is, and always will be."

During his playing career, Nakamura was considered one of the hardest working and grittiest baseball players to ever grace the diamond at USF. He finished a stellar four-year career in 1998 by hitting .307 and stealing a career-high 19 bases. He also had a big junior campaign with career highs for batting average (.312) and hits (54).

An excellent performer in the classroom, Nakamura was named to the WCC All-Academic Team following his junior and senior years and is one of just three players in program history to earn two selections.

Nakamura graduated from USF in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in Sports Administration.

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