Sacred Heart baseball coach Nick Giaquinto announces he’ll retire after 2017 season

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(WTNH)–Sacred Heart University head baseball coach Nick Giaquinto announced today that the 2017 baseball season will be his last at the helm of the Pioneers as he relocates to be with his wife, Barbara, a lecturer at Old Dominion University.  SHU Executive Director of Athletics Bobby Valentine announced that current assistant coach Nick Restaino will replace Giaquinto as head coach following the 2017 campaign.

“Nick Giaquinto has been one of SHU’s greatest assets for 29 years and will definitely be missed,” said Valentine. “He is a great baseball coach and one of the finest people I know. He has shaped the lives of many young men and has been a positive part of our program and our University. I wish him and his family continued success and happiness.”

“It has been an incredible privilege to serve as the head baseball coach at Sacred Heart University,” said Giaquinto. “I will never forget the dedication and passion of the student-athletes that I have had the honor to coach and the coaches and staff that I have had the privilege to work alongside.  This was a bittersweet decision and Sacred Heart will forever hold a dear place in my heart.”

Giaquinto enters his final campaign with the Pioneers with 608 career victories and an eighth place finish at the 1992 Division II College World Series on his resume; one of seven NCAA Regional appearances. The Pioneers have won four NEC Championships, most recently in 2015, the seventh consecutive season that SHU played in the NEC Championship Game. He was named the NEC Coach of the Year in 2005 and was both the Northeast Region and New England Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year in 1992.

Since taking over the helm of the Pioneers in 1988, Giaquinto has coached two All-American’s, nine MLB draftees, and 48 All-NEC honorees. He has also coached three Conference Players of the Year, two Conference Rookies of the Year, one Northeast Region Pitcher of the Year, one Northeast Region Player of the Year, and one NEC Pitcher of the Year

Restaino is in his third season as a member of the Pioneer coaching staff, joining the staff for the 2015 campaign. It will be his second stint as a head coach, compiling 196 victories in seven seasons as Fordham University and a .590 winning percentage in league play. In his first season in that position, Restaino was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year. Over this tenure, 13 players were drafted into the MLB and six others signed professional contracts. Restaino coached 14 All-conference players and seven All-Americans.

“Nick Restaino has played a large role in our baseball program’s success the past two seasons,” said Valentine, “and I am confident that he will continue the trajectory of Pioneer baseball as our next head coach.  He has acquitted himself well at every stop of his career, including here

“I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity and am thankful to Bobby and Nick for entrusting me with the future of Pioneer baseball,” said Restaino. “It has been an honor to work beside Coach Giaquinto the past two seasons and I am committed to continuing the legacy that he has built at SHU.”

Giaquinto At A Glance

·               2017 will be his 29th as head coach of SHU Baseball

·               Has coached the Pioneers to 608 wins, with 34 wins in 2011 and 2013

·               Won back-to-back ECAC Championships in 1990 and 1991

·               Won Super Bowl XVII with the Washington Redskins

·               Won 608th career game, April 30 2016 vs. Bryant

Restaino At A Glance

·               2017 marks third season with the Pioneers

·               Serves as SHU recruiting coordinator

·               Spent seven seasons as head coach at Fordham (2005-2011)

·               2005 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year

·               Twice set school record for conference wins as head coach

 

Nick Martinez – Texas Rangers, 2011 MLB Draftee from Fordham

“Coach Restaino taught me so much about the game of baseball, the most important lesson I learned while playing for him was to be accountable. He taught us to be accountable for our actions on the field which lead us to hold higher standards for ourselves off the field. Nick’s a coach where his lessons go beyond the diamond and help kids become men. He manages with passion and desire to win every game. Most importantly as a manager he shows confidence in his players.”                                             

Ed Blankmeyer – Head Coach St. John’s University baseball

“Nick Restaino is a first class person , hard working and a very good baseball person. Sacred heart hit a homerun by hiring Nick Restaino as the next Head coach. He will do an outstanding job.”

Mike Gambino – Head Coach Boston College baseball

“Coach Restaino is going to be a great fit at Sacred Heart. Nick is a great baseball guy, a tremendous teacher, a tireless recruiting and someone who really cares about his players. His players will love playing for him and parents will be able to feel comfortable having him teach and mentor their sons. He has a proven record of being able to recruit, develop players and win. He’s a northeast guy with great recruiting ties to the area, but can also go out and recruit top national talent.  Nick will be able to continue to build upon the success and great tradition of the Sacred Heart baseball program.  Sacred Heart is getting a great coach, an even better person.”

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