JOE LITTERIO | HEAD COACH
An alumnus of the program, Joe Litterio is in his fifth season as head coach in 2018 after taking over for the legendary Fred Hill in 2014. He spent the two prior seasons (2012-13) on Hill's staff as an assistant coach. Litterio is in his 17th season overall as a head coach at the collegiate level.
"I am honored and excited to be taking over the Rutgers University baseball program," Litterio said upon being promoted to the role Feb. 20, 2014. "Having had the privilege to be around coach Hill as a player, a peer and an assistant has been beneficial to me. Being an alumnus, I will take pride in keeping the Rutgers baseball family together and will work hard to continue the success of the program to bring it to the next level."
The 12th leader in program history and only the third since 1961, Litterio has installed an aggressive approach during his tenure. The Scarlet Knights set a school-record with 121 stolen bases in 2016 to rank fourth nationally, led by 37 by Big Ten All-Freshman Team honoree Jawuan Harris. Litterio also moved senior catcher R.J. Devish to the leadoff hitter in the lineup and he responded with a .524 on-base percentage (six nationally), 56 runs scored and 24 stolen bases to earn National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) District II Player of the Year. Devish also joined senior pitcher Howie Brey as an All-Big Ten pick, as Brey worked 100.1 innings as the Friday starter with four complete games and 84 strikeouts. The left-hander was selected by the Houston Astros in the MLB Draft to make it three consecutive seasons Litterio had a Scarlet Knight drafted.
In 2017, three players were voted All-Big Ten, the most for Rutgers since joining the conference. In addition, two signed professional contracts and two in the recruiting class were drafted.
Off the field, Litterio played an integral role in the creation of the Fred Hill Training Complex, a facility that allows the program to practice indoors. The building is equipped with state-of-the-art pitching machines, numerous batting cages, bullpen mounds and a full turf infield. Litterio has also built up the annual Rutgers baseball golf outing, which raised $25,000 for the program in 2017.
Academics are a priority in the program, as Rutgers has earned public acknowledgment for Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores the past two years. That puts the Scarlet Knights in the top 10 percent of college baseball in academic achievement regarding eligibility, graduation and retention each term. A total of 32 student-athletes garnered Academic All-Big Ten status the last three years, with eight deemed Big Ten Distinguished Scholars for a GPA of at least 3.7.
Litterio transitioned the Scarlet Knights into the Big Ten in 2015. RU earned series victories over Purdue, Minnesota and No. 13 Iowa in league play, and beat Ohio State on a thrilling walk-off home run. In addition, Rutgers won two-of-three against in-state rival Seton Hall. Following the year, sophomore outfielder Tom Marcinczyk was named All-Big Ten Third Team after hitting .337 in the conference with seven home runs overall. Then in the MLB Draft, junior pitcher Mark McCoy was selected in the 29th round by the Kansas City Royals.
Litterio officially took the reins of the program on Feb. 20, 2014 and led the Scarlet Knights to a 30-win season with 19 newcomers on the roster. The team finished in a tie for third in the American Athletic Conference standings and won 10 of its last 11 games to finish the regular season. In addition, Rutgers made Bainton Field into one of the best home-field advantages in the nation with a 19-4 home record, including three conference sweeps.
The 2014 squad finished second in the conference with a .283 team batting average with 5.53 runs per game, while the pitching staff worked to a 3.41 ERA in league games with a rebuilt weekend rotation. Six players earned all-conference honors to reflect the success of the year, the most for a Rutgers team since 2007. Additionally, both Mike Carter and Gaby Rosa, who also won American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, earned Freshman All-America accolades. The duo was part of the large incoming class Litterio recruited to replace 12 seniors from the 2013 roster.
The program also saw Brian O'Grady selected in the eighth round of the MLB Draft following the season. He served as a captain and the third hitter in the lineup for the Scarlet Knights all season.
Returning to his alma mater as the lead assistant in 2012, Litterio spent two seasons on staff as the recruiting coordinator, third base coach, scheduler and more. He helped mentor seven all-conference selections during that time, including 2012 Big East Player of the Year Patrick Kivlehan, who was a fourth round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners and made his MLB debut in 2016 with the San Diego Padres. Litterio's title was elevated to associate head coach for the 2013 season and he took over the day-to-day operations of the program in the fall of 2013 after Hill took a leave of absence.
Litterio played for the Scarlet Knights and Hill as an infielder from 1990 to 1993. His teams won the Atlantic 10 regular season title all four years and earned bids to the NCAA Regionals in 1990, 1991 and 1993. The 1990 Rutgers team came within one win of advancing to the College World Series and recorded the most wins (four) in a single NCAA Tournament in school history. A Second-Team All-Atlantic 10 selection at second base after his junior season, Litterio recorded a .976 fielding percentage for a team that was ranked fourth in the nation in fielding.
Prior to returning to Rutgers, Litterio spent 12 seasons as the head coach at Wagner. He left the program as the winningest coach in school history (240) in 2012, guiding eight players to contracts with Major League teams, including 2009 AL Rookie of the Year and MLB All-Star Andrew Bailey. Litterio led the Seahawks to seven postseason appearances after the program had only qualified once previously in school history.
A tireless worker and recruiter, he won the 2009 Northeast Conference Coach of the Year after leading WC to a school-record 31 wins and the program's first NEC Regular Season Championship. He coached 22 of the Seahawk's 44 members of the 100-hit club, including all seven members of the 200-hit club, and mentored numerous players to All-NEC honors.
The Cranford, N.J., native started his coaching career as a volunteer assistant under Hill immediately following his playing career for the Scarlet Knights before taking a job as coach at Immaculate Conception High School (N.J.). Litterio moved back to the collegiate ranks the following season, landing a job as an assistant coach under Dean Ehehalt at Monmouth University where he spent the next four seasons. The 1998 MU team won the NEC Championship and earned a bid to the NCAA Regionals.
After spending one season at Winthrop University and earning the Big South Championship and subsequent NCAA Regional spot, Litterio accepted the head coaching job at Wagner - reaching the NCAA Regionals in his first season - and has gone on to earn a reputation as one of the top coaches in the Northeast region.
Litterio and his wife, Michelle, reside in Wall, N.J., with their children - Frances, Mia and Joe. He earned his degree in sociology from Rutgers University in 1994.
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PHIL CUNDARI | ASSISTANT COACH
Phil Cundari is in his first season the Rutgers baseball pitching coach after being officially hired by head coach Joe Litterio on July 21, 2017. The 2011 National Pitching Coach of the Year, the native of Cliffside Park, New Jersey, spent the previous 17 seasons on the staff at Seton Hall. He previously earned a master’s degree from Rutgers in 1990.
“I am excited to have Phil join our staff,” Litterio said upon the hire. “His work ethic and commitment to the development of student-athletes is second to none. Phil was my number one choice in this process. He knows the ins and outs of pitching. He is a relentless recruiter and I am excited about where we can go in the Big Ten and nationally.”
“I’m honored to join Rutgers baseball,” Cundari said. “I want to thank our AD Pat Hobbs and his staff and my head coach Joe Litterio for this opportunity. I look forward to demanding the highest standards from myself and our pitching staff, and together rise to the challenge in this great conference.
Cundari guided the Seton Hall pitching staff to either first or second in the Big East in ERA in six of the past seven seasons, with a 2.68 mark in 2011 to rank No. 8 nationally. That team won the Big East title and made an NCAA Regional appearance that season with 426 strikeouts, a .240 batting average against and only 7.95 hits allowed per nine innings (No. 19 nationally) on the mound. Cundari was awarded National Pitching Coach of the Year by Collegiate Baseball and promoted to associate head coach following the campaign.
Most recently, Cundari oversaw a staff that hurled seven shutouts in 2017, including a no-hitter, after having five blankings in the previous season with a perfect game. Seton Hall pitchers have held opponents to a .238 and .228 average in each of the past two seasons with a combined 909 strikeouts. In addition, Cundari had 14 protégés named All-Big East since 2011 with six earning first-team status and Josh Prevost claiming Big East Pitcher of the Year and All-America honors in 2014. Joe DiRocco also collected All-America standing in 2011.
Cundari had three pitchers selected in the 2017 MLB Draft and a fourth signed as a free agent. Overall, 28 hurlers were selected or signed by major league organizations during his time as in South Orange.
A standout pitcher at Seton Hall during his playing days, Cundari ranks second in program history in career wins (26), fifth in games started (36) and seventh in strikeouts (217) while playing just three seasons. He capped off his career in fine fashion, garnering Big East Pitcher of the Year and Second Team All-America honors in 1985 after winning 12 games, striking out 98 and posting a 1.74 earned run average. Cundari's 1.22 ERA in Big East games still stands as a conference record. He was inducted into Seton Hall's Hall of Fame in February 2010.
Cundari was drafted in the fourth round by the Oakland Athletics in 1985 and pitched four seasons in the organization, reaching as high as the AA level in 1987 before his career was cut short by an arm injury.
Off the baseball field, Cundari runs his own private practice as a sports performance consultant. A licensed psychotherapist, he specializes in peak performance and mental toughness training for athletes of all levels.
Cundari earned his bachelor's of social work form Seton Hall in 1989 and completed his master's degree in psychiatric social work from Rutgers in 1990. Cundari and his wife Trish currently reside in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. They have two children, Christina and Philip.
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JIM DUFFY | ASSISTANT COACH
Jim Duffy is in his first season as an assistant coach for the Scarlet Knights after being hired on July 28, 2017. An All-American first baseman during his playing days at Seton Hall, Duffy spent the last six seasons as the head coach at Manhattan.
"Jim is a great addition and brings a ton of experience to our staff," Litterio said upon the hire. "He is a high-character guy and is a tireless worker who knows what it takes to be successful. I know Jim saw the vision and potential of what this staff could do together in the Big Ten and nationally."
"I'm honored and thrilled to be joining the Rutgers baseball staff, team and RU community," Duffy said. "I want to thank our AD Pat Hobbs and coach Litterio for making this tremendous opportunity a reality for me and my family. I'm excited about representing Rutgers baseball at a high level, giving the program my very best energy and effort each day, and helping the players reach their maximum potential both on and off the field."
In his six seasons leading Manhattan, Duffy guided the program to 134 wins, four Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament appearances and the 2012 MAAC Championship. Fourteen of his players earned All-MAAC status, including three following the 2017 season. In addition, the Jaspers saw pitcher Tom Cosgrove selected in the 12th round of the most recent MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres and shortstop Jose Carrera signed by the New York Yankees.
Duffy made a splash in his first year as skipper, leading Manhattan to the MAAC Championship in 2012 and a berth to NCAA Regionals. The team traveled to the Columbia Regional to face two-time defending national champion South Carolina. The run capped a season that saw the Jaspers win 33 games, including posting an 18-6 conference record en route to claiming the MAAC regular season title. In 2016, both MAAC Player of the Year Christian Santisteban and MAAC Rookie of the Year Fabian Pena garnered Louisville Slugger All-America honors.
Duffy mentored five All-MAAC first team selections in 2012 and oversaw the development of Anthony Vega, who was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles following his junior year in the 30th round of the MLB Draft. The landmark campaign also featured the only undefeated home record in the Division I ranks as the program recorded a perfect 18-0 mark at Van Cortlandt Park.
Prior to becoming a head coach, Duffy started his coaching career by spending seven seasons as an assistant coach at Seton Hall, his alma mater, on the same staff as current Rutgers pitching coach Phil Cundari. That started in 2001 when the Pirates won their first Big East championship since 1987. In 2003, he was promoted to full-time assistant coach. Duffy worked primarily with the Pirates' hitters and outfielders while also assisting with recruiting, scouting and team travel. Nine of Duffy's players eventually moved on to professional baseball careers.
A 1996 Seton Hall graduate, Duffy was a four-year starter at first base for the Pirates. He appears throughout the program record books, ranking second all-time in hits (247), second in defensive putouts (1,347), fifth in runs scored (165), fifth in at bats (709) and ninth in games played (200). A three-time All-Big East selection, Duffy was named New Jersey College Player of the Year and earned All-America honors after finishing ninth in the nation with a .429 batting average in 1995. The average also has Duffy tied for fifth with Mo Vaughn in the Pirates' single-season record books. The following season, he had a school-record 29-game hitting streak and served as team captain.
In 1997, he signed a free agent contract with the Houston Astros. He was an outfielder in the Astros system for four years, advancing as high as Double-A before retiring in 2000 to pursue a coaching career.
Duffy and his wife Danielle are the proud parents of three children (daughter Jadan 8, sons Brennan 6 and John 1) and reside in Hazlet, New Jersey.
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GLEN GARDNER | DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Glen Gardner is in his 27th season on the Scarlet Knights' staff in 2016-17. One of the finest student-athletes in Rutgers history, Gardner has been one of the main contributors of the success of the program during his time "On the Banks."
He is in his ninth season as the director of baseball operations, after serving the previous 18 seasons as an assistant coach. Gardner coordinates the Scarlet Knights' on-campus recruiting efforts, oversees team travel and handles the day-to-day responsibilities of the program.
Playing and working under former head coach Fred Hill, Gardner gave a memorable speech on Moose Day highlighting the career of the legendary mentor. A season-high crowd witnessed the event that saw Hill's number retired on the outfield wall at Bainton Field.
Gardner was recently recognized with as a winner of the 2016 Tom Walter/Pete Frates College Baseball Inspiration Award for continuing his duties with the Scarlet Knights despite living with multiple sclerosis.
“Beef is well-deserving,” said head coach Joe Litterio, who played for Gardner in the early 1990s. “He has been a staple at Rutgers inspiring not only Rutgers players, but the many he has worked with throughout his career.”
Nationally-renowned for his hitting instruction and his results at Rutgers, Gardner has been lauded time and time again for his efforts during his 18 years as an assistant coach. He brought in some of the finest recruiting classes in the Big East, helping to elevate Rutgers to national prominence.
Gardner's success as a coach is best exhibited by the success of his players. From 1998-2002, Rutgers posted a team batting average over .310 and several of its players ranked among the nation's best. Darren Fenster (.433) and Joe B. Cirone (.405) finished in the top 40 nationally in 2000, while Billy McCarthy (.423) accomplished the feat in 2001. In 2003, RU posted a team average of .307, with a school-record 319 walks and .409 on-base percentage. In 2004, Jeff Frazier set the school's career home run record (34) in just three seasons before his brother Todd Frazier eclipsed the mark in 2007 with a record 42 in the same span. Both were drafted after three seasons with Jeff going to the Detroit Tigers in the third round in 2004 and Todd going to the Cincinnati Reds in the first round in 2007.
In 2007, the Scarlet Knights belted a school record 63 home runs, highlighted by Todd Frazier's school-record 22 blasts - a testament to Gardner's results of the continued development of the players. His work with Todd Frazier transformed the shortstop into a First Team All-American and one of the top professional prospects in 2007.
One of the most prolific hitters in Rutgers' history, Gardner was a two-time All-America selection and, in 1997, was inducted into the Rutgers Olympic Sports Hall of Fame - one of 11 former baseball players who have earned the distinction.
In his three seasons as an outfielder, he compiled a career .356 batting average with 23 home runs and 141 RBI. All three numbers rank among the Rutgers all-time top 10. After his junior year in 1987, the San Diego Padres drafted him in the 13th round, but he opted to stay at RU and was selected by the Atlanta Braves the following year. Gardner advanced to Burlington, Iowa (Class A) in the Atlanta Braves organization before being struck in the eye by a batted ball, which ended a promising professional career.
Under Gardner's tutelage, several Scarlet Knights have had outstanding seasons. He has seen several of his pupils continue on to the professional level. In the past 15 years, Rutgers has sent numerous hitters onto the professional ranks, including sixth-round pick Billy McCarthy (Braves) in 2001, fourth-round pick David DeJesus (Royals and A's) the season before and Midwest League All-Star Pete Zoccolillo (Brewers) in 1999.
Gardner is single and resides in Pt. Pleasant, N.J. He played scholastically at Immaculata High School in Somerville and was named one of the top New Jersey players of the 1980s by the Star-Ledger sports staff.
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| DIRECTOR OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PETE BARRON
Peter Barron is in his first year as director of player development for the Scarlet Knights after being hired by head coach Joe Litterio in the August 2017. Barron, who comes from St. John's, assists the coaching staff with on campus recruiting, opponent analysis, game preparation, practice reviews and team travel among other duties.
"We are excited to welcome Pete to our staff," Litterio said upon the hire. "He brings with him experience and knowledge that will benefit our program and the development of our student-athletes."
"I am very excited about joining Rutgers baseball and being able to join the Big Ten Conference while representing the state of New Jersey," Barron said. "I am extremely grateful to coach Litterio and the administration for giving me the opportunity to join the amazing staff here. I am looking forward to getting started and helping the coaches, players and program reach new heights."
Before arriving in Piscataway, Barron spent two seasons as the director of baseball operations at St. John's. He helped with all aspects of the program, including apparel, equipment, team travel, meals, video, statistics and game charts. Barron also oversaw a staff of five student managers, assisted with team community service and served as the liaison between the coaching staff and departments within athletics.
Barron started off as a student manager for the Red Storm in Sept. 2012 and served three seasons before joining the staff as a graduate assistant. He managed equipment and player development video among other duties, working as the head manager in 2014 and 2015.
In addition to working in operations, Barron has coaching experience with summer teams and camps. He most recently has been an assistant coach for the Shelter Island Bucks in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League the last two summers, handling roster construction, community outreach and mentoring the position players. He also coached American Legion from 2012 to 2014 and worked as an instructor at Red Storm Baseball Camps for four years.
Originally from Long Valley, New Jersey, Barron owns two degrees from St. John's. He earned his master's in sports management in 2017 and his bachelors in marketing in 2015.
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