LOUDONVILLE NY — The winningest coach in both Siena College and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference history in any sport, and the longest-tenured head coach in NCAA Division I baseball history, Tony Rossi has announced his retirement effective March 20. Assistant coach Joe Sheridan will take over as interim head coach at that time.
"Tony Rossi has defined Siena Baseball for more than five decades," said Siena College Vice President and Director of Athletics John D'Argenio. "He grew what was a Division II team with just 10 players when he started, into a Division I program with scholarship athletes that has gone on to win five MAAC Championships and played in NCAA tournaments. We thank Tony for his many years of dedicated service to Siena College and the countless student athletes that he's coached, and wish him the best in his upcoming well-deserved retirement."
Rossi is in the midst of his 54th season as the head coach of the Siena Baseball program, and is the winningest head coach in both Siena and MAAC history with 936 career victories to his name. The longest tenured head coach in NCAA Division I baseball history, and the longest active tenured college baseball coach at any level, Rossi is tied for second all-time in NCAA baseball history in seasons coached along with former Division II Bentley Head Coach Bob DeFelice, who retired last spring. Former Division III coach Gordie Gillespie (59 seasons) is the only head baseball coach at any NCAA level to have ever coached longer than Rossi.
A six-time MAAC Coach of the Year (1991, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2005), Rossi has led Siena to each of the program's five MAAC Tournament Championships (1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2014) as well as NCAA tournament appearances in 1999 and 2014. The Saints defeated nationally ranked Dallas Baptist for the program's first NCAA tournament win in 2014.
Rossi has piloted Siena to a total of 20 20-win seasons since 1985, including a program record six straight from 2013-18. On three occasions, Rossi has led the Saints to 30 or more victories, highlighted by a program record 34 triumphs in 1999.
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Siena has amassed a 402-333 (.547) record under Rossi in the program's first 33 seasons of MAAC competition. The Saints have been dominant in the conference tournament, posting a 33-22 (.600) mark over 15 appearances. Siena's five MAAC Tournament Championships trail only former conference power LeMoyne (eight) and Marist (six) for the most in league history. Siena's 10 MAAC Championship Series appearances are the most in conference history, and the Saints advanced to the Final Round in six straight appearances between 2008-16.
Rossi recorded his 832nd career victory vs. Quinnipiac on April 9, 2016 to surpass former Canisius softball coach Mike Rappl as the all-time winningest coach in any sport in MAAC history, and secured his milestone 900th career win on April 19, 2019 also against the Bobcats.
Rossi has developed 56 student athletes who have signed professional contracts, including 38 which have inked with Major League Baseball organizations. Gary Holle (Rangers), Tim Christman (Rockies), John Lannan (Nationals, Phillies, Mets), and Matt Gage (Blue Jays) have ultimately reached the highest level, playing in the majors. Rossi has also coached six MAAC Players of the Year and six MAAC Rookies of the Year.