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John Russo
Position: Head Coach
Phone: (516) 463-3759
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John Russo is in his seventh season on the Hofstra Baseball staff in 2014 and is the 14th head coach in program history. Russo was named head coach of the Hofstra Baseball program on May 6, 2012, after serving as interim head coach since January 2012.

In his three seasons at the helm of the Pride program, Russo has coached the team to a 80-73 record and has seen five players signed by Major League Baseball teams, including two that were drafted. Senior Danny Poma was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks organization in the 10th-round of the 2012 MLB Draft, while junior Bryan Verbitsky was a third round selection of the San Diego Padres in the 2013 Draft. In addition, junior Matt Reistetter and 2012 graduate Kevin Flynn signed with the Washington Nationals organization as free agents in 2013, while 2014 graduate Matt Ford was a free agent signee with the Tampa Bay Rays organization.

The Pride are coming off a 20-win season in 2014, a year that saw Ford win the Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year Award for the second time in three seasons.

Hofstra won 26 games in 2013, tying for the third most victories in program history. The Pride pitching staff set a new team record for strikeouts with 365 and junior Brett Schreiber's 2.48 ERA set a new single season benchmark.

In 2012 Russo led the team to a school record 34 wins and the #2 seed in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship with a 20-10 conference mark. In addition to the team's 34 wins, the Pride set seven other team records including runs (447), hits (669), doubles (145), stolen bases (157), ERA (5.37), strikeouts (349) and double plays (65).

Under Russo's direction in 2012 the Pride was one of the top offensive teams in the country. Hofstra ranked in the top 10 in 11 offensive categories, leading the nation in doubles (2.59) and stolen bases (2.80) per game while finishing second in batting (.334) and total steals (157). Poma led the nation in doubles (32) and ranked second in batting (.430) and runs (78). Poma, who was the CAA Player of the Year, would earn several All-America accolades for his play in 2012, and joined Jared Hammer and Ford on the All-East Region team as well.

Russo, who has served as recruiting coordinator and infield coach as well as the third base coach, joined the Pride in 2008 after spending the previous five summers as the manager of the Vermont Mountaineers of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, leading the team to back-to-back NECBL championships in 2006 and 2007.

Russo returned to coach the Mountaineers during the summer of 2011 and led the team to a 26-16 mark and a spot in the NECBL Playoffs. His team set a league record for stolen bases in 2011 with 118 while outfielder Brian O'Grady stole a team-record 25 bags. He also managed the team to 18 wins and the NECBL playoffs in 2012. During his tenure with the Mountaineers, Russo posted a 181-138 record and was the 2005 NECBL Manager of the Year. He has coached more than 60 players who were selected in the MLB Draft, including Christian Friedrich (2008 first round pick by the Colorado Rockies) and A.J. Pollock (2009 first round selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks). Entering the 2013 Major League Baseball season, he has coached five players - David Carpenter (Houston), Darin Mastroianni (Toronto), Rob Delaney (Tampa Bay), Pollock and Friedrich - that have been on the 40-man rosters of their respective teams. 

From 2001 to 2005, Russo served as assistant coach at Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana. In his role as infield coach, St. Joseph's led its conference in fielding and ranked in the top 10 nationally three times during his four seasons. Russo also monitored the academic progress of his team, which compiled an overall GPA of 3.1 during his tenure.

Russo began his career in 1998 as hitting coach at the University of West Alabama, helping the team set nine individual and team batting records in his three seasons.

A 2000 graduate of West Alabama with a degree in secondary education and a concentration in physical education, Russo had been a teacher and athletic director in the Millburn School District in Wadsworth, Illinois, from 2005 to 2008.

Russo and his wife, Stacey, have been married for 14 years and have four children - Hailey (11), Lainey (8) and twins Palmer and Chase (3).

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