Siena’s Tony Rossi retiring after record-breaking tenure
Siena’s Tony Rossi, the longest-tenured coach in Division I baseball history, has announced he will retire at the end of this month.
Rossi — in his 54th season, all at Siena — will step down March 20, the school announced Monday. Rossi’s retirement will make Minnesota’s John Anderson, in his 42nd season with the Golden Gophers, the longest-tenured Division I coach.
“Tony Rossi has defined Siena baseball for more than five decades,” said Siena Athletic Director John D’Argenio. “He grew a Division II team with just 10 players, when he started a Division I program with scholarship athletes that has won five MAAC championships and played in NCAA tournaments.”
Assistant coach Joe Sheridan will officially take over as Siena’s interim coach upon Rossi’s resignation.
But Sheridan and volunteer assistant coach Bobby Bordiri will be the only coaches with the team for this weekend’s three-game series at Florida, the school said, and Rossi told The Times Union of Albany, New York.
He does not intend to coach any more sports before his retirement begins.
“Nothing happened,” Rossi, 79, told the newspaper. “Just decided to retire. … It’s time to go, I guess.”
Rossi is Siena’s all-time wins leader and the leader in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
He is tied for second all-time in NCAA baseball history in seasons coached with former Bentley coach Bob DeFelice, who retired last spring from the Division II school.
Former Division III coach Gordy Gillespie served for 59 seasons, and is the only head coach at any NCAA level to have more seasons than Rossi.
Rossi has won six Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year awards, five conference titles, two NCAA berths and has seen 56 of his former players sign pro contracts.
Rossi has a 936-1,202-8 record with the Saints, who are off to a 2-10 start this season — and are not even halfway through a run where they will play their first 27 games on the road.
The Saints won’t play a home game until April 4; This is not uncommon for teams in that part of the country, where there is still snow in many areas and teams are forced to travel south for most of their season to fill out a schedule.
Siena visits Florida this weekend, then will play three games at Richmond on March 18 and 19 in what will be the final games of the Rossi era, though he does not plan to attend those contests.