Eager to get started and confident he can continue his recent success as coach of Gloucester (N.J.) County College, Rob Valli was named the new baseball coach last Wednesday.
Valli, who led GCC to the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series Championship last season, succeeds Skip Wilson, who retired in August after 46 years as coach of the Owls.
“I’m extremely excited to join the Temple community,” Valli said by telephone Wednesday. “It’s clear to me that the university administration is ready to make a big push in baseball and I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead the program.”
Despite not having scholarships or being located on a residential campus, GCC produced highly touted players during Valli’s tenure there.
Under his tutelage, nine players became all-Americans, 29 became all-Region selections and six signed professional contracts. Seven of the all-Americans, and 25 of the all-Region selections, played high school ball in the greater Philadelphia Area.
One of the keys here, Valli said, will be his ability to attract the top talent from the region.
“I think that with my experience, I will be able to not only recruit from the Philadelphia area, but throughout the Northeast and along the East Coast,” Valli said. “My job now is to get the best players from this area at Temple. I intend to capitalize on the wealth of baseball talent in the Philadelphia area.”
In five years at GCC, Valli compiled a 225-55-1 (.800) record, leading the Roadrunners to the Garden State Athletic Conference title every year. In all five seasons, Valli received of the GSAC and Regional Coach of the Year. He also spent time as an assistant coach at the College of New Jersey and Rutgers. From 1999 to 2000, he helped lead the Scarlet Knights as high as No. 12 in the rankings and the NCAA Tournament on two occasions.
Although the first flake of snow has not fallen yet, Valli said he will begin working on how to improve a team that finished last in the Atlantic Ten Conference last season.
“First, we have to get on the same page,” he said. “That includes the coaching staff, the players and myself. We need to figure out our goals for the season and we must set out to achieve them.”
The Owls open their season on March 4 at Hawaii-Hilo.
Kevin Maloney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.