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Wagner College head coach Joe Litterio heads to Rutgers as Assistant Coach

Head Coach Joe Litterio is leaving the Wagner program to become an assistant at Rutgers according to a report from Litterio is the all-time wins leader in the history of the Seahawks program winning 240 games and guiding the Seahawks to the 2000 Northeast Conference tourney title and their only NCAA Tournament bid.

I am currently hearing that current Rutgers head coach Fred Hill will likely be turning over the program to Joe Litterio at the end of the year thus the reason for the move. 

Litterio told the following about his departure.

“I called every one of my kids on the roster and explained this is just a situation that I can’t pass up for myself and my family,” Litterio told the Advance. “It’s something that I couldn’t turn down.”

Rutgers had an unexpected opening occur over the holidays and long-time head coach Fred Hill approached Litterio, one of his former star players, during a baseball camp at the New Brunswick, N.J., campus.

“It happened that suddenly, within a week’s time it was worked out,” said Litterio. “I was setting up for the season here, having gone through the fall and the whole process.

“Everybody’s dream when they get into coaching is to go back to where they started and this is a great situation. I came to Wagner and I’ve tried to build up the program here with thoughts of being able to get back home at some point.”

You can check out the full article from by clicking here.

It is unclear at this time who will take over at Wagner but I am hearing that former Bryant University head coach Jamie Pinzino and Temple assistant coach Brian Pugh are being scheduled to be interviewed for the position.

  • Kmurrayk

    Quits one week before the players come back to school leaving a team in shambles and going to Rutgers to be the next head coach?    If that’s the type of coach Rutgers wants then good luck to them.

    “I called every one of my kids on the roster” .   No he did NOT call everyone of his players. 
    Litterio showed little class by quitting so close to the season and then lying about calling each of his players. 

    He’s a liar, quitter and Rutgers deserves what they get with him!

    • I do have to say, the timing is very odd for such a move. It is a terrible spot for the Wagner players to be in. Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

      • Dmssi

        I hear they have been talking about dropping the program. Maybe he knows something we don’t

  • Kmurrayk

    Rutgers is just as culpable in this situation as they poached the head coach of a D1 program right before the season starts.  The AD at Rutgers should be held accountable.  

    • Wagner is at fault that a head coach would leave to become an assistant elsewhere. Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

  • Kmurrayk

    Yeah, maybe they could have tried to get him to stay but for a coach to do this at the 11th hour is just plain selfish and shows what type of person he is. 

    Do it AFTER the season or in the fall not a week before the season starts.  Litterio should have shown the players at Wagner a little respect and commitment.

  • Tott_fan

    Litterio leaves after ONE winning season out of ELEVEN, despite being in a lower echelon conference and a career winning percentage of UNDER .400. He was and always will be a “Jersey” guy that barely recruited from a talent-rich area like Staten Island. He leaves a young team high and dry a week before practices start – and Rutgers is proud of this?

    With his record he was smart to go anywhere that offered him a position – so he goes “home”. If he couldn’t win in the NEC, what makes anyone think he will win in the Big East after Fred leaves (next year?).

    Wagner hasn’t had a good baseball team since 1981 (when there was a different Athletic Director at Wagner) and hasn’t been competitive since the late 90’s.

    Hopefully someone new comes in and surrounds the wagons and uses this disgrace as an emotional rallying point for the kids.

  • Johnjameson

    So let me ask everyone a question. If you had a chance to obtain a better job in the middle of the year…would you take it? Just because he is a coach doesnt mean this isnt a business. Good luck to wagner and Coach Litterio.

    • Kmurrayk

      This isn’t McDonald’s.  He recruited 20 or so incoming freshmen to play for him and then quits on them a week before practice is to start.    Quit after the season or early enough for a new coaching staff to be in place.

      • Peterluger

        You are correct…Its not McDonalds bc if he was working at McDonalds he would have the chance to go back to his alma mater and coach in the Big East.  The timing was bad but he has a family to support and a career to take care of.  If you were a coach at the college level you would understand that this happens all the time.  The kids at Wagner will be fine.  If not, they can transfer.  

        • Remember the kids at Wagner choose the school…not the coach. I tell that to every HS recruit! Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

          • Tott_fan

            Brian – you’re correct. And the kids chose Wagner, the school and a baseball program that hasn’t had any success since 1981 and really hasn’t been that stable since the late 1990’s.
            In some ways, IF Wagner makes the correct hire, this may all be a blessing in disguise, since to be honest, Litterio didn’t accomplish anything in over a decade and basically tried to make everyone believe Wagner baseball started with him.
            What a world, where if you can have an under .400 winning percentage, you get a raise. Hopefully Rutgers gets exactly what they deserved.

          • Jimsimpson

            Baseball in the NEC always seems to have Monmouth,CCSU and Sacred Heart at the top of the league.  After many years of winning, the coaches at the above schools have stayed loyal towards their respective programs and it has paid dividends. My thoughts are that Bryant may make a push since Steve Owens took the job.  Rutgers will always have to compete with St. Johns who has won year in and year out with the same coaching staff and it looks like they are in a position to make another run at a NCAA Regional.  Wagner should hire an up and coming Asst Coach who is hungry to bring them to another level.  This new coach should be a great recruiter and motivator considering there is plenty of talent in the area.

        • Tott_fan

          It says a lot about Rutgers if they needed to hire a coach in January away from a perenially losing program. The kids at Wagner may be alright (this must do wonders for Wagner’s future recruiting). Your transfer comment is fair, only if Wagner releases them and doesn’t make them sit out a year.

    • Tott_fan

      JohnJ – You’re correct, if after one winning season out of eleven, in a lower echelon conference he can get a better job – he should take it. It was up to Wagner to provide an environment that would keep him – BUT, he now carries the reputation of leaving a poor program a week before spring season begins.

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