PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Feb. 20, 2014) – After working the last two seasons on Fred Hill’s staff, Joe Litterio has been promoted to head baseball coach at Rutgers University. He becomes the 12th leader in program history and only the third since 1961.
“I am honored and excited to be taking over the Rutgers University baseball program,” Litterio said. “Having had the privilege to be around Coach Hill as a player, a peer and an assistant has been beneficial to me. Being an alum, I will take pride in keeping the Rutgers baseball family together. I would like to thank Julie Hermann for giving me this opportunity. I will work hard to continue the success of the program to bring it to the next level.”
“With Coach Hill ailing, Joe took the reins for his alma mater and led our program right through what would have otherwise been a very difficult time for our team,” Director of Athletics Julie Hermann said. “We are so grateful for his leadership and so lucky we have a 12-year veteran head coach on deck ready to lead us this season and into the Big Ten.”
Returning to his alma mater as the lead assistant in 2012, Litterio has spent the last two seasons on staff as the recruiting coordinator, third base coach, scheduler and more. He helped mentor seven all-conference selections during that time, including 2012 BIG EAST Player of the Year Patrick Kivlehan, who is now a top prospect in the Seattle Mariners organization. Litterio’s title was elevated to associate head coach for the 2013 season and he took over the reins of the program in the fall of 2013 after Hill took a leave of absence.
Litterio played for the Scarlet Knights and Hill as an infielder from 1990 to 1993. His teams won the Atlantic 10 regular season title all four years and earned bids to the NCAA Regionals in 1990, 1991 and 1993. The 1990 Rutgers team came within one win of advancing to the College World Series and recorded the most wins (four) in a single NCAA Tournament in school history. A Second-Team All-Atlantic 10 selection at second base after his junior season, Litterio recorded a .976 fielding percentage for a team that was ranked fourth in the nation in fielding.
Litterio has 20 years of coaching experience, including 12 as the head coach at Wagner. He left the program as the winningest coach in school history (240) in 2012, guiding eight players to contracts with Major League teams, including 2009 AL Rookie of the Year and MLB All-Star Andrew Bailey. Litterio led the Seahawks to seven postseason appearances after the program had only qualified once previously in school history.
A tireless worker and recruiter, he won the 2009 Northeast Conference Coach of the Year after leading WC to a school-record 31 wins and the program’s first-ever NEC Regular Season Championship. He coached 22 of the Seahawk’s 44 members of the 100-hit club, including all seven members of the 200-hit club, and mentored numerous players to All-NEC honors.
The Cranford, N.J., native started his coaching career as a volunteer assistant under Hill immediately following his playing career for the Scarlet Knights before taking a job as coach at Immaculate Conception High School (N.J.). Litterio moved back to the collegiate ranks the following season, landing a job as an assistant coach under Dean Ehehalt at Monmouth University where he spent the next four seasons. The 1998 MU team won the NEC Championship and earned a bid to the NCAA Regionals.
After spending one season at Winthrop University and earning the Big South Championship and subsequent NCAA Regional spot, Litterio accepted the head coaching job at Wagner – reaching the NCAA Regionals in his first season – and has gone on to earn a reputation as one of the top coaches in the northeast region.
Litterio and his wife, Michelle, reside in Wall, N.J., with their children – Frances, Mia and Joe. He earned his degree in sociology from Rutgers University in 1994.