As the Villanova baseball program heads into its 150th season, it is a chance to note that despite the team's longevity there have been just 10 full-time head coaches in program history. Each of the 10 head coaches have carved out their own unique part of the Wildcats history on the diamond and Joe Godri begins his 14th year in that role in 2015. There have been only four head coaches of the team in the past 66 years and Godri has a veteran squad this season that looks ready to be a contender in the BIG EAST Conference.
In his first 13 years as head coach, Godri has led his Villanova teams to a record of .500 or better eight times. The winning seasons include two years with 30 or more victories and two postseason appearances. Godri has won 318 games overall and ranks second in program history with that victory total.
Over the past two years, the Wildcats fielded two of the youngest teams that the club has ever had, with eight freshman and sophomores in the batting order most days during the 2014 campaign. Although the team endured its growing pains, the progress made was easily noticeable. Villanova improved its batting average, on-base percentage, ERA and fielding percentage by significant margins from 2013 to 2014.
Pitching Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Kevin Mulvey begins his third season as the Villanova pitching coach in 2015 and will also be in his first season as the coordinator of the programâ?TMs national recruiting efforts. As the Wildcats lead assistant coach, Mulvey is heavily involved in all aspects of the program at his alma mater. He is a former Villanova standout and a top draft pick who went on to pitch in the major leagues before returning to campus to join the coaching staff.
In his two seasons as pitching coach, Mulvey has continued the Wildcats reputation of developing a successful collegiate pitching staff and preparing the teamâ?TMs student-athletes for professional careers. His tutelage has been particularly instrumental with a young Villanova team that has made steady progress over the past two years. In 2014, the pitching staff lowered its ERA by more than a quarter of a run and increased its strikeout rate from the 2013 season.
Following the 2014 campaign, right-handed pitcher JB Kole was chosen in the eighth round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. It was the second straight year that the Wildcats had a high draft pick, as right-hander Pat Young was a 13th round pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2013 after leading the Villanova staff with 14 games started and 76 strikeouts.
Hitting Coach/Defense Coach
Chris Collazo begins his first season on the Villanova coaching staff in 2015. He is involved in all aspects of the baseball team's operations and will work with the Villanova hitters and defense. Collazo will also coordinate the placement of current Villanova student-athletes in summer leagues around the country.
Collazo came to the Wildcats already familiar with many of the philosophies of the Villanova program. He previously spent three years as an assistant coach, where former Wildcats pitching coach Jim Carone is now the head coach. Collazo was responsible for the Seahawks hitters and infielders while also serving as the program's recruiting coordinator.
Over the past three seasons the Wagner offense enjoyed a great deal of success under Collazo's tutelage. The Seahawks reached postseason play in 2014 for the first time in four years and Chris Smith earned second team All-NEC honors after batting .302 and leading the team in several offensive categories. In 2013, Wagner improved in all facets of its offense from the previous year and the team set a school record with 114 stolen bases. That total also set a Northeast Conference record and the Seahawks ranked in the top 15 nationally in stolen bases. Wagner had a pair of first team All-NEC selections in 2013 and one of those players, Ian Miller, was a 14th round pick by the Seattle Mariners in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Volunteer Assistant Coach/Outfield
A familiar face returns to Villanova in 2015 as Paul Rambaud joins the coaching staff for his first year as a volunteer assistant coach. Rambaud will be involved in several administrative areas of the program and will also work with the Wildcats outfielders, a responsibility he is well qualified for. Rambaud was a standout outfielder for Villanova during his own collegiate career and is a 2013 graduate.
In his four years of prowling the Wildcats outfield, Rambaud continued the reputation of outstanding Villanova centerfielders. He played in 176 collegiate games and ranks eighth in school history with 40 career stolen bases. Rambaud was a .277 hitter with a .381 on-base percentage during his Wildcats career and also compiled totals of 140 hits, 23 doubles and 94 runs scored. He also drew 51 walks, was hit by a pitch 36 times and had 32 sacrifice bunts, the latter of which is tied for third in program history.
Rambaud was a part of a Liberty Bell Classic championship team in 2011 and was a part of 91 victories during his career. He comes back to a Villanova team which has a great deal of talent in the outfield. Junior Adam Goss and sophomore Donovan May were each regular starters in the corner spots last season and the Wildcats should again have a top-flight defensive outfield.
Stuart Younger is in his fourth season as the Team Manager for the baseball team in 2015. Younger has been a dedicated member of the program for the past four years and has assisted the team in numerous areas, including coordinating the Wildcats video operations.
Younger earned four varsity letters in baseball and one in cross country during high school. He was a manager for the baseball team and as a senior received the St. Paul's Athletic Appreciation Award, given to an individual as a result of their outstanding service and commitment to the school's athletic teams. In addition, Younger received the Team Spirit Awards from both the baseball and cross country head coaches.
In addition to working with the baseball and cross country teams Younger covered each team on behalf of the Varsity Sports Network. Throughout his junior and senior years he published over 30 articles featuring baseball game recaps that appeared on the site.