Now in his sixth season as the head coach of the Holy Cross baseball team in 2013, Greg DiCenzo has continued to bring the program to new heights. The Crusaders have gone 126-126-1 overall and 54-44 in Patriot League regular season play during DiCenzo’s tenure, with the team posting five straight 20-win seasons for the first time in program history from 2008-2012. Holy Cross also made two Patriot League Championship Series appearances in 2010 and 2012.
In 2012, DiCenzo earned New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association Division I Coach of the Year honors, after the Crusaders finished with an overall record of 33-22 to break the school single-season mark for victories. Holy Cross also placed second in the Patriot League with a 13-7 mark in conference games, and finished as the runner-up in the league tournament. In addition, the Crusaders set school single-season records for best fielding percentage (.971), most saves (15) and most strikeouts (350). Three players were selected to play in the New England All-Star game, seven Crusaders earned All-Patriot League honors and Nate Koneski was drafted in the 19th round by the Seattle Mariners.
The 2011 season saw the Crusaders finish with a winning overall record for the first time since 1991 at 24-23-1. Two players earned first team All-Patriot League honors and three players were named to the New England All-Star team and John Pedrotty was drafted in the 13th round and signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In 2010 the Crusaders finished in third place in the Patriot League with a 10-10 mark in conference games, while going 26-26 overall. Holy Cross then won its first-ever Patriot League playoff series by taking two out of three games at Lehigh, and finished as the runner-up in the conference tournament. Stephen Wadsworth earned Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors and was selected as a third team Freshman All-American, while six Crusaders earned spots on the All-Patriot League teams. The 2010 squad also broke school single-season records in a number of offensive categories, with a .319 batting average, a .477 slugging percentage, 367 runs, 569 hits, 114 doubles, 45 home runs, 852 total bases and 340 runs batted in.
During DiCenzo’s second season at the helm in 2009, Holy Cross went 22-27 overall and took third place in the Patriot League at 11-7. The Crusaders also qualified for the Patriot League Tournament, where they dropped a close three-game series to eventualy conference champion Army. In addition, Matt Perry took home Patriot League Player of the Year honors.
In his first season at Holy Cross, DiCenzo was named the 2008 Patriot League Coach of the Year as the Crusaders qualified for the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2001. He became only the second coach to ever be named the league’s coach of the year in his first season. Holy Cross had a 21-28 overall record (11-9 in Patriot League play) marking the school’s first 20-win season since 1980. In addition, Matt Shapiro was named the Patriot League Pitcher of the Year.
DiCenzo came to Holy Cross from Northeastern University, where he served as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for five seasons. During his time at Northeastern, the Huskies won the America East Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2003, while winning the America East regular season title in 2004 and 2005. The Northeastern pitching staff set the school record for strikeouts in DiCenzo’s first four seasons as pitching coach. He had two pitchers earn America East Pitcher of the Year honors and four of his pitchers were drafted, including Adam Ottavino who went in the first round to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006 and made his Major League debut in 2010. Additionally, six positional players were drafted or signed to professional contracts during DiCenzo’s time at Northeastern.
DiCenzo was an assistant coach for the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League for four seasons from 2002-2005. While on the Cape, DiCenzo had the opportunity to work with many of the top collegiate baseball players in the country, including future major leaguers David Aardsma, Matt Antonelli, Cliff Pennington, Jacoby Ellsbury, Chris Leroux, Jensen Lewis, Chad Huffman and Brian Bocock.
A native of Duxbury, Mass., DiCenzo earned three degrees from St. Lawrence University with a Bachelor of Science Degree (1998), a Master’s Degree in Education (2000) and a Master’s Degree in Education Administration (2002). He spent four seasons on the baseball coaching staff at his alma mater and two seasons as an assistant football coach. In baseball, he was an assistant coach for three seasons and served as interim head coach in 2002. As an athlete, DiCenzo was a four-year member of the St. Lawrence baseball team, captaining the team as a senior. He was also a one-year member of St. Lawrence’s men’s soccer team, and a four-time All-Conference kicker and punter for the school’s football team.
DiCenzo and his wife Klio were married in 2012.
|Greg DiCenzo’s Collegiate Head Coaching Record|
Jeff Kane is entering his fourth season at Holy Cross in 2013, serving as the recruiting coordinator and hitting coach. He also serves as the Crusaders third-base coach during games, acting as the team’s in-game offensive coordinator.
Since arriving on campus in 2010, Kane has been a part of a coaching staff that has produced the school’s all-time hit leader (Matt Perry), all-time home run leader (Nick Ciardiello) and all-time total base and RBI leader (Eric Oxford). In addition, Holy Cross has had 10 players named All-Patriot League, including 2010 Patriot League Rookie of the Year Stephen Wadsworth. The 2012 Holy Cross team ranked first in the Patriot League with 24 home runs and was second in on-base percentage (.360), slugging percentage (.376), hits (475) and doubles (86). Kane also helped develop two players from the 2012 team to play in the Cape Cod Baseball League. In 2011, the Holy Cross offense finished second in the Patriot League with a .288 batting average. In Kane’s first season as hitting coach in 2010, the Crusaders broke nine school offensive records including batting average (.319), slugging percentage (.477), at-bats (1,785), runs (367), hits (569), doubles (114), home runs (45), total bases (852) and RBI (340).
Prior to coming to Holy Cross, Kane was the varsity baseball coach at Westford (Mass.) Academy, where the Grey Ghosts posted a 60-27 mark during his tenure from 2006-2009, for a .689 winning percentage. During the 2009 season, the Ghosts finished 17-4 and won their second straight Dual County League Large Division title, the first in school history. In 2009, the Grey Ghosts were ranked as high as No. 3 in Eastern Massachusetts by the Boston Globe. In 2008, Kane led Westford Academy to a 21-3 record and an appearance in the Division I North Sectional final, the furthest the school had advanced in the state tournament since 2003. The Grey Ghosts held a No. 2 ranking in Eastern Massachusetts by the Boston Globe and a No. 12 ranking in the Northeast Region by the USA Today. They also earned the No. 1 seed in the Division 1 Eastern Massachusetts Tournament. For his achievements at Westford Academy, Kane was named the 2008 Lowell Sun Coach of the Year. Kane also served two years as an assistant at Westford prior to assuming the head job in 2006. Previously, he served as an assistant coach at Littleton High School in two years.
Kane was also the manager for the Lowell All-Americans of the New England Collegiate Baseball League in 2009 and 2010. Prior to his promotion to manager, he served two years as an assistant coach in Lowell under manager Ken Connerty. During his four years with the All-Americans, 15 of his players went on to be drafted.
Kane played at the collegiate level under Jack Leggett at Clemson from 1997-1999 where he was a member of a trio of nationally ranked teams. While at Clemson, he played in the New England Collegiate Baseball League in 1998 for the Rhode Island Reds. During the 1999 season at Clemson, Kane appeared in 20 for a team that came one win shy of a College World Series berth. In 1997, Kane was member of the Atlantic Coast Conference Honor Roll. Kane was previously a four-year starter and three-year All-Star at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School from 1993-1996.
Kane was born in Concord, Mass., the son of Tom and Nancy Kane. His brother Ryan played baseball at Presbyterian College and was a Cape Cod League All-Star. Ryan also was a sixth round selection of the Anaheim Angels in 1995 and had a 10-year career in professional baseball. He also has a sister Jill, who resides in Acton, Mass. Prior to his time at Holy Cross, Kane taught history and economics at Andover (Mass.) High Schoolfor three-and-a-half years. He currently resides in Maynard, Mass., with his wife Lilly, son Travis and daughter Louisa (1).
Ron Rakowski enters his third season as assistant coach for the Holy Cross baseball team in 2013. He handles the Crusaders pitching staff and assists with recruiting duties.
Prior to his time at Holy Cross, Rakowski was the head assistant
/ pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Tacoma (Wash.)
Community College. While at TCC, Rakowski helped recruit and place
over 40 players to four-year schools, including seven to the NCAA
Division I level. TCC also made the NWAACC playoffs in all five
seasons during his tenure there. In addition to his baseball
duties, Rakowski served as an adjunct faculty member in the
physical education department and supervised game management at TCC
home athletic events. In addition, he coached for the RIPS Brewers,
one of the top high school select teams in the state. During his
time with the Brewers, he worked with 2010 first round draft pick
Josh Sale (17th overall), and third round draft pick Ryan Brett.
For the two years prior to his arrival at TCC, Rakowski worked as the head assistant / pitching coach at Willamette University in Salem, Ore. Before arriving at Willamette, he was an assistant coach at San Francisco State for three years where he worked with the Gators pitching staff and assisted in recruiting. He was also an assistant coach at DeAnza Junior College in San Jose, Calif., where he helped the team to the California Junior College state playoffs. In 2002, Rakowski coached in the Northwoods Collegiate Summer League as head coach of the St. Cloud River Bats in St. Cloud, Minn. While there, he coached future Major Leaguers Thomas Diamond and Jason Jaramillo and led the team to the second best record in the league.
Rakowski also served as a coach with the Fresno Royals, a collegiate summer league team. The Royals participated in the National Baseball Congress World Series twice in his five years there. Before coaching at the collegiate level, Rakowski coached at Clovis (Calif.) High School, helping the team to back-to-back USA Today High School national championships (1997 and 1998).
During the summer, Rakowski works as a coach at the Stanford All-Star Baseball Camp as well as high school All-Star camps at Gonzaga and Kansas. He received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from San Francisco State in 2002, and then earned his master’s degree in teaching with a specialization in teaching leadership from National University in 2009. He currently resides in Worcester, Mass., with his wife (Barbara) and daughter (Susannah).
Jeff Miller enters his eighth season as a member of the Holy Cross baseball staff in 2013 season, and will serve as an assistant coach this year. He has spent time as both an assistant coach and as director of baseball operations during his first seven years with the Crusaders.
Miller is a familiar face on the Holy Cross campus, as he was a four-year letterwinner with the Crusaders from 1997-2000. Miller returned to Holy Cross after serving as assistant baseball coach at Wachusett Regional High School in Holden, Mass., for two years. Before his stint at Wachusett, Miller served as assistant coach at Nashoba Regional High School in Bolton, Mass. Miller’s experience on the baseball field also extends overseas, as he played professionally for the Tubingen Hawks Baseball Club in Tubingen, Germany, from 2001-2002. While in Europe, Miller also coached for Tubingen’s under-18 team, which he helped lead to an undefeated season in 2001.
Miller was a two-time first team All-Patriot League selection in 1999 and 2000, while playing shortstop for the Crusaders. He earned second team All-Northeast Region honors in 1999, then he served as team captain in 2000 and received the Hop Riopel Award following the season.