Continuing a winning tradition that has been around since 1859, Nick Restaino begins his seventh season as head baseball coach at Fordham University.
Restaino has kept the Rams in contention for the Atlantic 10 Championship in his first six seasons, qualifying for the tournament in 2005, 2009, and 2010, missing out in 2006 by a single game, while reaching the Atlantic 10 Championship game in 2007. Over that same stretch, Fordham boasts the second-best record in conference play at 103-66 (URI - 104-50).
In 2008, the Rams finished two spots out of making the Atlantic 10 Championship, despite having two First Team All-Atlantic 10 selections and the Pitcher of the Year in the conference (Tom Davis). Last season, Restaino got the Rams back into the Atlantic 10 Championship for the fourth time in six years.
Since taking over the head coaching job, Restaino's finest season came in 2007, when Fordham posted a 35-22 overall record and a 19-8 mark in Atlantic 10 play. The 35 wins were just one shy of the school's modern era record, while the 19 conference wins topped the previous mark of 17 in 2005. Fordham finished the regular season in second place, and made it to the Atlantic 10 Championship game for the first time since 1998. Individually, three Rams garnered All-Conference accolades, while two were named to the All-Championship team.
After serving as the Interim Head Baseball Coach at Fordham University during 2005, Restaino had the interim label removed by being named Head Baseball Coach on June 9, 2005 by Frank McLaughlin, Fordham University Executive Director of Athletics. He became the eighth head baseball coach at Fordham since 1909.
"Nick Restaino has done an outstanding job with the Fordham baseball program, and we believe that the program is in good hands," said McLaughlin. "With our rich baseball tradition and the new facility, we believe that the program is on the right track."
Restaino, the 2005 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, led the Rams to a 34-21 overall record in 2005, 17-7 in the Atlantic 10. Prior to the 2007 season, the 34 wins were the most for a Fordham team since the 1997 squad went 34-19, while the 17 conference wins was a school record. The Rams finished second in the East Division and were the number three seed at the Atlantic 10 Championship.
Besides Restaino, one of his recruits was also recognized by the Atlantic 10 coaches as freshman pitcher Cory Riordan received Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year honors as well as being named Second Team All-Conference. He led the staff with ten wins and was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-American Team.
Restaino served as the Associate Head Coach for seven years prior to taking over as Interim Head Coach, helping the Rams to the 2004 Atlantic 10 Tournament, Fordham's first appearance at the championship since winning the title in 1998.
A 1993 Fordham University graduate, Restaino also served as the Recruiting Coordinator at Fordham, consistently attracting some of the top recruiting classes in the nation to Rose Hill. He was responsible for recruiting two-time Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Bobby Kingsbury, an 8th round selection of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2002 and a member of the 2004 Greek Olympic team, and Rob Semerano, who was taken by the Oakland Athletics in the 20th round of the 2004 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.
In 2006, two more Fordham players, Greg Smith (14th round - Pittsburgh) and Javier Martinez (42nd round - Washington) were drafted, showing that Restaino and Fordham continue to recruit and produce major league talent.
Three Rams heard their name called in the 2007 MLB Draft, as Cory Riordan (6th round - Colorado), John Mollicone (27th round - Tampa Bay), and Martinez (29th - Seattle) were all selected, while Tom Davis (16th round - San Diego) and Peter Kennelly (38th round - Minnesota) were selected in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Last season, two players, Ryan McCrann and Angelo signed as free agents with Tampa Bay and Los Angeles (N), respectively.
Restaino came to Rose Hill after serving as an assistant coach at Manhattan from 1994-95. At Manhattan, Restaino was responsible for infield/outfield defense, base-running and bunting as well as being in charge of recruiting. He created and implemented Manhattan's scouting system as well as promoting the Jaspers' baseball program within the community.
Prior to his stint at Manhattan, Restaino was an assistant baseball coach at Lehman College from 1993-94, where he served as the third base coach and pitching coach. He coordinated and instructed Lehman's daily practices and drills. He was also responsible for recruitment and development as well as managing fundraisers to finance annual spring trips.
Restaino earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Management and Finance from Fordham's College of Business Administration. He currently lives in Connecticut with his wife, Blanca, and their children, Christopher (10) and Emily (4).