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2015 Inductees

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Class of 2015

Nino GiarratanoNino Giarratano

Over his 19 years on the Hilltop, Nino Giarratano has guided the Dons’ baseball program to unprecedented success since taking over prior to the 1999 season.

The three-time West Coast Conference Coach of the Year has led USF to two WCC championships (2006, 2011), three postseason appearances (2006, 2011, 2013) and has compiled the most wins in program history. Giarratano has had 45 players named to the All-WCC first team, including two WCC Player of the Year awards (Taggert Bozied, 1999; Scott Cousins, 2006), three WCC Defensive Players of the Year (Joey Railey, 2008; Stephen Yarrow, 2011; Nico Giarratano, 2016) and one WCC Pitcher of the Year selection (Patrick McGuigan, 2006).

Giarratano’s player development success is highlighted by the 48 Dons that have been drafted by Major League Baseball teams during his tenure; most recently, Dominic Miroglio (20th round; Diamondbacks), Nico Giarratano (24th round; Giants) and Allen Smoot (40th round; Rays) in the 2017 draft. Following the 2012 season, right-handed pitcher Kyle Zimmer was selected fifth overall by the Kansas City Royals, making Zimmer the highest draft pick in USF baseball history. In 2014, Kyle's brother, Bradley, became the fourth first-round pick under Giarratano when he was selected 21st overall by the Cleveland Indians and went on to make his Major League debut with the Indians on May 16, 2017, becoming the fourth Major Leaguer to play under Giarratano. The other two first-rounders under Giarratano’s watch were Evan Frederickson (2008, White Sox) and Aaron Poreda (2007, White Sox).

Giarratano became the winningest coach in USF baseball history when he surpassed Hilltop legend Dante Benedetti with his 374th victory in 2009. On May 12, 2016, Giarratano earned his 500th career win as the Dons defeated BYU 6-5 in walk-off fashion at home. With that victory, Giarratano became just the third coach in WCC history (along with Rich Hill and John Cunningham) to amass at least 500 career wins at the Division I level. 

Following the 2017 season, Giarratano sits at third on the WCC’s all-time list for wins (531) and is the second winningest active WCC coach behind San Diego’s Rich Hill.

In 2006, Giarratano led the Dons to a milestone by winning a program-record 39 games and claiming the team’s first WCC championship. USF duplicated their championship form in 2011 when they finished in first place again.

In 2013, the Dons were on the doorstep of another championship when they participated in the inaugural WCC Championship series at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif. only to fall to San Diego in three games.

In addition to his program’s success on the field, Giarratano’s teams have also boasted superior academic performance. The 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009 squads set a then-school record by having four players selected to the All-WCC Academic Team. In 2014, the team set a new record by having six student-athletes named to the WCC All-Academic Team. The team had 14 student-athletes earn WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll selections in 2003 and 2007, also a school record.

Giarratano has led the Dons to the NCAA Regional three times and this ability to lead has been recognized on the national level. During the summer of 2008, he helped guide the U.S. Collegiate National Team to a 24-0 record and a gold medal in the FISU World Championships in the Czech Republic. Two years later, he served as an assistant to the team again and helped them to a 16-3 record and a silver medal finish.

Before coming to USF, Giarratano spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Arizona State, serving as the hitting instructor, offensive coordinator and third base coach. In his final season with the Sun Devils, ASU reached the 1998 College World Series Championship game behind a staggering offense. The team hit .318 with 557 runs off 723 base hits, including 57 home runs in addition to 120 stolen bases.

Giarratano’s ability to recruit also shined in Arizona. While serving as Arizona State’s recruiting coordinator, he helped to piece together a class ranked as the third best in 1996 and did it again in 1997 when the incoming class was ranked as No.2 in the nation.

Much of Giarratano’s experience was gained while coaching at the junior college level, where he quickly found success. He was named Collegiate Baseball’s National Junior College Coach of the Year three times while at Trinidad State Junior College (Trinidad, Colo.) from 1989 to 1994. He led the program to five NJCAA World Series appearances, while the team posted a 233-86 (.730) mark over his six seasons at the helm.

Between Trinidad State JC and Arizona State, Giarratano made a stop at Yavapai Community College (Prescott, Ariz.), leading the team to a 77-36 record in two seasons, while sending 25 players to the professional ranks. Altogether, Giarratano compiled an overall junior college record of 310-122 (.718).

Giarratano is a 1985 graduate of William Jewell College with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He later earned his master’s degree in secondary administration from Adams State. He lives in The City with his wife Brenda. His daughter Bianca is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and his son, Nico, was a four-year starter at shortstop for the Dons.


Bio courtesy of the University of San Francisco Dons Athletic Media Relations Office





Past Guest Speakers

2019: Jennie Cavnar 
2018: Ryan Spilborghs 
2017: Darnell McDonald
2016: Chris Carrillo
2015: Nino Giarratano
2014: Luke Hochevar