Jr. college champion coach Valli to take over baseball program
Rob Valli, who led Gloucester County College (N.J.) to the 2005 National Junior College Athletic Association national championship, has been named the head baseball coach at Temple, Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw announced on Oct. 19.
Selected as the 2005 National Coach of the Year, Valli led GCC to the NJCAA World Series each of the five years he was at the helm of the program. He replaces Skip Wilson, who retired after 46 seasons and 1,034 wins at Temple.
“It is clear from Rob’s résumé that he is a proven winner,” Bradshaw said. “We believe that he will be the driving force to return the Temple baseball program to national prominence.”
Valli, 33, arrived at GCC in 2001 and proceeded to continue the rich baseball tradition at the school. The Roadrunners won the Garden State Athletic Conference and Region XIX title in each of his five seasons (2001–05) and Valli was rewarded with GSAC and Regional Coach of the Year honors every year. He made his first trip to the NJCAA World Series in 2001, placing third, and followed with runner-up finishes in 2002 and 2003. After another third-place showing in 2004, the Roadrunners downed Ridgewater College (Minn.) 14-4 for the 2005 NJCAA national championship.
“I’m extremely excited to join the Temple community,” Valli said. “It’s clear to me that the University administration is ready to make a big push in baseball and I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead the program.”
The 1994 University of Delaware graduate compiled a 225-55-1 record while at Gloucester County College. His .800 winning percentage is a program record and his 225 wins rank second all-time. Over the past five years, Valli has produced nine All-Americans, including one National Player of the Year, and 29 All-Region players. Seven of the nine All-Americans and 25 of the All-Region selections played high school baseball in the Greater Philadelphia area. Six players signed professional contracts after their time at GCC.
Valli also has been an associate scout for the Colorado Rockies since 2000.
“We intend to capitalize on the wealth of baseball talent in the Philadelphia area,” Valli said.
Before arriving at GCC, Valli spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Rutgers. He helped guide the Scarlet Knights to two NCAA Tournament appearances and the Big East championship and a No. 12 national ranking in 2000.
While obtaining a master’s degree in the administration of physical education and athletic management at the College of New Jersey (1998), Valli served as a graduate assistant coach.
While there, he helped the Lions to the NCAA Division III Northeast Regional finals. Valli also was an assistant coach at GCC under current Rider head coach Barry Davis in 1997.
He got his start in coaching as an assistant coach at St. Mark’s High School (1993–94) in Wilmington, Del., and helped lead the team to the 1994 Delaware state championship. Valli also spent time as an assistant coach at South Brunswick (N.J.) High School (1995–96).
Temple finished the 2005 season with a 17-33 record and 8-16 mark in the Atlantic 10. The Owls begin their 2006 campaign at Hawaii-Hilo on March 4.
- By Kevin Bonner