The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks of the FCBL are excited to announce the hiring of Frank Leoni as their head coach for the 2015 season. Team board member Scott Lively commented, “We are thrilled to bring Frank back to his New England roots. He has a proven record over more than two-decades as a college coach and we are confident he will help the Sharks improve as a team, both on and off the field.”
“I am extremely excited and honored to be the next head coach of the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks. I want to thank the team’s board for this incredible opportunity. “ Leoni went on to say, “The FCBL continues to build its reputation as one of the finest summer collegiate baseball leagues. College coaches not only want to send their players to play in a great league, but they also want them to have an overall positive summer experience. I can’t think of a better place than Martha’s Vineyard to accomplish both”
“Our goals will include developing our players, winning an FCBL championship and being great members of the Vineyard community.”
Leoni brings twenty-two years of head coaching experience to the Sharks. He is currently the head coach at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, where he was hired in 2012 to start the baseball program from scratch. Prior to Marymount Leoni was the head coach at William & Mary. With the Tribe, Leoni posted 196 wins in seven seasons and was the fastest coach to reach 100 victories in program history.
Leoni took the helm at his alma mater, URI, in September of 1992 as the youngest D-I head coach in the nation, inheriting a program that went 8-25-1 the year before and was set for elimination. He turned the program around and won 266 games during his time in Kingston, which at the time were the most in school history.
Under Leoni, the Rams won the 2004 and 2005 Atlantic 10 regular season championships and the 2005 A-10 conference championship to lead URI to its only NCAA postseason berth in program history. He was named the A-10 Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2004 and the New England Coach of the Year in 2004. He was named to the Rhode Island Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2010.
A total of twenty-seven players Leoni has recruited or coached at Rhode Island and William & Mary have been either drafted or signed free agent contracts to play professionally. Six of his former assistants have gone on to successful head coaching careers, including John LaRose at Johnson & Wales, Jim Foster at URI (current assistant at Boston College), Raphael Cerrato at URI , Jad Prachniak at the helm of the 2012 Division II National Champions West Chester University, Adam Taylor at Franklin & Marshall and Jaime Pinzino at William & Mary (current assistant at the University of Oklahoma).
Leoni graduated from Rhode Island with a B.S. in accounting in 1990 and earned his master’s degree in Business Administration from URI in 2003. He and his wife Michelle have four children, Ryan (15), Karsen (13), Nathan (13) and Casey (10).