|Organization:||Rider University (NJ)|
The 2004 season was the culmination of the distinguished collegiate coaching career of Sonny Pittaro as he completed his 34th and final season at the helm of Rider University. He is the all-time winningest coach of any sport at Rider, with 766 wins.
In the summer of 1970, Pittaro was named as the seventh head baseball coach in the history of Rider, where the sport first was played intercollegiately in 1929. Pittaro guided Rider to nine conference championships and eight NCAA Regional appearances. In the 1987 East Regional, a young Broncs team advanced to the championship round. Four Rider teams reached the 30-win mark under Pittaro, including the 1995 team which posted a school-record 35 victories.
Thirty-eight of Pittaro's Rider players went on to play professional baseball and five reached the Major Leagues. Pittaro also coached five All-American players.
Pittaro won numerous coaching and achievement awards throughout his career. He was twice named the ABCA/Diamond East Region Coach of the Year and East Coast Conference Coach of the Year (1986 and 1991). Also, he was twice honored by the New Jersey Baseball Writers Association as the University Division Coach of the Year (1980 and 1984).
Pittaro was named the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year in 1994 and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conferene Coach of the Year in 2001. He was presented with the Coaching Legends Award by the New Jersey Sportswriters Association in 2000 and was recognized with the prestigious Ralph DiLullo Award by the East Coast Scouts Association in 2001. Pittaro has also coached at the National sports Festival in Pueblo, CO, and is a past president and past honoree of the Trenton Select Committee.
Pittaro served two three-year terms on the NCAA Baseball Committee and for 11 years was on the ABCA All-America Committee.
Pittaro served as ABCA President in 2001 and currently serves on the Board of Directors, Standing Committee and Hall of Fame Veterans Committee.