Wells College has hired Ryan Stevens as head coach of the baseball team. Stevens began his employment in September 2019 and is the second head coach in the young history of the Express program. He most recently served as head coach of the baseball team at Tompkins Cortland Community College.
In five seasons as TC3 head coach, Stevens turned the Panthers into a consistent playoff contender. His teams showed steady progress each year, and the 2018 squad earned the program's first trip to the NJCAA playoffs in nearly 10 years. The 2018 team set program records for wins and winning percentage, and set several single-season records in numerous pitching categories. The Panthers recorded their third-straight winning season in 2019 under Stevens' leadership.
Stevens, who was an assistant at Tompkins Cortland from 2006 to 2010, took over as head coach for the 2014-15 academic year. Combining his time as an assistant coach with his five-year head coaching career, Stevens helped more than 40 Panthers move on to continue their playing careers at four-year institutions.
In 2008 he entered the world of professional baseball, taking a job with the Texarkana Gunslingers of the Independent Professional Continental Baseball league. After two years and a league championship with the Gunslingers, Stevens took his first head coaching job with the Alpine Cowboys of the Pecos League, an independent professional league based in Texas with teams through the southwest. In five seasons as the manager of the Cowboys, Stevens led the team to the postseason each year, capturing two league championships and posting an overall record of 208-119. He was named the Pecos League Manager of the Year, and has helped more than 50 players earn promotions to higher levels of professional baseball.
Stevens was associate head coach and pitching coach for the Cortland Crush of the New York Collegiate Baseball League in the summer of 2019. The team went 30-15 and won a division championship.
Stevens, who also worked as an associate scout in the West Texas region for the Washington Nationals, served as an assistant coach at Ithaca College during the 2013-14 school year. He is a Dryden, New York native and graduated from Dryden High School before playing collegiate baseball at SUNY Cobleskill and Frostburg State University.
Wells College is a private liberal arts college in Aurora, New York. The college has cross-enrollment with Cornell University and Ithaca College. It is considered to be Cornell University's sister school. Wells College is located in the Finger Lakes region of New York. For more information on Wells Baseball (Visit their website here)
ITHACA, N.Y. - After an extensive and highly competitive search for the next head coach of the Ithaca College baseball program, Associate Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports Susan Bassett '79 is pleased to announce that David Valesente has been selected as the fourth head coach in the program's storied 86-year history. Valesente has served for the past three years as the head baseball coach at Wells College in Aurora, N.Y.. Valesente is a 2010 graduate of St. Joe's and was a four-year member of the baseball team. Valesente was selected as the Senior Male Athlete of the Year at the university, to go along with being named a three-time Most Outstanding Player of the team. He would also garner Atlantic-10 All-Rookie Team honors in 2007, and he finished his career with a .323 batting average and ranked fifth all-time with 216 hits for the Hawks. Upon graduation, Valesente played one year professionally with the Alpine Cowboys in the Pecos Professional Baseball League, an independent league in Texas. He would go on to sign an undrafted free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012 and eventually played two seasons in the New York-Penn League with the State College Spikes and Jamestown Jammers. A four-time scholar-athlete recipient, Valesente earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Saint Joseph's and his master's degree in sports studies from the United States Sports Academy. Valesente's official start date will be August 19.
Ithaca College is a private liberal arts college in Ithaca, New York. The college was founded by William Egbert in 1892 as a conservatory of music and is set against the backdrop of the city of Ithaca, Cayuga Lake, waterfalls, and gorges. For information on Ithaca College (Visit their website here)
Tompkins Cortland Community College alum and former professional baseball player Billy Crowe has been named the new head coach for Panthers baseball. Crowe replaces Ryan Stevens, who had been the head coach the past five years before leaving for the same post at Wells College.
Crowe was an all-conference catcher while playing for Carroll during his playing career with the Panthers. A 2011 graduate of the College, he was part of the first Tompkins Cortland baseball team to qualify for the NJCAA playoffs, and his name is still prevalent in the school's record book, including having the best fielding percentage for a season and second best for a career. He has the second-most career putouts in Panthers history and ranks in the top-ten career lists for stolen bases, walks, and runs scored. He continued his studies at Virginia Wesleyan University, playing for Nick Boothe, one of the most successful Division III coaches in the nation at the time with more than 600 career victories.
After finishing his playing at Virginia Wesleyan, Crowe spent two years playing professionally for the Alpine Cowboys in the independent Pecos League. It was during the offseason between his professional seasons that Crowe started his coaching career, working both at Cox High School in Virginia Beach and assisting Coach Boothe at Virginia Wesleyan. He returned to New York to work with the Panthers in 2014-15 and has been the top assistant for Coach Stevens the last five seasons. Tompkins Cortland Community College is a public community college in Dryden, New York. It is supported by Cortland and Tompkins Counties and has extension sites are located in Ithaca and Cortland. It is part of the State University of New York system. For information on Tompkins Cortland Community College (Visit their website here)