New Baseball Coach Rob DiToma Steps Up to the Plate

It’s the first year on the Hilltop for baseball head coach Rob DiToma. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS M. LEUNG/DONS ATHLETICS

Rob DiToma, USF baseball’s new head coach, may just be starting on the Hilltop, but his coaching career is extensive and filled with determination.

DiToma began as a player at Mercy College in New York, and always saw a future for himself in coaching. He continued his education with a two year graduate program at Manhattanville College for physical education, where he took initiative on his passion for coaching by reaching out to the head coach of Manhattanville and asking if they were looking for some extra assistance. For the next two years, he assisted the team alongside his academic work. In an interview with the Foghorn, DiToma said, “After those two years I definitely knew I would rather be pursuing a college coaching career than a physical education one.”  

With his master’s degree in hand, DiToma began reaching out to schools in search of his next coaching opportunity. This took an extensive search process. “I sent emails to every school in America in Division I to see who would be looking for a coach,” he said. Two schools got back to DiToma: Marist College in New York and Temple University in Philadelphia. Looking to journey away from home, DiToma took a volunteer opportunity at Temple.  

DiToma’s work in Philadelphia gave him a reputation of coaching credibility that allowed him to partner with many schools throughout his coaching career. Most notably, he spent time at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) from 2019 to 2022. “I was very grateful for them. They gave me an opportunity to be a head coach,” he said. In his last year with FDU, DiToma led the Knights to their best record since 2016. The team finished 16-11 in conference play and fourth in the Northeast Conference standings. 

DiToma’s success got him an offer this summer to be the head coach of the Dons, which he happily accepted.

DiToma acknowledges the growing pains of being a first year head coach. “You don’t have time to bring in recruits when you’re hired in the summer… you inherit a team of players that don’t know you and you don’t know them,” he said. Yet, in spite of the transitional obstacles, DiToma has been able to find success in this season. USF went 9-4 to start off the year and won three out of four against the Pac-12 Utah University.  

DiToma describes his coaching style as situational. “Our job as coaches is to provide whatever that team needs. Some players you need to be hard on, some need to be left alone,” he said. “I’d like to be known as someone who is always there for their players. Whatever they need, the door is open for them.” This level of support is a departure from baseball’s former coach, who was fired last year after creating an alleged sexualized environment on the team.

There have been ups and downs for the Dons this season, and DiToma is looking to improve pitching consistency. USF has the second highest ERA in conference play, at 5.26, which has certainly cost wins in quality offensive games. On the other hand, a proud achievement for DiToma this year has been USF’s baserunning. San Francisco has accumulated 34 stolen bases in conference games, the second highest in the WCC. 

Bradford Hurlbut, the director of athletics at Fairleigh Dickinson University, had glowing praise for DiToma on his departure. “The Don’s gain is sincerely FDU’s loss. Rob did a terrific job of restoring respectability to our baseball program in three short seasons. At the same time, he changed the culture of the team in a much needed and very positive way,” Hurlbut said in a USF press release. In one short year DiToma may be on his way to helping the Dons achieve greatness. 

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