5 Joe Godri
Joe  Godri

Head Coach

Alma Mater:
Pittsburgh ('90), New Mexico State ('96)

Career Record:
340-388-3 (14 Years)


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Villanova University is celebrating the 150th year of its baseball program in 2016 and head coach Joe Godri is in a unique position to appreciate that history as he begins his 15th season leading the program. The baseball team has had just four head coaches in the past 67 years and only 10 full-time head coaches total in its century-and-a-half of existence. Godri will be spending his 19th season overall with the Wildcats in 2016, including his time as a head coach and two previous stints as a Villanova assistant.

Entering the 2016 season, Godri has a career record of 340-388-3 in 14 years as the Wildcats head coach. His teams have tallied a record of .500 or better eight times and his winning seasons include two years with at least 30 wins and two appearances in the BIG EAST Championship. His 340 victories are the second-most in the history of the program.

Villanova has developed into one of the top baseball powers in the region under Godri's watch. Over the past 12 seasons (2004-15), the Wildcats have gone 196-137-2 (.588) against non-conference competition and posted a record of 129-82-1 (.611) against opponents from the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The team's success on the field has been justly rewarded. During Godri’s tenure, the Wildcats have had 23 All-BIG EAST selections and had three players named All-Americans. In addition, Villanova has had 28 selections to the Philadelphia Big Five team in the last 10 years and has won six Player of the Year or Pitcher of the Year awards during that span. In recent years, Matt Szczur (2010), Matt Fleishman (2012), Todd Czinege (2015) and Adam Goss (2015) have been first team All-BIG EAST picks, Szczur also went on to receive third team All-America recognition from the website Ping!Baseball.com. In 2013, Tyler Sciacca was named to the ABCA All-East team for the second consecutive year.

Godri has reaped the rewards of watching a young team grow as a unit into a contender in the BIG EAST Conference over the past three years. He fielded a team that included 13 newcomers in 2013 and that season Villanova started an all-freshman infield. As that young team has matured, the Wildcats have increased their win total in each of the last two years and the 2016 roster will be a veteran group that includes 17 upperclassmen.

The team has improved statistically in addition to the progress made in the win-loss column. Villanova has increased its batting average and lowered its ERA in consecutive seasons, with the 2015 squad making significant improvements from the previous year. The team’s batting average of .268 last season was 28 points higher than in 2014, while the pitching staff’s ERA of 4.14 was nearly a full run lower. In conference-only games in 2015, the Wildcats ranked among the top half of the league in batting average (.276), on-base percentage (.357) and slugging percentage (.368) while leading the BIG EAST in doubles (38).

With the team success has come an equivalent level of individual accolades. Second baseman Todd Czinege and junior outfielder Adam Goss were first team All-BIG EAST selections last season, while Czinege and freshman pitcher Mike Sgaramella earned Philadelphia Big Five recognition. Czinege has been an all-conference performer in each of his first two seasons on the Main Line and in 2015 became the first Villanova infielder in 14 years to be a first team All-BIG EAST selection.

Godri has maintained a focus on the complete student-athlete throughout his time as head coach. Junior relief pitcher Kagan Richardson was voted onto the Philadelphia Big Five All-Academic Team in 2015 and was also one of 17 selections from the Wildcats to the BIG EAST All-Academic Team. Villanova has had a total of 199 student-athletes on the BIG EAST All-Academic Team in Godri’s 14 years as head coach, with at least 10 selections every season.

The baseball team also continues to be very active in the community. In each of the past two years (2014, 2015), the Wildcats have chosen to spend the St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service assisting the Greater Plymouth Community Center with the cleaning and upkeep of the Service and Devotion Monument at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth. Members of the baseball team also volunteered at the Plymouth 5K run held on the Wildcats home field in 2014, and Villanova has also visited hospitals and participated in Adopt-A-Family programs during the holidays.

In addition to guiding his student-athletes to success both on the diamond and in the classroom during their time on campus, Godri has also prepared his players for careers in professional baseball. Villanova had five former players active in the American professional ranks at the end of the 2015 season, including Chicago Cubs outfielder Matt Szczur at the major league level and four pitchers at the minor league level. The pitchers who are currently active at the professional level include Max Almonte (St. Louis Cardinals), JB Kole (Milwaukee Brewers), Kyle McMyne (Cincinnati Reds) and Pat Young (San Francisco Giants).

At least one Villanova pitcher has been selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in 13 of the 14 seasons that Godri has been head coach, and the total number of draft picks from the Wildcats in that span is 24 after the selection of Almonte in the 16th round of the 2015 draft. Villanova has had multiple draft picks nine times in the past 14 years and Godri has had five players chosen in the top eight rounds of the draft. Szczur was a fifth round pick of the Cubs in 2010 and made his major league debut during the 2014 season. He is the third player overall from Godri’s tenure to reach the major leagues and the first position player. Right-handed pitchers Brian Slocum (2006, 2008) and Kevin Mulvey (2009, 2010) also played in the major leagues after being high draft picks under Godri’s watch. Mulvey has since returned to campus following his professional career and will begin his fourth season as the Wildcats pitching coach in 2016.

Villanova alumni have also gone on to have success playing internationally. The most recent in that group is Mike Loree, the Wildcats career innings pitched leader who spent parts of three seasons in Taiwan pitching for the Lamigo Monkeys. Loree had a great deal of success internationally after a minor league career in the Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates systems, in addition to a successful stint with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League. Other notable international players from the Wildcats include Mark Cardillo and Angelo Petracca (Italy), Bob Grzenda (Germany) and John Yeager (Mexico).

During his time on the Main Line, Godri has emphasized the importance of growing a collegiate baseball program through incremental team achievements that build up to an ultimate goal, which in the Wildcats case means having success in the highly competitive BIG EAST Conference.

In 2008, the Wildcats made an impressive run late in the regular season to assure themselves of being one of just five teams from the 2007 BIG EAST Championship that would return the following year. Villanova won seven of its last 10 regular season conference games and clinched a playoff berth against regular season champion St. John's at home on the final day of the regular season.

In the conference tournament, Villanova knocked off the top-seeded Red Storm, 12-0, in the opening game. The No. 8 seed Wildcats went on to reach the semifinals before being eliminated by eventual champion Louisville. During the season, shortstop Derek Shunk broke the program's career records for hits, games played and at-bats en route to finishing his career ranked in the top-10 in school history in eight different offensive categories. Shunk was a three-time All-BIG EAST selection and in 2007 was chosen as the District I Player of the Year and a third team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Villanova was voted the city’s Team of the Year and Godri earned Coach of the Year honors in the Philadelphia Big Five for the 2008 season.

Many of the achievements of the 2008 team mirrored those of the 2007 squad, which ended the program's 10-year drought from postseason competition. The Wildcats also clinched their playoff berth in 2007 with a come-from-behind win over the league's regular season champion (Rutgers) during the final weekend of the regular season after making a significant run in the final weeks of the year just to be in position to contend for a playoff spot. In the 2007 BIG EAST Championship, Villanova showed that it belonged, knocking out five-time defending champion Notre Dame in an elimination game on the second day. A day earlier, the Wildcats had taken eventual College World Series qualifier Louisville to the wire in their opening game.

Godri's success at Villanova has gained the notice of his peers and during the summer of 2006 he was named to the USA Baseball selection committee that chose the players for the collegiate National Team.

Several highlights of Godri's early tenure as head coach came during the 2005 campaign, when the Wildcats achieved many of the goals that he laid out upon his arrival. In only their seventh game of the season, Villanova erupted for 15 hits in an 11-1 rout of the nation's eighth-ranked Florida Gators. Florida was playing its 12th game of the season and eventually reached the final series of the College World Series that spring.

Also in 2005, starting pitchers Nick Allen and Kevin Mulvey threw no-hitters exactly one month apart. They were the seventh and eighth no-hitters in school history and the first in more than 40 years. Both pitchers were named as National Players of the Week for their achievements, making them the first Villanova players to earn national honors in Godri's tenure.

In the season prior to being named the head coach, Godri served as the associate head coach in 2001 during the final season of George Bennett's 16-year stay on campus. In this position, Godri had the unique opportunity to recruit the first class that would play for him in 2002. That first recruiting class included eventual Villanova stars Nick Allen, James Baxter, Mark Cardillo, Alan Day and Mike Grodecki. Godri's recruiting classes since then have been on par, as Villanova recruits have been ranked among the top 100 classes in the country seven times by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

Godri was named the 10th head coach in the illustrious history of Villanova baseball on May 8, 2001. He took over the reigns from all-time program wins leader George Bennett, a 16-year veteran of the program and a member of the Villanova Varsity Club Hall of Fame. Godri's stint as head coach is actually his second with the Wildcats. He previously came to the Main Line in 1991 and served as the hitting coach for three seasons before returning in 2000 as an assistant coach.

During his first stay at Villanova, Godri coached All-American players Mike Neill and Gene Schall. Both went on to play in the major leagues, while Neill won a gold medal playing for the United States in the 2000 Olympic Games. Godri helped lead the Wildcats to the 1991 NCAA Northeast Regional, the team's second NCAA appearance in three seasons.

Following his first three years at Villanova, Godri was the head assistant coach at New Mexico State from 1994-97. While coaching at New Mexico State, two of his three recruiting classes were ranked in the top 40 by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. In addition, the Aggies were ranked in the top 25 for the first time in school history.

With his focus on hitting as a New Mexico State assistant, Godri helped the Aggies crack the top five in several NCAA offensive categories including hitting, runs scored, stolen bases and home runs. He also coached another future major leaguer in Jason Rackers, who would go on to play for the Kansas City Royals. While with the Aggies, Godri coached under current North Carolina State head coach Elliott Avent who was named National Coach of the Year in 2003.

After three seasons at New Mexico State, Godri spent one season as an associate scout for the Cleveland Indians. He then traveled to the University of Utah where he assisted with the pitching staff for two seasons.

Godri played his collegiate baseball at Colorado State and Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla. After finishing his degree as a graduate assistant at the University of Pittsburgh with his Bachelor's Degree in Education, Godri went on to receive a Master's Degree in Marketing and Management from New Mexico State.

Godri and his wife, Michelle, reside in Linfield, Pa.

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