Wells Tabs New Assistant

Joe Raccuia (Ruh-KOO-yah) was named assistant baseball coach at The University of Alabama in an announcement from head coach Jim Wells on Thursday.

"I am very happy to have a man of Joe's caliber" Wells said. "He is a former head coach and brings that experience to Alabama along with his other outstanding credentials. He is an excellent recruiter and evaluator. We are very happy to have Joe on board."

Raccuia comes to Alabama after spending the last two seasons as head coach at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He will serve as the Crimson Tide's hitting coach and will also work with the infielders in addition to his recruiting duties.

"I am very excited about the move and working at one of the premier schools in the country," Raccuia said. "Coach Wells was very professional through the entire process. I am very excited to be a part of the best baseball league in the country. I am looking forward to developing players and helping get Alabama back in the College World Series."

Raccuia spent the last two seasons as head coach at Marist College, where he compiled a 58-51 (.532) overall record, including a 39-15 (.722) record in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play. The 2005 squad posted a 33-21 record and captured the MAAC regular-season and post-season championships. For his efforts, he was named the 2005 MAAC Coach of the Year.

The Red Foxes also landed a berth in the 2005 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional, where they lost to LSU and Northwestern State, coached by former UA assistant coach Mitch Gaspard.

In his two seasons, seven players earned All-MAAC honors under Raccuia's watch, including 2005 MAAC Pitcher of the year Chris Tracz, while Rob Ryan was named 2005 MAAC Relief Pitcher of the Year. Tracz, Ryan and Travis Musolf also earned All-Northeast Region honors, while Raccuia's teams featured nine MAAC All-Academic Team selections.

Prior to taking over at Marist, Racciua was an assistant coach at George Mason for four years (2000-03), including being named associate head coach in his final two seasons (2002-03). While at George Mason, Racciua was responsible for hitting and defense.

In his final season, with the Patriots, he coached four All-Conference position players, including the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Defensive Player of the Year. The 2003 squad set the school record for the highest fielding percentage (.970) and 21st nationally in defense. The squad also set the school record for stolen bases. At GMU, Racciua helped recruit three freshman All-Americans.

Prior to his days at George Mason, Racciua spent four years (1997-99) as the assistant head coach at The George Washington University. At GW he served as hitting coach, recruiting coordinator and worked with the position players. In his three years at GW, Raccuia coached or recruited 12 players who went on to professional careers and 14 players who earned All-Conference recognition in the Atlantic 10. The 1998 team set a school record for wins and recorded the fourth best turn-a-round in Division I play.

The GW class of 2002 had five Raccuia recruited players taken in the Major League Baseball draft. Over his final two seasons with the Colonials, GW set school records in hits, homeruns, doubles, runs scored and runs batted in.

In both of his coaching stints, Raccuia has shown a commitment to the complete student-athlete. At George Mason and George Washington he served as the team's liaison with the academic coordinator. In four seasons at George Mason, 12 baseball players earned recognition for their academic success and the 2002 squad posted the best GPA in the program's history. That success shadowed the academic success he had at GW, where in his 1998 recruiting class, six of seven players graduated on time.

Raccuia began his coaching career where he played his collegiate baseball, Radford University, in 1996. He served as the assistant coach for that 1996 season, learning the coaching aspect of college baseball, as he assisted in every aspect of the Big South member, Division I program.

Raccuia played two seasons at Radford, graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Social Science. He served as the team captain during the 1995 campaign, helping that squad to a school record for wins. Prior to playing at Radford, Raccuia played two seasons at Edison Community College in Ft. Myers, FL. He served as the team captain his second year, leading that 1993 team to its single-season win total.

A native of Buffalo, N.Y. Raccuia and his wife, Jodi, have one son A.J., who was born February 25, 2005.

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