The NIU baseball program has had many a great leaders in the dugout. Young men that have led vocally, through character and with their performance on the field. But it's not every season you have a young man that brings all three to the diamond every game at Ralph McKinzie Field. The Huskies have one in 2015. His name is Gavin.
Week 2 of the NIU Baseball Podcast, where Head Coach Ed Mathey and Assistant Media Relations Director Matt Scheerer discuss all things NIU Baseball. This week, Mathey reviews the Huskies trip to Arizona and shares his thoughts on the series with Minnesota.
The NIU Baseball Podcast returns in 2014 for its second season, talking all things NIU baseball with Head Coach Ed Mathey and assistant media relations director Matt Scheerer. Join Ed and Matt as they discuss the upcoming series with Minnesota, preview the 2014 team and some of the happenings in the program.
Tom Carcione returned to Northern Illinois Sept. 25, 2012 where he was an assistant in 2007-08, after spending a combined three seasons as Head Coach with the Ottawa Rapidz and at Metro State. He brings 10 years of professional playing experience and over 10 seasons of coaching experience in both the professional and college ranks.
After spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach, Carcione will transition into the Director of Operations position for the 2015 season.
During his first season back with the program in 2013, Carcione tutored All-Mid-American Conference infielders Alex Klonowski and Jeff Zimmerman who each accumulated at least 30 RBI and 60 hits with a combined eight errors to their credit in 716 total chances (.989 fielding percentage) en route to the team's first MAC West Championship. As the team's third base coach as well, he also helped Jamison Wells secure the program record for stolen bases in a career with 87.
This past season, Coach Carcione helped shortstop Brian Sisler improve his batting average 104 points in sophomore season, improving his mark to .304 from .200 as a freshman. The DeKalb native also ended the 2014 season on a 16-game hitting streak, the longest by a Huskie since Wells' 19-game hitting streak in 2010-11.
In his role with the Huskies, Carcione serves as the team's hitting instructor and works closely with the squad's catchers. Under his tutelage , a pair of Huskie hitters earned All-Mid-American Conference selections in 2008. Justin Behm, a first-team honoree, hit .299 with 42 RBI and led the team with 11 homeruns while Jeff Thomas, a second-team selection, led the team with a .350 batting average to go with 10 doubles, a pair of homeruns and 34 RBI.
No stranger to the Huskies, Carcione left the Huskies in the fall of 2008 to take a manager's position with the Ottawa Rapidz, an independent team in the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball through the 2009 season. The club disbanded operations following that season. He went on to become the interim head coach at Metro State during 2009-10 school year and became the full-time head coach the following season.
In his two seasons at Metro State, Carcione led the Roadrunners to a 50-40 overall record and only just missed the NCAA Division II playoffs in 2011 as the team finished 29-17 overall, including a 25-14 record in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Outfielder David Fox was a consensus all-american under Carcione for the Roadrunners, earning honors from the American Baseball Coaches Assocition of America, Daktronics and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association of America. In the classroom, the team had 10 players recognized on the RMAC's All-Academic team.
In his first stint, Carcione came to Northern Illinois after two seasons as pitching coach for the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association, the team in which he played three seasons. With the X's, Carcione helped engineer a 10-game improvement and second-place North Division finish during the second half of the 2007 campaign. Under Carcione's direction, Brad Guy led the league in complete games, Brian Buchanan ranked second in innings pitcher, and closer Matt Wilkinson was among the league leaders in saves.
In 2006, Carcione mentored Explorers hurler Billy Keppinger, who led the American Association with five complete games and 140.0 innings pitched.
Carcione spent the 2005 college season as head coach at Si Tanka University, an NAIA program in Huron, S.D. As skipper of the Screaming Eagles, Carcione led the team to a 17-9 Dakota Athletic Conference record and third-place finish with a squad that featured four first team all-league selections.
Prior to his head coaching stint, Carcione spent four years as an assistant coach at South Dakota before the university disbanded its baseball program following the 2004 season. The Coyotes went 94-76 (.553) during Carcione's four seasons and finished .500 or above three times, including 23-17 and 24-18 marks in 2001 and 2002. During Carcione's tenure, USD produced a pair of professional players led by catcher Dean Devine, who became the school's first Major League Baseball draftee in 2002, and featured seven all-conference selections, four all-region choices and a third team Academic All-American. While coaching at USD, Carcione completed his degree in recreation during the summer of 2001.
After a 10-year professional playing career, the River Grove, Ill., native began coaching in 1999 as the bench and bullpen coach with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the Northern League. In Carcione's first campaign, the RedHawks reached the playoffs with a 50-35 overall record. Pitcher Greg Salvevold led the league with 10 wins and earned Rookie Pitcher of the Year honors while second baseman Steve Hine and third baseman Mike Busch each were named to the all-star team. In 2000, the RedHawks took both the first half and second half Central Division titles while totaling a league-best 53-33 overall record before reaching the second round of the league playoffs. The team had four players on the all-star team.
Carcione doubled as an assistant coach at Deerfield (Ill.) High School during the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
An all-state catcher at Holy Cross High School in River Grove, Carcione spent two seasons playing at Connors State Junior College in Warner, Okla., where he twice earned all-region selection. Upon graduating from CSJC, he played in the Cape Cod League for Hyannis during the 1987 summer season before attending Texas A&M. In 1988, Carcione was the starting catcher for the Aggies and hit .280 with 11 home runs and 42 RBI while helping the team to a 52-15 overall record before ending the season as runner-up to Cal State Fullerton at the NCAA South Regional.
Following his only season at A&M, Carcione was selected in the 10th round of the 1988 MLB Amateur Draft by the Oakland Athletics. He spent five seasons in the Athletics' farm system and reached double-A Hunstville in 1990. His best season came at Modesto in 1992 when he hit .271 with five home runs and 45 RBI for the A's high-A affiliate.
In 1993, Carcione was the first player signed by the Explorers franchise, then of the Northern League, and played two seasons with the club. After helping the team to the league's first-half title and runner-up finish during the 1994 campaign, Carcione continued his career with a two-year stint with the Grand Forks Varmints of the Prairie League before rejoining the X's for the 1998 season. Carcione was selected to the Northern League All-Star Game during his final playing season.
THE CARCIONE FILE
Coaching Experience 2011 Head Coach, Metro State 2010 Interim Head Coach, Metro State 2009 Head Coach, Ottawa Rapidz (Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball) 2008 Assistant Coach, Northern Illinois 2006-07 Pitching Coach, Sioux City Explorers (American Association) 2005 Head Coach, Si Tanka 2001-04 Assistant Coach, South Dakota 1999-2000 Assistant Coach, Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks (Northern League)
Collegiate Playing Experience 1988 Texas A&M 1987 Hyannis Mets (Cape Cod League) 1987 Connors State
Professional Playing Experience 1996-97 Grand Forks Varmints (Prairie League) 1993-94, 98 Sioux City Explorers (Northern League) 1990-92 Huntsville Stars (Class AA/Southern League) 1991 Reno Silver Fox (Class A/California League) 1989-90, 92 Modesto A's (Class A/California League) 1989 Madison Muskies (Class A/California League) 1988 Southern Oregon A's (Class A/Northwest League) 1988 Drafted by Oakland Athletics (10th round)
Education B.S., Recreation management South Dakota, '01