Tufts University's John Casey, now in his 37th season with the Jumbos including 35 as head coach, is one of the most respected leaders in college baseball.
Coach Casey served as President of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) for 2016. A member of the ABCA's leadership team for several years, he ascended to the Presidency after serving as a Vice President for four years. He is a member of the ABCA Board of Directors.
On the field, Coach Casey's Jumbos have been one of the best teams in New England throughout his tenure. In 2017, he guided the team to its second straight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship and fifth overall. The Jumbos finished 30-10-1 after making their seventh NCAA appearance under Coach Casey. Tufts has played in the NCAA tournament two years in a row and five times in the last eight years, including 2016, 2014, 2011, and 2010. The 1995 and 2002 Jumbo teams also qualified for NCAA's.
In 2016, Tufts advanced further than any New England team in the NCAA Regionals, reaching the championship round before falling to eventual national runner-up Keystone College. Tufts won the 2016 NESCAC Championship and their 35-8 final record was the most wins for a season in program history.
The Jumbos also won back-to-back conference crowns and earned #1 seeds at the 2010 and 2011 NCAA New England Regional Tournaments. They returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2014. The 2014 Jumbos presented Coach Casey with the 600th victory of his career, a 5-1 win at Bowdoin on April 27 of that season. He was the 43rd coach in NCAA Div. III Baseball history to reach the 600 wins milestone and the seventh among New England Division III mentors. A 1980 Tufts graduate, Casey has directed the Jumbos for 35 seasons at his alma mater and amassed a 699-395-4 record. With one win this season, Casey will become just the 35th coach in NCAA Division III baseball history to earn 700 wins, and just the sixth in New England.
NESCAC's Coach of the Year for two straight seasons and three times overall, Casey's teams have featured five players who signed professionally and several All-Americans. Randy Newsom, a 2004 Tufts graduate, signed with the Boston Red Sox. He was traded to Cleveland as part of a deal for Coco Crisp, and he advanced to the Indians’ Triple A affiliate in Buffalo. Pitcher Jeff Taglienti and outfielder Dan Callahan are also Jumbos coached by Casey who were drafted by Major League organizations. Last spring, pitcher Speros Varinos was honored as an All-American for the second straight year.
Tufts players have also been recognized for their academic achievement and commitment to community service during Casey’s tenure. Varinos, a 2017 graduate, as well as catcher Bryan Egan, a 2015 graduate, and shortstop Scott Staniewicz, a 2013 graduate, were all named to the College Sports Information Directors of America All-America® Division III Teams. The Jumbos hold an annual 100-inning charity game supporting Homes for Our Troops among its many community service activities. Last year, Cooper Martin, a courageous six-year old boy who has a brain tumor was drafted by the Tufts baseball through Team IMPACT, a non-profit organization which works to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses by pairing them with collegiate athletic teams.
In November 1999, Coach Casey was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Boston Park League, the oldest amateur baseball league in the country. In 2000, the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) presented him the Jack Butterfield Award, its most prestigious honor. He received the Andy Baylock Distinguished Service Award from the NEIBA in 2005. Casey was promoted to Assistant Athletics Director at Tufts in 2001.
As an undergraduate, he helped pitch the Jumbos to consecutive ECAC Division II-III Tournament appearances. Also a tight end on 1979’s undefeated football team, he returned to Tufts a year later as a baseball and football assistant. He replaced Lee Sargent as head baseball coach in 1984. The program has recorded 26 winning seasons during his tenure.
Several former players and assistant coaches under Casey are now successful coaches at the college or high school level. Paul Svagdis, a 1993 graduate, guided Azusa Pacific University to two straight NAIA College World Series berths recently. Jamie Pinzino, a 1997 Tufts graduate, is the pitching coach at Army. Former assistant coach Jason Tower is now the head coach at Roger Williams.
Coach Casey and his wife Diane live in Milford. They have four sons - Brian, Kevin, Brendan and Chris. All have followed in their father's footsteps as Brian is an assistant baseball coach at William & Mary, Kevin is on the baseball staff at Northeastern, Brendan works under his dad at Tufts and Chris works with the Northeast Longhorns AAU team.