Story courtesy of Ohio Sports Information
ATHENS, Ohio-Ohio Hall of Fame head coach Joe Carbone will retire following the 2012 season, his 24th as the leader of the baseball program, the school announced Monday evening.
Carbone's 659 wins are more than any other coach in Ohio Athletics' history and second only to Western Michigan's Fred Decker's 759 victories from 1976-2004. Carbone's 350 Mid-American Conference victories are also second only to Decker's 401 triumphs.
"With where I am in the state teacher's retirement, my family and I sat down and decided that it was best that 2012 be my final year at Ohio University," said Carbone. "I am indebted to Ohio University for the time I spent as a student-athlete under (former) head coach Bob Wren and (former) President Dr. Vernon Alden. I have had the wonderful opportunity to serve as head baseball coach under (former) AD Harold "Mack" McElehnny and (former) President Dr. Charles Ping and am grateful for the support shown by President Dr. Roderick J. McDavis, AD Jim Schaus and Senior Associate AD Amy Dean in my final year as head coach at the University. I am very appreciative of all of the student-athletes, managers, assistant coaches and student and local media that have been with me throughout my career. Another significant debt of gratitude goes to my assistant coach, the late Bill Toadvine, as well as current assistants Andrew See and Scott Malinowski for their loyalty shown both me and the baseball program. Pat, Cristin, Sarah and I have been very fortunate to have the backing of the University and Athens community during what will be my 24 years as head coach."
During his tenure, Ohio won MAC titles in 1991 and 1997. That 1997 season also produced the most wins ever by an Ohio baseball team in one season with 43.
Bobcat teams have almost completely rewritten Ohio's record books under Carbone's watch. Working directly with the hitters and defense, he has been instrumental in the breaking of 55 individual regular-season or career records as well as 63 single-season team marks. In 2001, 12 individual and 19 team records were set when the Bobcats led the NCAA in home runs as a team (122). In 2002, outfielder Mike Arbinger was the first Ohio player to bat over .400 since 1985 and he recorded the highest offensive efficiency average in the 16-year history of the Bob Wren Efficiency Award.
In addition, Carbone has been named MAC Coach of the Year twice (1991, 1997), also earning Mideast Region Coach of the Year in 1997.
"Joe has left an indelible mark on our baseball program," said Ohio Director of Athletics Jim Schaus. "He is first class in all that he does and will be missed. I am thankful that Joe will be with us next year as we turn to the next chapter in Ohio Baseball."
Over the course of his coaching career, 42 players have signed professional baseball contracts and eight of Carbone's players have achieved All-America status - Josh Sorge in 1996, Tom Miller in 1997, Ryan Kyes in 2001, Arbinger in 2002, Adam Fox in 2003, Anthony Gressick in 2004 and 2006, Ben Crabtree in 2005, Marc Krauss in 2009 and Robert Maddox III in 2010. Carbone has coached 43 First-Team All-MAC and 33 All-Mideast Region performers. Krauss claimed MAC Player of the Year honors in 2009, becoming the first Bobcat student-athlete to earn the honor.
Carbone's players are talented in the classroom as well. Fifteen of his athletes have earned Academic All-MAC honors while eight others have garnered Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades (Mark Bradley, Ben Crabtree, Rick Czajkowski, Jason Graham, Kyes, Miller, Krauss and Hayden Johnston). During his tenure, the program boasts a graduation rate that ranks Ohio in the 99th percentile of all Division I baseball.
Carbone's success is not limited to his coaching career. He was a talented player for the Bobcats as well. In three seasons as a starter (1968-70), he proved himself versatile, seeing time at second base, shortstop, third base and in the outfield.
In those three seasons, Ohio compiled an overall record of 74-24, going 36-4 in MAC play with three conference titles. Carbone was captain for the 1970 team that participated in the College World Series.
In 1969, as a center fielder, Carbone led the team with a .367 average and was a Second-Team All-MAC selection. Following a move to second base in 1970, Carbone teamed with future Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt to form the greatest double-play tandem in Bobcat history.
His playing days did not end after the completion of his Bobcat career. After signing with Kansas City following the 1970 season, Carbone played for Kingsport and Waterloo in the Royals' organization. He then traveled to Italy, acting as a player/coach for Edipen.
The Bobcats will wrap up the regular season when Miami comes calling for a three-game series that is set to begin Thursday at 6 p.m. ET at Bob Wren Stadium.