EMMITSBURG, Md. (WDVM) – Mount St. Mary’s announced on Monday that they have hired 28-year coaching vet, Frank Leoni, as the 14th head coach to lead the Mountaineer baseball program.
“I am equally excited and grateful for this tremendous opportunity to lead the Mount baseball program!” said Leoni who has always kept his eye on the Mount baseball coaching position.
“I think it’s just a beautiful place [and] there were a lot of things about the college that were very similar to what I’ve had at Marymount the last eight years – the Catholic values, the education, the commitment to strong athletics [and] that was very intriguing to me.”
Leoni actually started the baseball program at Marymount in 2014 and in eight years took Marymount baseball to the program’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament, following its first-ever Atlantic East Conference championship.
Prior to Marymount, Leoni played shortstop for Rhode Island University and took over the program as head coach two years after graduating. Under Leoni, the Rams went from only winning two games in 1994 to back-to-back 30-win seasons before he left the program 2005 in which year the Rams won their first Atlantic 10 title and appeared in the Long Beach Regional of the NCAA Tournament.
Leoni seems to have the Midas touch, leaving programs better than he left them. After Rhode Island, Leoni coached seven seasons at College of William & Mary with his Tribe teams averaging 28 wins a season with his 2008 team achieving a 36-21 record, while also seeing four players get drafted. Leoni moved on from William & Mary in 2012 but left a lasting impact with the 2013 team reaching the NCAA regional.
Leoni will inherit a similar situation as he did in Rhode Island with Mount St. Mary’s only winning 9 games in 2021 and not having had a winning season in recent history. The Mount is hoping Leoni can do the same for them as he has proven to have done at his previous stops, and Leoni says that the first step in doing that is “culture.”
“I don’t have a magic wand or pixie dust that I can pull out of my pocket and just sprinkle and everything’s going to be all good. The biggest thing that we’re going to bring is culture. There’s a lot of little things that we’ll do to build that but essentially what we’re going to try to do is instill those values of being a great teammate, being a great servant leader and once we start having those things in place – everything else is like a domino effect.”