Tufts University's John Casey, now in his 38th season with the Jumbos including 36 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. Last year Tufts advanced to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship game for the third straight year and 11th time overall. In 2017, he guided the team to its second straight NESCAC championship and fifth overall (most in the conference). The Jumbos finished 30-10-1 under Coach Casey that year. 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 in 2010 and 2011 and had their first league title in 2002.
Tufts has played in the NCAA Tournament five times in the last nine years, including 2017, 2016, 2014, 2011, and 2010. The 1995 and 2002 Jumbo teams also qualified for NCAA's under Coach Casey for seven berths overall. 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. The Jumbos earned #1 seeds at the 2010 and 2011 NCAA New England Regional Tournaments.
The Jumbos earned the 700th win of Coach Casey's career with an 8-4 victory over Castleton University in the 2018 season-opener. Casey became the 17th active Division III coach and 35th all-time to reach the 700 wins milestone. He is one of two active New England coaches to have that many and is the sixth all-time in New England Division III to reach the mark. Through 35 seasons leading the Jumbo program, he now has a 719-322-5 record (.690). He has coached 1,046 games for the Jumbos entering 2019.
NESCAC's Coach of the Year for 2016 and 2017, 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. In 2017, pitcher Speros Varinos was honored as an All-American for the second straight year. Tufts has had the last two NESCAC Players of the Year in Nick Falkson and Malcolm Nachmanoff.
Jumbo 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 Academic All-America® Teams. The Jumbos hold an annual 100-inning charity game supporting Homes for Our Troops among its many community service activities. Cooper Martin, a courageous boy who has a brain tumor, was drafted by the Tufts baseball team 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.
Coach Casey will be inducted into New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) Hall of Fame on May 31 of this year. He has served the NEIBA for many years in a leadership capacity, including as a member of the Executive Board committee and in his current role with the All-Star Game committee. In 2000, the NEIBA presented him with the Jack Butterfield Award, its most prestigious honor, given to an active coach who exhibits the integrity and dedication to the game that Coach Butterfield demonstrated throughout his career. Coach Casey also received the Andy Baylock Distinguished Service Award from the NEIBA in 2005, recognizing his significant contributions to the betterment of New England college baseball.
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. A 1980 Tufts graduate, Casey 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 29 winning seasons during his tenure. Casey was promoted to Assistant Athletics Director at Tufts in 2001 and currently holds the title of Associate Athletics Director. In 2017, the Jumbo football program and the Friends of Tufts Football presented the inaugural John Baronian Distinguished Jumbo Football Award to Coach Casey.
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 the head coach at Johnson & Wales, Brendan works under his dad at Tufts and Chris coaches with the Northeast Longhorns AAU team.