Jan. 29, 2013

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Nine Innings with Sherman Reed of Coppin State

Nino Giarratano gives his father the gift of life (12/23/11)


Nine Innings with Nino Giarratano

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

phil@collegebaseballinsider.com  @RoadToOmaha


This week, we will have head coaches from the Baltimore and San Francisco areas give their thoughts on Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Ravens and the 49ers.


Today we continue with Nino Giarratano (left), entering his 15th season as head coach at San Francisco. He has been named West Coast Conference Coach of the Year three times in the past eight years. The Dons were 29-30 overall in 2012 and 14-10 in the WCC, good for third place. USF won the WCC title in 2011.


On March 2, 2012, the Dons edged Cal State Northridge 6-5 in extra innings to give Giarratano win No. 374. He became USF’s leader in career victories, passing the Legend of the Hilltop, Dante Benedetti.


Giarratano has been an assistant coach for the U.S. National Collegiate Team two times, helping Team USA win a gold medal in 2008 at the FISU World Championships in the Czech Republic and a silver medal in 2010 at the FISU World Championships in Japan.


Prior to his arrival at USF, Giarratano posted a record of 233-86 (.730) as head coach at Trinidad State Junior College (1989-94). He guided the Trojans to five College World Series appearances in six years and was named National Junior College Coach of the Year three times.


Giarratano earned additional national acclaim in 2011 when he donated a kidney to his father.


Giarratano gives us his thoughts on the NFC Champion, the San Francisco 49ers.


First Inning – Did you have a favorite San Francisco 49er in your younger days?

For sure! My favorite 49er of all time is Joe Montana.


Second Inning – As the season started, did you think the 49ers were a Super Bowl team?

As the season started and the win vs. the Green Bay Packers made me a believer that the 49ers where a Super Bowl team.


Third Inning – What was your reaction to Jim Harbaugh's decision to change quarterbacks, starting Colin Kaepernick in place of Alex Smith?

Jim Harbaugh has been golden in my book, I follow the many tough decisions he makes each and every day. I figure he has shown great decision-making in his quarterback lineage, Andrew Luck to Alex Smith to Kaepernick. Great performances and great players make for good coaching. It has turned out to be a great decision.


Fourth Inning – What impresses you about Jim Harbaugh as a head coach?

The preparation and determination, as well as the system, have impressed me the most. Coach Harbaugh has been able to be very successful at every level and program he has touched.


Fifth Inning – Which 49er do you think would be the best baseball player?

Kaepernick would make the best baseball player. He has speed, arm strength and the ability to move an organization.


Sixth Inning – Who on your team would make the best 49er, and what position would he play?

Coach Nakamura would make a great 49er. At 5'2 he could hide in the huddle and sneak attack the Ravens!!! Ha ha. Our best chance is Justin Maffei, our senior center fielder, who could play DB or special teams.


Seventh Inning – Who is the biggest San Francisco fan on your team/staff?

Biggest 49ers fans- Justin Maffei, Alex Balog, Joe Dellacella, and B-Dog.


Eighth Inning – Which player from the Ravens do you fear most?

Ray Lewis- uhh Ray Lewis- well Ray Lewis


Ninth Inning – Why will the 49ers win? What will be the final score?

The 49ers will win based on the balance of their team, their ability to run from multiple positions, pass on many levels, play defense at a very high level. And the will of the younger brother. Final Score 35-17 49ers.


Extra Innings – What should we expect from the San Francisco Dons this season?

The Dons will hopefully catch the San Francisco magic and be part of the run. The Giants and 49ers have energized our entire Bay Area. The Dons will compete with a great passion, play an exciting brand of baseball, and pitch enough to be there until the end.


(photos courtesy of USF Media Relations Office)