Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Milestone for Conte

California University's Mike Conte (pictured) became the all-time winningest coach in Vulcans history with his 396th victory Sunday against Lenoir-Rhyne in Hickory, N.C.

One of only three head coaches in school history, Conte surpassed the 395 wins set by his predecessor Chuck Gismondi (1980-96).

Conte has guided the Vulcans to a 396-271-4 (.593) overall record with six PSAC West titles, two PSAC tournament championships (2004, 2010) and a pair of NCAA tournament appearances (2007, 2010).

Conte is four victories shy of becoming the 50th active NCAA Division II head coach to reach the 400-win milestone. He would then join Slippery Rock’s Jeff Messer and Mansfield’s Harry Hillson as the only active head coaches in the PSAC with 400 victories.

Conte started his coaching career as an assistant coach in 1994. He has mentored five PSAC West Athletes of Year and three All-Americans. During his tenure, the Vulcans have set 11 school records highlighted by the winningest team in school history in 2007 (36-17). Conte has also coached 14 players that have gone on to play professional baseball, including outfielder Sam DiMatteo who will be in spring training with the Washington Nationals this month.

A native of Brownsville, Conte was an all-conference outfielder with Virginia Tech before playing in the Oakland Athletics' system for five seasons.


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