Anthony DeCicco is entering his sixth season as the Black Knights’ pitching and catching coach after being added to the staff prior to the 2010 campaign. He also oversees the main recruiting efforts in the Midwest and Western regions.
Four times DeCicco has helped teams to rank in the top 31 nationally in earned run average and assisted in the development of eight players who were selected in the First-Year Major League Baseball Player Draft and one who signed as a free agency.
DeCicco has played a large role in Army’s success on conference and nationals levels. In three of the past four years, Army has reached the Patriot League Championship series, winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013. While at NCAA Regionals in those seasons, Army suffered a pair of losses to nationally ranked teams, dropping a 2-1 decision to sixth-ranked Virginia in 2013 on the heels of a 2-1 setback to #14 Oklahoma the year prior.
DeCicco has overseen the development of several all-conference players at Army, including starting pitchers Chris Rowley and Alex Robinett. Rowley was a first team All-Patriot League selection, named Most Outstanding Player in the Patriot League Championship Series and signed a professional contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, while Robinett was a conference second-team selection.
Under DeCicco’s guidance, Logan Lee threw a no-hitter against Bucknell in 2012, just the second time in school history that feat has been accomplished.
During the 2013 season, DeCicco helped the Black Knights record a 4.03 earned-run average while Rowley posted a 9-4 mark with six complete games and 75 strikeouts in 97.2 innings of work. Gunnar Carroll recorded four saves and the Black Knights showed a 279 to 139 strikeout to walk ratio.
As part of the 2012 season, DeCicco presided over an Army pitching staff that led the Patriot League and ranked 31st nationally in earned run average (3.25) while establishing a program record 41 wins. The Black Knights also ranked 21st in the country in hits allowed per nine innings (8.03), 28th in walks allowed per nine innings (2.81) and 18th in WHIP (1.20). DeCicco helped Chris Rowley establish a number of Academy single-season records, including wins (11), innings pitched (97.1) and consecutive scoreless innings (29). Rowley, who was tabbed Patriot League Pitcher of the Year and earned a spot on the all-league first team, collected three All-America certificates. DeCicco also helped Logan Lee earn a spot on the All-Patriot League second team. Catcher J.T. Watkins was drafted in the 10th round of the First-Year Major League Baseball Player Draft after establishing a three-year caught stealing percentage of 54%.
In the 2011 campaign, Army ranked second in the Patriot League in ERA (5.09). The Black Knights led the conference in fewest walks per nine innings, while listing second in opponents’ batting average (.282). Army led the conference in ERA during league games, posting a 4.30 mark versus Patriot League foes.
DeCicco’s pitching staff topped the Patriot League and ranked 30th nationally in ERA (4.34) in 2010. The staff also paced the conference in strikeouts per nine innings (7.09). Starting pitcher Matt Fouch earned the conference’s Pitcher of the Year award and was named to the All-Patriot League first team. Relief pitcher Kevin McKague, who established Army’s single-season saves record (13), was unanimously selected to the all-league first unit as well.
Before arriving at West Point, DeCicco spent one season as pitching and catching coach, as well as recruiting coordinator, at Fordham University. Prior to his one-year stint in the Bronx, DeCicco logged six years on the coaching staff at the University of Vermont. He arrived at Vermont from Eastern Connecticut State University, where he served on the staff of the 2002 NCAA Division III National Champions.
During his stay at Fordham, DeCicco helped the Rams to a fourth-place finish in the Atlantic 10 Conference with a 16-11 mark, despite being tabbed to finish ninth in the preseason poll.
As Vermont’s recruiting coordinator, as well as pitching and catching coach, DeCicco was instrumental in the Catamounts capturing the program’s first two America East Conference regular-season championships in 2003 and 2006. The program reached the America East Conference Finals in 2005.
Under DeCicco’s tutelage, the Vermont pitching staff excelled, topping the America East in team earned run average in both 2003 and 2005, while ranking among national leaders both years. Twice in six seasons, Vermont collected Pitcher of the Year accolades.
The Catamounts also ranked sixth nationally in ERA in 2003. Additionally, seven Vermont players were drafted or signed by Major League baseball organizations from 2003 to 2009. DeCicco was a part of 146 wins during his six seasons on staff, including a program record 32 in 2003.
A 2001 graduate of ECSU and a native of Johnston, R.I., DeCicco received his bachelor’s degree in physical education. He earned a master’s degree from Vermont in education and leadership in 2005. During his playing days, DeCicco helped the Warriors to the 1998 Division III National Championship as a catcher and then joined the staff of American Baseball Coaches of America Hall of Fame selection Bill Holowaty following graduation.
DeCicco and his wife, Elizabeth, have a son, Theodore and a daughter, Peyton. The family resides in nearby Highland Falls, N.Y.