Getting To Know New Penn State Baseball Head Coach Mike Gambino

There’s a new skipper in Happy Valley.

Penn State baseball hired Mike Gambino Monday as its new head coach after the resignation of former head coach Rob Cooper at the conclusion of the 2023 season. Gambino spent the past 13 seasons as the head baseball coach at Boston College, where he helped the Eagles reach the NCAA Regionals twice and appeared in the NCAA Super Regionals in 2016.

While Gambino had recently signed a five-year extension to remain with Boston College after a run to the 2023 NCAA Regionals, he flipped to Penn State just two weeks later.

Gambino is a native of Garrison, New York, and a member of the Boston College Class of 1999. During his four years playing baseball for the Eagles, Gambino started in 166 games, most often at second base. Gambino recorded a career batting average of .313 in college while recording 179 hits, eight home runs, and 87 RBIs. During his senior season, he notched 78 hits, the single-season record for most hits in school history until 2011.

After college, Gambino went undrafted but signed with the Boston Red Sox and spent two years in the franchise’s minor league system. After the 2002 season, he was named a special assistant to the Major League staff for the Red Sox before he took a role as an assistant for Boston College. During this time, he also worked as a scout for the Detroit Tigers.

Gambino would follow Pete Hughes, his former head coach at Boston College, to an assistant coaching role at Virginia Tech for four seasons before returning to Boston College to accept the head coaching job in 2010. Gambino won 291 games during his 13 seasons as the head coach for the Eagles and remains the second-most winningest head coach in program history.

Gambino is coming off one of his best seasons as a coach as Boston College went 37-20, was ranked as high as No. 9 in the country, and won two NCAA Regional games in 2023.

Gambino has also produced multiple players who have gone on to play in the MLB, including Michael King of the New York Yankees, Emmet Sheehan of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jake Alu of the Washington Nationals, and the Milwaukee Brewers’ 2021 first-round draft pick Sal Frelick.

“I am thrilled to welcome Mike and his family to Happy Valley as our new baseball coach,” Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Pat Kraft said of Gambino in a press release. “We worked with Mike at Boston College and know how he grows a program to find success on a national stage. Mike guided BC to the best season in program history this past season, which is impressive in a conference with historical baseball success like the ACC. Mike is a tremendous teacher and has a track record for developing players’ skills to prepare them for the next level. He has an impressive 33 Major League Draft picks in his first 12 years as a head coach.”

Gambino will work to bring Penn State baseball back into relevance in the Big Ten after the Nittany Lions failed to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament all but once in the past decade.

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About the Author

Matt Brown

Matt is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in sports studies from Bensalem, Pa. Matt is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and an overall sports fan in general. When not watching sports, you'll find him taking down any Dollar Dog challenge or rewatching the Big Ten Maps Commercial. To reach him, follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @matt_brown63, or email him at [email protected].

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