Entering his 24th season in the Bobcat dugout, Ohio head baseball coach Joe Carbone continues to build on his status as the institution's winningest coach.
Carbone has compiled a 661-582-2 overall record as head coach of his alma mater, more than any coach in any sport at Ohio. Carbone's 661 total wins places him second all-time in MAC history behind only former Western Michigan coach Fred Decker (791). His 341 conference wins is second in MAC history as well, behind only Decker's 401 victories.
The 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008 seasons each featured milestone victories for the Bobcat skipper. On March 30, 2008, a 5-4 Bobcat win over Western Michigan moved Carbone into second place for career MAC wins with his 301st, passing Eastern Michigan long-time skipper Roger Coryell. Carbone passed former Toledo coach Stan Sanders for second place on the MAC all-time wins list with his 535th career victory, a defeat of Otterbein on March 3, 2007. Carbone gained his 500th career coaching victory on April 15, 2005 with a 12-3 decision over Marshall and a 9-4 victory over Cleveland State on March 29, 2004 saw him overtake Bob Wren to become the all-time leader in wins at the school. Carbone then claimed his 600th win with a 6-4 victory over Eastern Michigan on April 27, 2009.
During his tenure, Ohio has won two Mid-American Conference titles, the most recent coming in 1997. That 1997 season also produced the most wins ever by an Ohio baseball team in one season with 43.
During the Carbone era, Bobcat teams have almost completely rewritten Ohio's record books. Working directly with the hitters and defense, he has been instrumental in the breaking of 55 individual regular-season or career records as well as 63 single-season team marks. In 2001, 12 individual and 19 team records were set when the Bobcats led the NCAA in home runs as a team (122). In 2002, outfielder Mike Arbinger was the first Ohio player to bat over .400 since 1985 and he recorded the highest offensive efficiency average in the 16-year history of the Bob Wren Efficiency Award.
In addition, Carbone has been named MAC Coach of the Year twice (1991, 1997), also earning Mideast Region Coach of the Year in 1997.
Over the course of his coaching career, 42 players have signed professional baseball contracts. Eight of Carbone's players have achieved All-America status - Josh Sorge in 1996, Tom Miller in 1997, Ryan Kyes in 2001, Arbinger in 2002, Adam Fox in 2003, Anthony Gressick in 2004 and 2006, Ben Crabtree in 2005, Marc Krauss in 2009 and Robert Maddox III in 2010. Carbone has coached 43 First-Team All-MAC and 33 All-Mideast Region performers during his 22 years at Ohio. Krauss claimed MAC Player of the Year honors in 2009, becoming the first Bobcat student-athlete to claim the honor.
Carbone's players are talented in the classroom as well. Fifteen of his athletes have earned Academic All-MAC honors while eight others have garnered Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades (Mark Bradley, Ben Crabtree, Rick Czajkowski, Jason Graham, Kyes, Miller, Krauss and Hayden Johnston). During his tenure, the program boasts a graduation rate that ranks Ohio in the 99th percentile of all Division I baseball.
Carbone's success as a coach helped to earn him perhaps his most prestigious honor in the spring of 1999. USA Baseball named him as an assistant coach for its 1999 team that competed in the Pan-Am Games in Winnipeg, Canada. He joined former Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies manager Buddy Bell's staff that also included Dick Cooke (Davidson College), Marcel Lachemann (former manager of the Anaheim Angels), Jackie Moore (former Oakland Athletic) and Reggie Smith (seven-time MLB All-Star).
The team's silver-medal-winning performance earned it a spot in the 2000 Summer Olympics, where it went on to win the gold medal.
Among his many career accomplishments, Carbone was named chairman of the NCAA Mideast Region All-America Committee in August 2004. As the representative for the region, he is part of selecting the nation's All-America team.
Ohio was not Carbone's first coaching stop. He spent 17 years as an assistant coach at Marshall, Toledo and Ohio State. During his stint with the Buckeyes from 1977-88, Carbone was very active in collegiate summer leagues. He was a coach and general manager of the Columbus All-Americans, also helping to develop the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League in Michigan and Ohio. In 1982, he guided Winchester to the Shenandoah Valley Collegiate League championship. For Carbone's accomplishments and continued commitment to development of the GLSCL, the league named the Manager of the Year Award after him in his honor.
From 1992-97, Carbone served as a taskforce member for USA Baseball's fall trials in Homestead, Fla., and Tucson, Ariz. The trials are held for players under consideration for the United States Olympic Baseball Team.
He was also a member of the task force that aided in the selection of the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Teams. His coaching experience with the 1999 team served as the continuation of an enduring relationship with USA Baseball.
In 1992, he took part in a United States/Italy coaches' exchange sponsored by the United States Baseball Federation's Ambassadors Committee. Carbone and nine other coaches from American colleges and universities conducted baseball clinics throughout Italy.
Carbone has been a frequent speaker at coaches' clinics across the United States and Canada. He has produced baseball videos and publications, and has also addressed the American College Baseball Coaches Convention four times. Carbone hosts annual summer camps at Ohio where he instructs youngsters on his philosophy of baseball fundamentals.
Carbone's success is not limited to his coaching career. He was a talented player for the Bobcats as well. In three seasons as a starter (1968-70), he proved himself versatile, seeing time at second base, shortstop, third base and in the outfield.
In those three seasons, Ohio compiled an overall record of 74-24, going 36-4 in MAC play with three conference titles. Carbone was captain for the 1970 team that participated in the College World Series.
In 1969, as a center fielder, Carbone led the team with a .367 average and was a Second-Team All-MAC selection. Following a move to second base in 1970, Carbone teamed with future Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt to form the greatest double-play tandem in Bobcat history.
His playing days did not end after the completion of his Bobcat career. After signing with Kansas City following the 1970 season, Carbone played for Kingsport and Waterloo in the Royals' organization. He then traveled to Italy, acting as a player/coach for Edipen.
Carbone has received Hall of Fame recognition from a number of organizations, most notably the Kermit Blosser Ohio University Hall of Fame where he was inducted in 2011 as a player and a coach.
He is also a member of the Tioga County Athletic Hall of Fame where he excelled in soccer, basketball and baseball for Elkland High School of Elkland, Pa.
As one of six charter members, Carbone was inducted into the GLSCL Hall of Fame in a special ceremony during the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League All-Star Game on July 18, 2004. The Great Lakes League Coach of the Year Award is also named in his honor.
In 2007, Carbone was named to the George Whitfield Baseball Clinic Hall of Fame for his role as a speaker at the annual event.
He earned a bachelor's degree in education from Ohio and a master's degree in physical education from Marshall.
Carbone is married to the former Pat Facer of Toledo. They have two daughters, 2005 Ohio graduate Cristin and 2006 Ohio graduate Sarah.
The 2012 season will be Coach Carbone's last at Ohio University.