Coach Bob Bellizzi
His accolades befit a venerable mentor, but Bob Bellizzi's greatest asset was the rapport he had with his student athletes. A scholar of the game, Coach Bellizzi was an excellent communicator, a superb recruiter and a non-stop worker. He instilled these characteristics into every player that buttoned up Saint Rose pinstripes.
The Founder of the Grand Slam Baseball Camp and one of the top baseball coaches in the Northeast, Bob Bellizzi started the baseball program at The College of Saint Rose in 1978, and on his passing in 2006 was the only head baseball coach the Golden Knights had ever known. His passion for the game was only exceeded by his love for his family. In the game of life Bob always came out a winner because he taught us all to stay the course, to keep going, and to remain on the field when it would have been so easy to watch from the stadium seats.
Through his 28 years at the helm, Coach Bellizzi produced well-rounded and talented teams by being a persistent taskmaster dedicated to directing Saint Rose to the forefront of NCAA Division II baseball. He wove that sense of purpose with an outstanding work ethic and a far-reaching knowledge of the game.
Bellizzi won nearly 800 games throughout his tenure inside the Saint Rose dugout. He was listed among the top-20 active coaches at the NCAA Division II level in terms of both victories and winning percentage (778-458-2/.629) at the time of his passing. He guided the Golden Knights to the 1990 NAIA World Series and the 2000 NCAA II World Series, and along the way advanced his team to four NCAA Regional Tournaments between 1994 and 2000. In addition to winning the NCAA II Northeast Regional Championship in 2000, the Golden Knights also won an NAIA Area 8 championship, three NAIA District 31 titles, captured the 1995 New York Collegiate Athletic Conference championship, and came away with three regular-season titles (1992, 1994, 2000) during their nine-year tenure in that league.
Over the course of his career at Saint Rose, Bellizzi earned five Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year awards, was named District 31 Coach of the Year three times, and was twice honored as the Area 8 Coach of the Year.
The 2003 Northeast-10 Conference Co-Coach of the Year, Bellizzi also earned Northeastern Collegiate Baseball Coach of the Year accolades in 1988 and was the Empire State Male Collegiate Coach of the Year that season as well. Furthermore, he was twice named the American Baseball Coaches Association Northeast Region Coach of the Year (1994 and 2000). Additionally, he garnered NYCAC Coach of the Year plaudits in 2000, and the Albany Twilight League honored him with its President's Award in 2004. The annual Northest-10 Conference Coach of the Year Award now bears his name, and in March 2010 the first-ever Saint Rose baseball field was dedicated in his name.
Coach Bellizzi's baseball experience and love of the game extended beyond Saint Rose. A member of the Schenectady Baseball Club Hall of Fame, he was the president of the Amsterdam Mohawks of the New York Collegiate Baseball League. He twice coached the Mohawks to the championship game and his 1988 club captured the league title. He also held the office of Commissioner of the NYCBL, which is sponsored by the NCAA and Major League Baseball.
Bellizzi, who taught social studies at Albany High School for more than 25 years, was inducted into the Saint Rose Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.