Kevin Leighton Baseball Camps
Joining the Fordham baseball coaching staff for the 2014 season as an assistant coach is Rob DiToma.
In his first season at Rose Hill, DiToma helped coach the Rams to their first Atlantic 10 Championship appearance in four seasons in 2014, where the Rams picked up their first tournament win since 2007. Fordham also saw a number of award winners throughout the 2014 campaign, as four players earned All-League honors, marking the first time since 1997 that Fordham had four players honored by the Atlantic 10.
DiToma, who is responsible for the Rams' running game and infield, saw the Rams improve their running game by 36 stolen bases in 2014, leading the Atlantic 10 with 101 stolen bases. It marked the third time since 2000 that Fordham has reached the century mark in a single season. Nationally, the Rams finished in the top ten in stolen bases and stolen bases per game, while individually, Fordham had three players in the top ten in the conference in stolen bases, led by Joseph Runco, who swiped a league-best 23 bags.
Prior to Fordham, DiToma had a four-year stint at Iona College, serving as the team's hitting instructor and recruiting coordinator.
In four seasons at Iona, DiToma guided Iona's offense to some of its most productive seasons in the last decade. In 2010, the Gaels posted their highest batting average, slugging percentage, and scored the most runs in the last 10 seasons. Four of his hitters from that team received All-MAAC honors including First Teamers Andrew Passerelle (OF), James Beck (DH) and Chris Burke (3B) and Second Teamer Mike Chiaravalloti (1B).
Under the direction of DiToma, the program started the Iona Elite Skills Camp, an instructional camp designed to help high school players and provide these players an excellent opportunity to receive position specific instruction.
In 2012, DiToma helped a trio of players earn All-MAAC recognition, including MAAC Player of the Year Chris Burke, who finished fourth in hitting with a .351 batting, second in RBI with 50 in 53 games played and second in home runs with 11 among MAAC performers. His 72 hits, 44 runs scored, 20 doubles, 127 total bases led the league while his .620 slugging percentage was second and 23 stolen bases ranked fourth. In June of 2012, Burke became the 24th Iona player to be selected in the draft when the San Diego Padres selected him with the 555th pick in the 18th round.
In 2013, DiToma had three more hitters earn All-MAAC accolades, as Matt Kriss (UT) was named First Team All-League, while Joe Torres (OF) and Matt Byrne (DH) were both Second Team All-League.
Prior to Iona, DiToma coached for one season at Siena and one at Temple. At Siena in 2009, he helped mentor eventual two-time MAAC Player of the Year Dan Paolini during his freshman campaign. The Saints finished fourth in the MAAC in slugging (.439) and total bases (748), and third in home runs (54).
DiToma also served as an assistant coach at Temple University during the 2008 season helping the Owls to 28 wins and a berth in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. He instructed the infielders and catchers, as the Owls reached the postseason for the first time in seven years.
Before Temple, DiToma's served on the baseball coaching staff at Manhattanville while pursuing his master's degree. He guided the College to the 2007 Skyline Conference Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals. DiToma gained additional coaching experience as an assistant in the New England Collegiate Baseball League in the summers of 2006 and 2007, working primarily with the infielders and assisting with recruiting.
A 2005 graduate of Mercy College, DiToma earned his master's degree in physical education from Manhattanville College in 2007. He played four years as the starting second baseman at Mercy as an undergraduate, serving as team captain as a senior. As a junior, he batted .309 and was an All NYCAC selection.
Director of Baseball Operations
Tony Mellaci, who served as an assistant coach at Fordham for 19 years, begins his sixth season as Director of Baseball Operations. Over the past 25-plus years, he has directed the infield play and the defense, served as first base coach, and championed Fordham's strong recruiting program, which has brought some of the finest players coming out of high school and junior colleges to Rose Hill, and served as a community service contact with youth programs.
Along with 2005 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year Nick Restaino, Mellaci helped the Rams have a resurgent year in 2005, posting 34 overall wins and 17 conference wins. The 34 wins were the most since the 1997 campaign, while the 17 conference victories were the most by Fordham since joining the Atlantic 10 in 1995-96.
As a member of the Atlantic 10, Mellaci has helped Fordham to the Atlantic 10 Tournament on four occassions, including the 1998 title. Mellaci has also helped coach ten All-Atlantic 10 players, two Players of the Year, and two Rookies of the Year.
Among the team accomplishments in Mellaci's tenure, Fordham has had eight 30-win seasons, and captured seven league titles (3 - MAAC, 3 - Patriot League, 1 - Atlantic 10).
Prior to Fordham, Mellaci's first significant stop was at Westchester Community College where he was the head coach for five years. His club won four Mid-Hudson Conference Championships, in the process notching 106 wins against just 43 losses for a better than .700 winning percentage. This stretch was highlighted by a 30-4 record in 1981, when the diminutive general led his troops to a National Junior College World Series appearance.
Mellaci moved to Iona College following the 1983 season and not coincidentally, the program turned around. He helped the Gaels to two MAAC titles in the mid-1980's, including an ECAC playoff bid in 1985. Mellaci served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the New Rochelle, NY school for four years before joining Fordham's staff in a similar role in 1987.
Mellaci graduated from Mercy College in 1981. He currently resides in Oradell, New Jersey with his wife, Allison, and sons, Tyler and Jordan.
*Other qualified high school and college coaches along with current college players may work our camps.