Steve Owens | Head Coach
Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs has named Steve Owens the 13th head coach in Rutgers University baseball history on June 26, 2019. An 11-time conference coach of the year who has mentored 22 All-Americans and 49 professional players, Owens brings 28 winning seasons of head coaching experience to Piscataway, including the past nine at Bryant University. His 914-483-3 career record features 20 30-win seasons, five 40-win seasons and 13 NCAA Tournament appearances.
“Steve has a remarkable record of achievement,” Hobbs said. “His level of sustained success is among the nation’s best. He now brings that formula to Rutgers and the Big Ten. Steve’s great at developing student-athletes and putting them on a path to success, both on and off the field. We have a rich history and Steve will write the next great chapter for Rutgers baseball. I’m delighted to welcome him, his wife Catharine and his family to our family.”
“I would first like to thank Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs, Ryan Pisarri and the other members of the search committee for selecting me as the newest leader of the baseball program,” Owens said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work in a program with such rich history and tradition. I believe my vision for the program is consistent with the department’s strategic priorities of student-athlete excellence, cultural excellence and sustaining long-term excellence. I am looking forward to meeting the players and recruits, and starting to build the relationship and trust necessary to succeed. We will have talented athletes who will work hard, compete to win and play with Jersey toughness and grit. Our immediate goal is to establish ourselves as a consistent contender in the Big Ten. In addition, we aspire to be a top team in our region of the country, consistently develop professional players and work toward postseason opportunities.”
Owens took over the Bryant program for the 2011 season and earned 327 wins at the helm, an average of 36.3 victories per year, the most victories among Northeast programs during that span. The Bulldogs went 192-59 (.765) in NEC play with eight-straight regular-season crowns and three tournament titles, being the No. 1 seed all seven trips to the conference tournament.
The program, which became eligible for NCAA postseason competition in 2013 after its transition to Division I in 2009, made a splash with an upset over Arkansas at the 2013 Manhattan (Kan.) Regional. That season was sparked by a 19-game winning streak, the longest in the nation. The team returned to the NCAA Tournament the following season with an appearance at the 2014 Baton Rouge (La.) Regional. In 2016, Bryant won a school-record 47 games, emerged in the national rankings as high as No. 15, had the highest winning percentage in the nation (.797) and became the first NEC school to earn a No. 2 seed at the NCAA Tournament with a trip to the Charlottesville (Va.) Regional.
Owens, who has been a collegiate head coach since 1992 with 1,400 games under his belt, ranks among the top 20 active Division I coaches in winning percentage (.654) and in overall wins (914). He has picked up 71 of those victories in postseason play with a 71-48 mark (.600).
Owens earned five NEC Coach of the Year awards (2012, ‘13, ‘14, ’16, ‘19) and claimed ABCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year honors in 2013 and 2014. Additionally, 64 players garnered all-conference honors and 13 collected All-America honors in his nine seasons piloting the Rhode Island school. Owens also successfully recruited the NEC Rookie of the Year seven times and produced 18 MLB Draft picks over the last seven seasons.
Most recently in 2019, Owens led Bryant to a 40-win season, winning 12-of-14 weekend series and pacing the nation with 23 road wins during the regular season. Propelled by the bats, the Bulldogs set school and NEC records for home runs (81), hits (679), RBIs (455) and runs scored (487). The 8.1 runs per game ranked ninth nationally, placing seventh in batting average (.311), 13th in home runs per game (1.35) and 15th in on-base percentage (.398). Bryant also set school and NEC records for strikeouts with 501 on the mound. The Bulldogs had eight earn All-NEC honors and 10 more garner All-New England honors, while Chris Wright and Steve Theetge, a 2019 Gold Glove winner, both picked up All-America distinction. Owens also saw three members of his class of 2020 recruiting class selected in the first 22 rounds of the MLB Draft.
Prior to coming to Bryant, Owens spent 11 seasons (2000-10) as the head coach at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. He led the Dolphins to 11-straight winning seasons and three NCAA tournament berths. He guided Le Moyne to back-to-back NCAA Regionals at Arkansas (2003) and North Carolina State (2004), and then took the Dolphins to the Texas A&M Regional in 2007. Over his tenure, Owens was named the MAAC Coach of the Year twice, (2004, ’06) and was also bestowed the ABCA/Diamond Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2003. Owens reached an even more impressive milestone during the 2007 season as he became one of the youngest coaches in the country to reach the 500-win plateau. He finished his Dolphins career with an impressive 342-217 record, as the program amassed 32 All-MAAC selections.
A native of Sauquoit, New York, Owens started his head coaching career at Division III Cortland State. Over eight seasons (1992-99) in the dugout, Owens led the Red Dragons to six 30-win seasons, seven NCAA regional tournaments and four trips to the Division III College World Series. He guided the 1997 and 1998 teams to third-place finishes at the national tournament, finishing a game short of a shot at a national championship. Owens went 245-82-1 in his eight seasons with Cortland State and was named the New York Regional Coach of the Year and the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Coach of the Year four times each.
In addition, Owens has mentored 10 Freshman All-America picks, 36 All-Region nods and four Academic All-Americans as a head coach.
Owens is a 1987 graduate of St. Lawrence University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in sport and leisure studies. Playing baseball and football at St. Lawrence, he was named a two-time MVP in baseball playing at both third base and shortstop. He finished his career with a .349 batting average, including .454 as a senior, and stole 73 bases in 80 attempts. In football, he led the team in rushing his junior and senior seasons, scoring 18 career touchdowns, and was named offensive MVP as well as Outstanding Senior Athlete. He has been inducted into the St. Lawrence Athletic Hall of Fame (Fall 2010), the Cortland State Hall of Fame (Fall 2017) and the Greater Utica Hall of Fame (June 2019).
Drafted by the Chicago Cubs as a third baseman, Owens spent two seasons with the organization, including stints in Geneva (New York-Penn League champions) and with the Charleston (W.Va.) Cubs in the South Atlantic League.
Following his playing days, Owens began his coaching career as a graduate assistant in football and baseball at Ithaca College, where he received a Master of Science degree in 1991.
Owens, 53, and his wife, Catharine, have three children, Jack, Sam and Jane.
Brendan Monaghan | Pitching Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
A native of Wayne, New Jersey, and alumnus of St. John’s University with professional baseball experience, Brendan Monaghan is in his first season at Rutgers. He works with the pitchers, catchers and serves as the recruiting coordinator.
Monaghan spent the previous three seasons as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Bryant. The Bulldogs won the Northeast Conference regular season, had the NEC Pitcher of the Year and finished first or second in the league in ERA and strikeouts all three seasons. The program saw nine pitchers earn All-NEC honors during that span. In addition, four hurlers earned a spot at the next level, with Chris Wright drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 12th round and Steve Theetge signing with the Minnesota Twins in 2019, Jack Patterson being selected in the 32nd round by the Chicago Cubs in 2018 and James Karinchak being taken in the ninth round by the Cleveland Indians in 2017.
In 2019, Monaghan oversaw one of the most effective pitching staffs in program history as the Bulldogs struck out a program-record 501 batters. The pitching staff played a key role in Bryant's fourth 40-win season in seven seasons, posting a team ERA of 3.79. Under Monaghan's tutelage, Theetge became the first pitcher in NEC history to win multiple pitcher of the year honors after he put together one of the greatest seasons in Bryant history. He went 9-2 with a 1.75 ERA and 96 strikeouts in a program-record 102.2 innings, becoming all-time winningest pitcher along the way.
Bryant featured three First Team All-NEC pitchers last season as Tyler Mattison and Wright joined Theetge. Wright became one of the most dominant closers in the college baseball under Monaghan's watch, registering 13 saves and 64 strikeouts in 34.1 innings. Theetge and Wright both earned All-America honors, while Theetge became the first pitcher in program history to win an ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove.
Monaghan took over a pitching staff that did not feature a single senior in 2017 and built it into one of the top staffs in the NEC. The Bulldogs finished second in the NEC in ERA and led the conference in strikeouts. Under his coaching, Theetge was named the NEC Pitcher of the Year. In addition, Theetge was named First Team All-NEC, while Karinchak and Nathan Wrighter were tabbed Second Team All-NEC.
He followed that up by molding one of the most powerful pitching staffs in DI program history in 2018. The group struck out 432 batters, the third-most in DI program history. Bryant finished second in the NEC in ERA and strikeouts, while it led the league with four shutouts. Monaghan's pitching staff was spearheaded by three left-handers. Patterson set a program-record for strikeouts by a lefty, finishing with 101 in 82 innings on his way to pitcher of the year honors. Two more earned All-NEC honors to give Bryant three that campaign.
Monaghan came to Smithfield after spending the 2015-16 season as the pitching coach at George Washington University. He also spent two years as the pitching coach/recruiting coordinator at UMass Lowell and three years as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater, St. John's.
Monaghan coordinated all aspects of the pitching staff and also oversaw the defensive training of the catchers at George Washington. Under his watch, GW closer Eddie Muhl was named to the ABCA All-East Region Second Team after going 3-1 with 11 saves and a 1.76 ERA in 26 appearances.
Monaghan played a key role in UMass Lowell's transition from Division II to Division I, shaping the recruiting plan, developing practice plans and opponent scouting. He helped the River Hawks win 37 games in his two seasons, including 20 in their first two years as members of the America East. Under his tutelage, Andrew Ryan was named Second Team All-American East and a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.
In three seasons at St. John's, Monaghan was part of a coaching staff that led the Red Storm to a 2012 Big East regular season and tournament title and two NCAA appearances (2011, 2012). The 2012 team went on to win the Chapel Hill Regional and advance to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time in program history.
A 2007 graduate of St. John's, Monaghan helped the Red Storm to three NCAA Tournament appearances and two Big East regular season championships as a player. He captained the team and was an All-Big East First Team selection as a catcher. Monaghan hit .307 with 20 doubles and 59 RBIs in 125 career games with the Red Storm.
After graduation, Monaghan had a four-year professional career, including three years within the Baltimore Orioles organization. He played for the Bluefield Orioles (Rookie, Appalachian League) and the Delmarva Shorebirds (Class A, South Atlantic League). Monaghan also spent a season playing for the Long Island Ducks in the independent Atlantic League and was named an All-Star.
Kyle Pettoruto | Assistant Coach
A native of Andover, Massachusetts, Kyle Pettoruto is in his first year at Rutgers and coaches outfielders, baserunning and hitting. He spent the previous six seasons with head coach Steve Owens at Bryant and was part of six-straight Northeast Conference regular season championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances. The Bulldogs led the conference in nearly every major offensive category during his tenure in Smithfield.
Pettoruto played a role in producing 40 All-NEC selections, 46 All-New England selections, six ABCA All-Northeast selections, two NEC and New England Players of the Year, four NEC Rookies of the Year, two New England Rookies of the Year, one Collegiate Baseball Freshman Player of the Year and four Freshman All-Americans in his six seasons. He helped the Bulldogs finish in the top 20 in the country in scoring and slugging percentage in four of his six seasons, and the team finished in the top 25 in a host of other categories over the six years.
Pettoruto helped put together one of the best offenses in program and NEC history in 2019. The Bulldogs set school and NEC records for home runs (81), hits (679), RBIs (455) and runs scored (487). Bryant finished the regular season seventh nationally in batting average (.311), fifth in hits (679), eighth in runs (487) and 10th in scoring (8.1). The Bulldogs placed eight on the All-NEC teams and 10 more on All-New England teams.
The highlight of Pettoruto's tenure occurred in 2018 as he helped Ryan Ward achieve the greatest season in program history. Ward set program records for hits (101), total bases (158) and finished with a .409 average on his way to earning 18 postseason recognitions. He was the first NEC player to earn player and rookie of the year honors and was also named the New England Player/Rookie of the Year and the National Freshman Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball. Ward was named All-American by four outlets, a Freshman All-American by four others and was the first NCBWA District I Player of the Year in program history.
In 2014, the Bulldogs ranked seventh in the country in stolen bases (99) and also finished 14th in batting average (.302), 15th in scoring (6.7), 19th in runs (386), 20th in doubles per game (1.98), 23rd in home runs per game (0.67), ninth in slugging (.436) and 13th in OBP (.391). The team featured the NEC Rookie of the Year in Matt Albanese, five First Team All-NEC selections (Robby Rinn, John Mullen, Carl Anderson, Buck McCarthy, Dan St. George) and two Second Team All-NECers (Albanese, Tom Gavitt). Anderson, one of the top players in Bryant’s DI history, thrived under Pettoruto’s instruction, stealing a Division I-record 31 bases. He became the first player in program history to steal 30 or more bases in a season since 1998. Albanese enjoyed a stellar rookie season, scoring a freshman-record 53 runs while hitting .322 with 16 doubles and 36 RBIs. He went on to earn both NCBWA and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America honors.
The trend continued in 2015 as Bryant finished in the top 25 in the country in doubles (25th, 121), doubles per game (12th, 2.24), scoring (19th, 6.9), slugging percentage (11th, .462), triples (seventh, 25) and triples per game (seventh, 0.46). Bryant had four players named First Team All-NEC and a fifth garnered second team honors.
In 2016, Pettoruto oversaw one of the best offenses in program history as the team earned a No. 2 seed at NCAA Regionals. The Bulldogs established program records for runs and RBIs in a season, while also setting DI program records for slugging percentage, home runs, hits and batting average. Bryant finished first in the country in sacrifice flies (41), fifth in OBP (.414), ninth in scoring (7.9), 10th in batting average (.318), 12th in slugging (.482), 13th in runs (465), 18th in doubles per game (2.19) and 20th in doubles (129).
That team earned a league-record 11 all-conference selections and 10 All-New England selections. Rinn was named the NEC and New England Player of the Year and, along with Albanese, earned All-America honors at the end of the season. Both players were drafted following the year. Under Pettoruto’s guidance, Albanese did not commit an error in center field over his final two seasons and finished his career with 11 outfield assists. Pettoruto also watched as Nick Angelini earned NEC Rookie of the Year honors and Freshman All-America honors.
The 2017 season saw Pettoruto work with one of the youngest rosters in DI program history. Under his guidance, Jimmy Titus put together one of the best rookie seasons in team history on his way to NEC Rookie of the Year honors and Freshman All-America status. Titus hit a freshman program record eight home runs and became just the second rookie in DI program history to have 40+ RBIs and 40+ runs scored.
Bryant's offensive success continued in 2018 as it led the NEC and finished 10th nationally in batting average (.303). The Bulldogs also led the NEC in hits (585), doubles (106), triples (18), home runs (45), RBIs (334), slugging (.446) and OBP (.390). In addition to Ward, the Bulldogs placed five on All-NEC teams and four more on All-New England teams in 2018.
Prior to Bryant, Pettoruto worked as an assistant coach with the North Shore Navigators in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League in the summer of the 2012, helping with the hitters and outfielders. Following the summer, Pettoruto was hired as an assistant coach at Merrimack. He worked with the outfielders and the hitters, helping the Warriors set a school record for wins in the spring of 2013.
Pettoruto was a four-year letterwinner at the University of New Haven and helped the Chargers earn a spot in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. He also played for the Joplin Outlaws of the MINK League and the Rome Thunderbolts during the summer.
Pettoruto earned a degree in communication from New Haven in the fall of 2012.
Branden Cogswell | Assistant Coach
Branden Cogswell is in his first season as an assistant coach at Rutgers. A two-time All-ACC infielder with College World Series experience, Cogswell played four seasons in the Oakland Athletics system. He will work with infielders and hitters among other duties.
Cogswell spent the previous two years as the director of player personnel and undergraduate assistant coach at his alma mater, Virginia. He worked the summer of 2019 as a hitting and infield coach for the Charlottesville Tom Sox in the Valley League.
Cogswell was drafted in the seventh round (222nd overall) by the A’s in the 2014 MLB First Year Player Draft and reached the Double-A level. He previously helped Virginia to its third College World Series appearance in 2014, playing in all 69 games. In addition to First All-ACC honors at second base, Cogswell was named to the All-College World Series Team after batting .391 (9-for-23). He led the team with 78 hits in 2014 and his nine hits in the College World Series are the most ever by a UVA player.
As a sophomore, Cogswell started all 47 games in which he appeared and earned Second Team All-ACC honors at shortstop. He ranked fifth nationally in runs per game (1.17) and walks per game (0.81). His .346 batting average was the second best on the team and 10th highest in the ACC.
A Ballston Lake, New York, native, Cogswell completed his degree in psychology at Virginia in the spring of 2018 and his master’s in higher education with a concentration in intercollegiate athletics in the spring of 2019.
Peter Barron | Director of Baseball Operations
Peter Barron is in his third year on the Rutgers baseball staff. The director of baseball operations for the Scarlet Knights, Barron assists the coaching staff with on campus recruiting, opponent analysis, game preparation, practice reviews and team travel among other duties. He also helps with fundraising and is the liaison to departments within athletics.
Before arriving in Piscataway, Barron spent two seasons as the director of baseball operations at St. John's. He helped with all aspects of the program, including apparel, equipment, team travel, meals, video, statistics and game charts. Barron also oversaw a staff of five student managers, assisted with team community service and served as the liaison between the coaching staff and departments within athletics.
Barron started off as a student manager for the Red Storm in Sept. 2012 and served three seasons before joining the staff as a graduate assistant. He managed equipment and player development video among other duties, working as the head manager in 2014 and 2015.
In addition to working in operations, Barron has coaching experience with summer teams and camps. He most recently has been an assistant coach for the Shelter Island Bucks in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League the last two summers, handling roster construction, community outreach and mentoring the position players. He also coached American Legion from 2012 to 2014 and worked as an instructor at Red Storm Baseball Camps for four years.
Originally from Long Valley, New Jersey, Barron owns two degrees from St. John's. He earned his master's in sports management in 2017 and his bachelors in marketing in 2015.