Joe UrsoHead Coach
Alma Mater: Tampa, 1992
Office Phone: 813-257-3488
Former Spartan All-American Joe Urso is now in his 13th season as head baseball coach of The University of Tampa, compiling a 520-164-1 record. In his time as Spartan head coach, Urso has led Tampa to eight Sunshine State Conference titles and seven NCAA South Regional championships.
UT’s all-time winningest baseball coach, Urso has led the Spartans 40 victories in nine of his 12 seasons at the helm. He is also the lone UT coach to guide his team to 50-plus victories in a season, as he did in 2006 and 2007.
Urso has guided the Spartans to the top prize on two occasions, capturing the 2006 and 2007 NCAA II national championships and he also led UT to a second place finish in the 2003 National Championship Series. Under Urso, Tampa won a school record 54 games in 2006.
The program has been recognized on the national level as 36 Spartans have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft since 2006, including a school-record nine in the 2010 MLB Draft. With nine selections, the Spartans ranked sixth among all colleges in players chosen in 2010.
In 2012, Urso became the fastest coach in NCAA Division II history to reach 500 career victories as he needed just 12 seasons to eclipse the milestone. He also ranks as the all-time winningest coach in program history.
Among those drafted during the Urso era was Sergio Perez, who was a second-round selection of the Houston Astros in 2006 and is currently at the AAA level with the Astros. In his time at Tampa, 35 Spartans have been chosen in the MLB Draft as two have advanced to the Major Leagues (Charlie Manning and Mike Rabelo).
Urso returned to Tampa following a three-year stint as coach and manager in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization. Most recently, Urso was manager of the Angels' minor league affiliate in Butte, Mont. Prior to that, he was manager of the Angels' Instructional League team and assistant coach with the Lake Elsinore (Calif.) Storm and Boise (Idaho) Hawks since 1997.
The 1992 UT business management graduate was the 49th-round draft pick by the Los Angeles Angels in the 1992 MLB Draft. Urso played four years in the Angels system.
As a Spartan, Urso ranks as one of the University's most popular players. Urso was a four-year starter at second base and was twice named second-team All-American, first-team all-South and first-team all-Sunshine State Conference in 1991 and '92. He was a career .332 hitter, who held the NCAA career record for runs (258). He owned the school mark for runs in a season (76) and still holds school records in walks for a season (54) and career (176). He ranks fourth on the all-time school list for games played (223), is second in career doubles (63) and sixth in stolen bases (70).
Highlighting his achievements as a senior, Urso hit .377 and was a perfect 11 for 11 in stolen base attempts in 15 games against NCAA Division I competition, including Florida, Clemson, Michigan, Alabama and Miami.
Among the top players to lead UT to the NCAA II National Championship Series in 1990, he was voted MVP of the Spartans' national championship in '92. In 1997, Urso was named to the NCAA II NCS all-time team as the best second baseman. In two tournaments, he played in eight games, hitting .469 with one homerun and 10 RBI. He was named to the Sunshine State Conference Silver Anniversary team.
A Tampa native, Urso was a member of Plant High School's 1988 state championship team, where he was a two-time first team all-area, all-county and all-conference honoree and second-team all-state.
Within the Angels organization, Urso's number was retired in Lake Elsinore in 1997; he was team MVP and league all-star for the California League champions in '96; recognized by an award in his name which is presented to the Lake Elsinore fans' favorite player since '95; received three fans' favorite player awards (1994-96) and was the Palm Springs Angels fans' favorite player award winner in 1993. His community outreach efforts earned him the moniker "Mayor" of Lake Elsinore by the Angels' staff.
He is married to Julie and they have two sons, JD and Preston.
Joe Urso’s Collegiate Coaching Career
|2002||Tampa||36-20||NCAA South Regional|
|2004||Tampa||41-16||NCAA South Region|
|2005||Tampa||40-18||NCAA South Region|
|2006||Tampa||54-6||NCAA National Champions|
|2007||Tampa||53-10||NCAA National Champions|
|2009||Tampa||40-17||NCAA South Region|
|2011||Tampa||36-17||NCAA South Region|
|2012||Tampa||38-10||NCAA South Region|
|Totals||12 seasons||520-164-1 (.760)|
Two NCAA Championships