Position: Assistant Manager
Started with Y-D: 2022
Alma Mater: University of Rhode Island
John Raiola enters his first season as the Pitching Coach of the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in 2022.
Currently in his third season as the Head Coach of Elms College, Raiola brings over 12 years of college-level coaching experience to the Blazers, while also having served as the Director of Baseball Operations and former Head Coach of the Valley Blue Sox in the prestigious New England Collegiate Baseball League, and most recently as the pitching coach at Western New England University. In addition to working with four different NECBL teams (Newport 2009-2010, Keene 2011, Sanford 2013-14, Valley 2015-2020), he gained experience as an assistant at Keene State College from 2009-2014 after spending a year at the College of Santa Fe in 2008.
During his 11 seasons in the NECBL, Raiola has had the opportunity to coach over 80 eventual draft picks, including the first overall pick in the 2013 MLB draft, Mark Appel. Additionally, Raiola has been a part of four NECBL Championships (Newport 2009, Keene 2011), as well as back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018 that also saw the Valley Blue Sox take home the honor of 2018 Summer Collegiate Team of the Year, voted by Perfect Game. Throughout his first four seasons at the helm of the Blue Sox, Raiola led his team to an improved record in each season, culminating in a 30-12 campaign in 2018 to secure Raiola’s first NECBL Manager of the Year award. During his five seasons as the manager of the Blue Sox, the club held a 136-94 overall record, good enough for the highest winning percentage in the league over that span, including a 12-3 mark in the playoffs.
While at Elms College, despite working through two consecutive COVID-shortened seasons to begin his tenure, the Blazers have shown significant improvement each year, culminating in a trip to the NECC Conference Championship game in 2021, marking only the second time the team has accomplished that feat in program history. Led by NECC All-Conference performers Nate Ayala and Tyler Galenski, the Blazers had one of the top offenses in the conference, with a team batting average of .284 and increased production in most offensive categories.
As the Pitching Coach at Western New England, Raiola oversaw one of the more successful pitching staffs in New England, including the top-rated staff in the region in 2016. During his time there, Raiola coached four All-Region pitchers, two Conference Pitchers of the Year, and 10 All-Conference pitchers, including the 2016 Regional Freshman of the Year and 2018 Division III ERA Champion, Bob Hamel. In addition to his responsibilities as Pitching Coach, Raiola also worked primarily with the Golden Bear infielders and baserunners, as well as serving as the team’s third base coach. In his first year running the offense, Western New England finished second in the country in walks and hit by pitches, 12th in stolen bases, and 20th in runs per game. During his four years at Western New England, the Golden Bears held a 107-57 record, while being Nationally ranked in the top 25 in all four seasons.
A 2008 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Raiola earned his Bachelor of Science degree in journalism before receiving his Master’s of Education degree in school counseling from Keene State in 2013.