|Larry Giangrosso - 22
Larry Giangrosso begins his sixth season as head coach of the UAB baseball program in 2005. "Coach Gino" was named the third head coach in school history on June 16, 1999. The first Blazer baseball head coach to have earned a degree from UAB, Giangrosso was inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches' Hall of Fame on Jan. 12, 2001.
In 2004, Giangrosso led the Blazers to a 30-29 overall record and their first appearance in the Conference USA Tournament since the 2000 season. The Blazers' 30 victories last season were the most by any UAB squad since 1997. The team's 13 conference wins also marked the highest total since Giangrosso took over as head coach. In addition, the Blazers posted four victories over ranked opponents in 2004, three of which came against conference rival Tulane. UAB's third victory of the season over Tulane came in the first round of the C-USA Tournament where the Blazers knocked off the No. 16 Green Wave on their way to an appearance in the tournament semifinals.
Prior to being named head coach at UAB, Giangrosso served as head baseball coach for nine seasons (1991-99) and athletics director for seven seasons (1993-99) at Central Alabama Community College, located in Alexander City, Ala. The Trojans posted a 320-183-1 (.636) record under Giangrosso, including eight consecutive winning seasons from 1992-99. The team also captured the 1998 Alabama Junior and Community College Conference (AJCCC) Division I Championship. The Trojans won three Central Division titles (1992-94) under Giangrosso who was twice selected as the AJCCC Central Division Coach of the Year (1992-93).
During his nine seasons at Central Alabama, 90 of 102 players (88.2 percent) who played two seasons earned scholarships to four-year schools, including every sophomore from 1995-99. Every student-athlete that played two seasons also earned a degree. Under Giangrosso, 20 players were academic all-region selections, four were academic all-americans and one was named a distinguished academic all-american.
Giangrosso served as president of the National Junior College Baseball Coaches Association in 1999. He also coached the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National All-Star Team to a three-games-to-two victory over Japan in 1998, the first time that the USA junior college team had defeated the Japanese in a series.
Giangrosso also has a great deal of experience as a guest speaker and lecturer at coaching clinics around the state of Alabama as well as the United States and Canada. He appeared at the Alabama Baseball Coaches' Association Convention (1997, 2000), the Alabama High School Athletic Association Baseball Coaches' Clinic (1997, 2001), the Ontario Baseball Association and Nova Scotia Baseball Clinics and the Atlanta Dugout Club. He has also been a guest speaker at the American Baseball Coaches Association national convention (1999) and has conducted several clinics on catching.
Giangrosso began his career as an English teacher and coach at Birmingham's W.A. Berry High School (now a middle school in the Hoover system) from 1975-90. He joined the Bucs' coaching staff in 1975 as assistant varsity baseball coach and head freshman football and freshman basketball coach. Giangrosso was promoted to head baseball coach in 1979 and in 12 seasons, the Bucs posted a 254-115 (.688) record. Berry won the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Class 4A State Baseball Championship in 1981 and Giangrosso was selected as Class 4A Coach of the Year. Berry was a five-time AHSAA regional baseball titleist (1981, '84, '85, `86, '89) and also captured four Jefferson County baseball titles (1984, '86, '88, '90) under Giangrosso. In addition, 42 baseball players received scholarships to college.
While at Berry, Giangrosso coached Jeff Brantley, who played in the major leagues from 1989-2002 and is now an analyst for Baseball Tonight which airs on ESPN. Giangrosso was also Berry's varsity football defensive coordinator and coached junior varsity basketball. He served as president of the Jefferson County Baseball Coaches' Association, the oldest of its kind in the nation, from 1984-90.
Giangrosso played baseball at UAB from 1973-74, on teams that were sponsored by the physical education department (prior to the school's entry into NCAA intercollegiate athletics with the 1978-79 school year). He was selected as the team's MVP in `74 and given the squad's Most Dedicated Award in `73.
Giangrosso graduated from UAB with a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1975 and earned a master's degree in physical education in 1977 He was also a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society.
A native of Birmingham, Giangrosso graduated from John Carroll High School in 1971. He received honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force Reserve in 1977 and the Alabama National Guard in 1988. He was nominated for Airman of the Year in 1974 and Soldier of the Year in 1986. He and his wife, Karen have been married for 26 years and have two children, Pete (24) - a three-year baseball letterwinner for the Blazers - and Meredith (20).