The winningest coach in St. John's baseball history, head coach Ed Blankmeyer is in his 20th season at the helm of the Red Storm baseball program and has posted a 647-405-3 (.615) record. Blankmeyer has guided the Red Storm to three BIG EAST Tournament crowns as well as four BIG EAST regular season titles, and has led the squad to the NCAA Tournament eight times, including one NCAA Super Regional appearance.
Also the winningest coach in the history of BIG EAST play with 287 conference victories, Blankmeyer has earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors a conference-record five times and has been named the ABCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year four times. Blankmeyer, who has guided St. John's to six 40-win seasons, has had 88 All-BIG EAST selections and has seen 65 of his players drafted and/or signed to professional contracts.
Blankmeyer reached a pair of milestones during the 2013 season as the skipper recorded his 600th win and also became the winningest coach in St. John's baseball history with win No. 612. With a young pitching staff comprised of 10 freshmen, tied for the third-most in the country, the Red Storm made its 10th-consecutive BIG EAST Tournament appearance and finished 23-35. Three players earned All-BIG EAST honors, including Freshman All-American Ryan Horstman, ABCA All-Region honoree Frank Schwindel and Zach Lauricella. St. John's also had a total of five players selected in the MLB Draft for the second-straight season as Horstman (fourth round) highlighted a draft class that also included James Lomangino (14th round), Frank Schwindel (18th), Sean Hagan (31st) and Danny Bethea (34th).
St. John's made its third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, 34th overall, in 2012 and reached the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time in program history to cap a 40-23 season that also featured the first NCAA Regional crown for the squad since 1980. In a season rife with accomplishments, the Red Storm also won both the BIG EAST Tournament and regular season championships in the same season for the first time in program-history. Blankmeyer earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors for a conference-record fifth time and four players earned All-BIG EAST honors, including a pair of first team selections in Jeremy Baltz and Sean Hagan. Baltz, the first BIG EAST player to earn three first team All-Conference selections since 2002-04, and Matt Wessinger each earned All-America honors and were joined by Sean Hagan and Sean O'Hare as ABCA All-Region selections. Baltz was drafted in the second round (68th overall) and Wessinger was selected in the fifth round (168th overall) to become the highest pair of Red Storm draft picks since 1998. Matt Carasiti (198th overall) and Kyle Hansen (201st overall) were both taken in the sixth round to give St. John's four selections in the top six rounds for the first time in program-history, while Hagan was drafted in the 29th round (880th overall).
St. John's finished 36-22 (18-8) in 2011 and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, its 33rd appearance overall and sixth in the last eight seasons, following second place finishes in both the BIG EAST Tournament and BIG EAST regular season. The Red Storm had four All-BIG EAST selections, including a conference-best three first team selections. All-American, Brooks Wallace Award Finalist, first team All-Region honoree and first team All-BIG EAST selection Joe Panik was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the first round (29th overall) of the 2011 MLB Draft, the Red Storm's highest selection since Craig Hansen was picked 26th overall in 2005. Paul Karmas, who became the program's new all-time hit king during the season, and Matt Wessinger were also drafted, while Joe Witkowski signed a free agent contract.
In a season in which Blankmeyer notched his 500th career victory, St. John's set a new school-record with 43 wins in 2010 and won a conference-record sixth BIG EAST Tournament crown. The team also made the 32nd NCAA Tournament appearance in program history and reached the Charlottesville Regional finals. The squad was paced by an offense that set new school-records in runs scored (493), hits (750), doubles (150) and RBI (457), and a pitching staff that set a new mark for strikeouts (455). The NCBWA National Freshman Hitter of the Year, the Louisville Slugger Freshman Player of the Year and the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, Jeremy Baltz became the first consensus All-American in school history after earning All-America honors from Baseball America (first team), the ABCA (second team), Louisville Slugger (second team) and the NCBWA (second team). Baltz, who led the nation's freshmen in both home runs and RBI, and classmate Kyle Hansen, who earned 2010 BIG EAST Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors, each earned Freshman All-America accolades and five players were All-BIG EAST selections. Four players--Daniel Burawa, Bruce Kern, Greg Hopkins and Ryan Cole--were selected in the 2010 MLB Draft, while Red Storm alumni Rob Delaney and Anthony Varvaro each made their MLB debuts.
Blankmeyer spent the summer of 2010 as an assistant coach of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. The squad finished their summer tour with a 16-3 record and won the silver medal at the V FISU World University Baseball Championships in Tokyo, Japan.
St. John's reached the BIG EAST Tournament for the sixth-straight year in 2009 and finished the season 30-22. A prolific offense set new school-records in batting average (.349), runs scored (473), RBI (440) and doubles (149). Five players earned All-BIG EAST honors and juniors Brian Kemp and Tim Morris were both drafted in the 2009 MLB Draft. Morris, who batted .415, set a new-school record for runs scored (69) and became the second player in school history to reach 90 hits in a season, earned third team All-America honors, while Joe Panik earned second team freshman All-America honors from the NCBWA. The team also played in front of the seventh-largest regular season crowd in NCAA baseball history (22,397) in the first-ever game at Citi Field, the new home of the New York Mets.
The Red Storm won a school-record 42 games in 2008 to reach the 40-win plateau for the fourth-consecutive season. The squad also won its second-straight BIG EAST regular season crown and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season. Eight players earned All-BIG EAST accolades and George Brown became the program's fourth BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year. Brown was also named a second-team All-American, while Paul Karmas earned freshman All-America accolades. For the second season in a row and the third time in four seasons, Blankmeyer earned both BIG EAST and Northeast Region coach of the year honors. Five players, including four juniors, were drafted as Scott Barnes was taken in the 8th round and Justin Gutsie, Jared Yecker, George Brown and Colin Lynch were also selected.
Utilizing a superb mix of pitching and offense, the 2007 Red Storm won 40 games for the third-straight season, won the BIG EAST regular season title and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament via the Myrtle Beach Regional. For the second-straight season, the Red Storm was the only team in the country to finish in the top 10 nationally in both team batting average (seventh) and team ERA (tenth). A school record eight players earned All-BIG EAST honors, while Ryan Mahoney was named to the ABCA All-Northeast Region second team and Brian Kemp earned freshman All-America honors. Blankmeyer himself earned both BIG EAST and Northeast Region coach of the year honors for the second time in three seasons. The squad also saw three players sign professional contracts as Anthony Smith was drafted and both Sam DeLuca and Brendan Monaghan signed free agent deals.
Despite losing seven players to professional baseball in 2005, the 2006 Red Storm won 40 games for the second season in a row and was a victory away from the BIG EAST Championship game. St. John's finished among the top 10 nationally in both team batting average (eighth) and earned run average (fifth). Will Vogl, who earned first team All-BIG EAST and third team All-America honors, and Rob Delaney each signed professional contracts to give Blankmeyer nine signings in a two-year span.
A record seven players signed in 2005, including six selections in the Major League Baseball Draft. Reliever Craig Hansen headlined that list by being selected with the 26th overall pick by the Boston Red Sox. Anthony Varvaro, Greg Thomson, P.J. Antoniato, Joe Burke, Anthony Sullivan were also drafted, while Jim Wladyka signed as a free agent. It was that group of players that helped the squad finished 41-18 (19-4) to break a 27-year old school-record for wins in a single season. Blankmeyer earned his second-straight Northeast Coach of the Year honor as the Red Storm captured the BIG EAST regular season crown and reached the NCAA Tournament
Picked to finish seventh in the league prior to the 2004 season, the team posted a 17-9 conference record to finish second in the league. St. John's finished 37-23 overall and advanced to the NCAA Tournament as an at-large participant.
Blankmeyer was hired on Feb. 1, 1996, just five weeks before the season began, and led the Red Storm to a 26-18 record - an astonishing task, considering he had to evaluate his talent from indoor workouts and put a team on the field for the first time without ever having seen it play. Blankmeyer earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors after the Red Storm finished 14-10 in league play and finished third in the conference tournament.
The very next season, the skipper guided the Red Storm to its first NCAA Regional appearance in five years and won the school's fifth BIG EAST Tournament Championship. The team finished 35-17, including a 16-7 conference record, to post the program's most wins since 1986.
Despite losing his starting rotation to the 1997 MLB Draft, Blankmeyer still managed to lead his 1998 squad to a 28-17-1 record and an appearance in the conference postseason tournament. Blankmeyer had three players earn All-America honors, (Kevin McGerry, Keith Stamler and Mike Dzurilla) and as a result of his achievements, he was invited to participate in the NCAA Y.E.S. Clinic held in Omaha, Neb., during the 1998 College World Series.
Prior to the 2001 season, Blankmeyer and the University oversaw the construction of The Ballpark at St. John's, a first-class facility equipped with an electronic scoreboard, press box, lighting and a public address system. Combined with the team's recent successes, Red Storm fans had plenty of reason for optimism heading into the 21st century.
An excellent recruiter, Blankmeyer has coached more than 80 players that have gone on to play professional baseball, including major leaguers Mo Vaughn (1995 American League MVP), Craig Biggio, Matt Morris, John Valentin, Rob Delaney, Craig Hansen and Anthony Varvaro.
In addition to his duties in the dugout, Blankmeyer has also been heavily involved in the management of collegiate baseball off the field. Prior to the 2008 season, Blankmeyer was appointed as a conference representative for the NCAA Baseball Selection Committee and was also named an ABCA Division I Eastern Regional chairman. Blankmeyer represented the ABCA at the 2007 MLB winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn., to discuss collegiate and professional baseball issues and was appointed to the American Baseball Coaches Association Editorial Committee and named President of the BIG EAST Baseball Coaches Committee prior to the 2006 season.
An outstanding second baseman in his own right, Blankmeyer played four seasons at Seton Hall, hitting .320, with 152 hits and 66 stolen bases. He co-captained the 1976 Pirate team that went on to play in the NCAA Northeast Regional and was the starting second baseman for both the 1974 and 1975 Seton Hall squads that played in the College World Series. He was the Atlantic Collegiate League Most Valuable Player in 1975.
Blankmeyer earned Academic All-America honors during his tour at Seton Hall and graduated in 1976. Following his graduation, he was a 21st-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles and spent one season in the Orioles farm system before beginning his coaching career. Blankmeyer has been inducted into both the Seton Hall and North Shore High School Halls of Fame.
Blankmeyer and his wife, Susan, reside in Convent Station, N.J. They have two daughters, Brittany Leigh and Alison Joy, and one son, Taylor Edward.