HAMDEN, Conn. – Quinnipiac baseball's Dan Gooley has announced his retirement from coaching following the 2013-14 academic year. He is a member of the Quinnipiac Athletics Hall of Fame as a player, and also as the coach of the 1983 team enshrined in 2009. He enters his final season as the all-time leading in career victories in Quinnipiac Athletics' history with 524 to date.
This past season, the Bobcats' long-time head coach completed his 32nd season that also included five years as an assistant from 1971 to 1976, and two separate stints from 1977 through 1987 and 2002 to the present as the team's head coach.
"Dan Gooley has had a Hall of Fame career at Quinnipiac, both as a student-athlete and coach," Director of Athletics Jack McDonald said. "He is all that is good about intercollegiate athletics. I am - as is everyone at Quinnipiac - very, very grateful for all he has done for his student-athletes, Quinnipiac University and NCAA Baseball. We all look forward to celebrating Dan's final year in the dugout."
Gooley joined the Quinnipiac coaching staff in 1971 as an assistant following a four-year playing career that saw him finish as the school's career leader in strikeouts (316) while finishing second in wins (20) and earned-run average (2.47). He was named Quinnipiac's head coach in 1977, helping the team to a 203-122-5 record in 11 seasons, including five 20-win seasons. In that stretch, Gooley led Quinnipiac to three NCAA Division II Regionals – in 1979, 1983 and 1984 – while also leading Quinnipiac to the 1983 College World Series.
"It is an honor and a privilege to be the head baseball coach at Quinnipiac University," Gooley said. "I will be forever grateful to President John L. Lahey and Director of Athletics Jack McDonald for affording me the great fortune to wear a Quinnipiac University baseball uniform. I am proud to represent the entire Quinnipiac community both on and off the field."
In 1988, Gooley was hired at the University of Hartford as the Division I program's head coach. In five seasons with the Hawks, from 1988 through 1992, Gooley compiled a 101-90-1 record while also capturing a pair of ECAC Division I Championships. In 1988, he was named the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Coaches Association's Coach of the Year. He also coached former Major League Baseball stand-out Jeff Bagwell.
In 2002, he was re-hired as the Bobcats' first full-time head coach. Over the last 12 seasons, Gooley has led the Bobcats to 221 wins, including four 20-win seasons. In 2004, he was named the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year after Quinnipiac finished the year with a 23-21 record including a 16-7 conference mark. In 2005, Gooley's Bobcats captured their first NEC Regular-Season Championship before also winning the NEC Tournament Championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. In 2007, Quinnipiac won a program-record 29 wins while cruising to the NEC Regular-Season Championship and the No. 1 seed in the NEC Tournament.
For three years before his return to coach the Bobcats, Gooley served as Quinnipiac's director of athletic development, spearheading corporate and alumni support for the University's three-year Division I athletic program. Prior to his return to Quinnipiac, Gooley spent six years as the director of team services for Major League Baseball for the Starter Corporation in New Haven.
In addition to their success at Quinnipiac, a number of Gooley's Bobcats have gone on to play professionally. Pat Egan '07 is currently pitching for the Mississippi Braves, the Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Blaves, while Chris Gloor '09 is pitching for the Richmond (Va.) Flying Squirrels, the affiliate of the San Francisco Giants organization. In addition to Egan and Gloor, the list includes former Major League Baseball reliever Turk Wendell, Joe Poletsky '12, Kyle Nisson '12, Randy Gress '07, Wilson Matos '07, Tim Binkoski '07, Kevin MacIlvane '06, Bryan Sabatella '05, Ari Kafka '05, Buddy Bengel '04, Doug Bond '88, Dominick Rovasio '88, Brian Landy '88, Frank Trasacco '84, Bob Bruzik '83, Dan O'Neill '83, Dave Palo '83, William Martin '79 and Ralph Russo '74.
Following a 17-3 win against Mount. St. Mary's on Apr. 13, 2012 for his 500th career win:
"This is special. I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to coach at Quinnipiac for 27 years," Gooley said. "This has been an amazing journey, filled with outstanding young players and coaches along the way. I've been fortunate. We played great today, I'm proud of my guys." (QuinnipiacBobcats.com, Apr. 13, 2012)
Comments On Chasing His 500th Career Win:
"…The 500 wins is a culmination of all the players you've had and all the assistant coaches and everything. And it's been a good ride. It's been fun." (New Haven Register, Mar. 31, 2012)
"You get what you earn," Gooley said last weekend when the team's losing streak reached seven. "The game doesn't know anything about luck. Lady Luck went to bed a long time ago. The baseball gods handle the game the way it's supposed to be handled. You get what you earn. Somebody gets a base hit on a good pitch, that's baseball, it happens. You just have to keep earning what you get. As long as you do that, the game is clean and it's straight." (Hartford Courant, Apr. 6, 2012)
On Playing The University of Texas in the 2005 NCAA Tournament:
"We got beat by the team that won the national championship," Gooley said. "That's a pretty big deal. It's not about the destination, and it never has been. It's all about the journey that takes you there." (New Haven Register, Mar. 31, 2012)
On His Career at Quinnipiac:
"The baseball gods will tell me when it's time," Gooley said. "I enjoy the game. I enjoy the coaches. This is a love I'm involved in for the last 32 years of my life. Do I get mad when we lose? Sure, but I always remember the journey." (New Haven Register, Mar. 31, 2012)
"This is all about the journey, going through the whole journey of college coaching," Gooley said. "It's not about the gold at the end of the rainbow. If you do the right things and be totally respectful, when you get to the end, whatever you deserve will be there for you. That's it. For me, it's all about the journey. It's not the destination. It's the people involved, the circumstances, it's getting young kids through difficult times in their lives, it's being there when they're going good — and when they stink, you're there with them again. They can always look to you. So for me, it's always about the journey, never the destination, ever." (Hartford Courant, Apr. 6, 2013)
"I'm only 65 years old," he said. "Are you kidding? I'm young. I enjoy the game, enjoy the players, enjoy coaching. This is really a treat for me. This is a love. This is a love I've been involved with for the last 32 years." (Hartford Courant, Apr. 6, 2013)
On Coaching Former MLB Star Jeff Bagwell at the University of Hartford:
"He's the greatest player I've ever coached. Hands down," said Gooley who coached Bagwell in the 1980s while at the University of Hartford. "When you look at what he's done he definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame." (New Haven Register, Jan. 7, 2013)
"I wish he was my son. That's the type of kid we was," Gooley said. "And I still stay close to him. Every now and then you get blessed to have a player like him and I was blessed." (New Haven Register, Jan. 7, 2013)
On Being Honored At 2nd Annual Elm City Legend Reception:
"I am humbled and honored to be included in the most prestigious group I have ever been associated with," Gooley said. "I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the other recipients, of whom I have tremendous respect. I want to thank the committee for this honor, from the bottom of my heart." (QuinnipiacBobcats.com, Nov. 10, 2009)