|Area of Distinction:||Administrator / Coach|
Tony Guzzo enjoyed tremendous success as head coach of the North Carolina Wesleyan baseball program from 1978 to 1982. In his first season at the helm, his ’79 Bishops earned a program-best 18 wins before recording Wesleyan’s first-ever winning season with a 22-19 mark the following year. That same season, Guzzo earned the first of three consecutive Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (now USA South) Coach of the Year awards.
The ’81 season saw Guzzo officially establish Wesleyan as a national contender with a 33-13 overall record, as well as secure the program’s first regular season league title. Guzzo’s Bishops also made their first NCAA tournament appearance that season, earning the South Region championship en route to a fourth-place billing in the Division III World Series.
With an almost identical performance in ’82, Guzzo continued to build upon the program’s newfound success by again capturing the DIAC regular season crown, the South Region championship and a fourth-place World Series showing. The ’82 Bishops, in fact, were ranked #1 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball magazine as Guzzo was tabbed District Coach of the Year for a second straight season. A two-time finalist for Division III National Coach of the Year, he completed his Wesleyan career with 102 wins.
As the Bishops continued to build on Guzzo’s hard work, he went on to enjoy a successful 12-year stint at Virginia Commonwealth University followed by a 10-year tenure at Old Dominion University, where he coached current Detroit Tiger ace Justin Verlander. Guzzo proceeded to join the coaching staff at North Carolina State University before taking his experience to the Major League level in 2007 as an area scout for the Boston Red Sox, earning a World Series ring in the process.