JONESBORO (2/17/11) – Arkansas State Director of Athletics Dr. Dean Lee announced Thursday that a three-year contract extension has been issued to head baseball coach Tommy Raffo.
Raffo, who will complete the final year of his initial three-year contract in 2011, was named ASU's fifth head baseball coach on July 1, 2008. His new three-year contract extension will begin July 1, 2011 and run through the 2014 season.
Under Raffo's direction, A-State ended last season with an overall winning record (30-28) for the first time since 2005 and finished above .500 in Sun Belt Conference play (16-14) for the first time since 1998. ASU not only made its first appearance in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament since 2006 last season, it was one victory away from playing in the tournament's championship game. The Red Wolves advanced to the semifinals, enjoying their best run in the tournament since 1996.
"We are obviously very pleased with the foundation Coach Raffo has already laid for our baseball program, and we are also extremely excited about where we know he can take the team in the future," said Lee. "He has not only done a tremendous job on the field, leading the baseball program to its best results in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in over a decade, but he also represents Arkansas State University in a first-class fashion in the community."
"I am very excited about ASU Baseball, our university and our community of Jonesboro," said Raffo. "We want our program to keep improving on a strong foundation. My family and I feel very accepted in the university community and are proud to call Jonesboro home. We are creating something very special, and I feel privileged to be able to lead this program to the goal of championship play. It goes without saying, we could not do it without the support of our fans."
Raffo's first year at the helm saw the Red Wolves' improve both their total overall and Sun Belt Conference victories with 23 and 12, respectively, while also jumping two places in the league's final standings.
ASU will get the 2011 season underway this weekend at the Auburn Invitational, taking on tournament-host Auburn Friday night at 6:00 p.m., Alabama-Birmingham Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and Virginia Sunday at 11:00 a.m. The Red Wolves will return to Tomlinson Stadium for their first home contest Tuesday, Feb. 22 when they host Murray State at 3:00 p.m.
Season tickets for the Red Wolves' 2011 campaign are on sale and can be ordered by contacting the ASU Box Office at 870-972-ASU1 or 1-888-ASU-FANS or by visiting AStateRedWolves.com. For more information, contact the ASU Marketing Department at 870-972-3880.