Following an extensive nationwide search, David Valesente was hired as the first-ever Head Coach for Baseball at Wells College on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015. He joined the Express from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pa. where he served as an Assistant Coach for two seasons of the Hawks’ NCAA Division I baseball program.
Over three seasons as head coach at Wells, Valesente led the team to a 46-63 overall record and an 18-32 record in the North Eastern Athletic Conference. The team increased its overall and conference winning percentage each season and totaled six all-conference selections, eight NEAC weekly honors, and Dylan Nolan was an all-region honoree by the American Baseball Coaches Association in 2019.
The 2019 season was the most successful in program history as Wells qualified for the NEAC playoffs for first time and earned its first two postseason victories, including a semifinal game on the road at top-seeded Keuka. Wells finished third in the six-team tournament and was in fifth place in regular-season standings.
A native of Lansing, N.Y., Valesente was charged with overseeing all aspects of a brand-new varsity baseball program that was announced as the seventh men’s sport offering at Wells College.
Valesente served as an Assistant Coach for the Saint Joseph’s baseball team for the previous two seasons. Assisting with player development, game execution and student-athlete recruitment, Valesente and the Hawks have posted an impressive 56 victories across the past two years and were the Atlantic-10 Conference runners-up in 2014.
Working closely with the Hawks’ catchers under Head Coach Fritz Hamburg, Valesente coached Deon Stafford during a freshman campaign that saw him earn A-10 All-Conference and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America merits. Following the 2014 campaign, catcher Brian O’Keefe was selected in the seventh round of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft (225th overall).
Outside of the coaching world, Valesente also served as an Assistant Academic Advisor for Student-Athletes at Saint Joseph’s. He was responsible for assisting with the administration of academic and personal support services for student athletes while monitoring the academic progress of at-risk student-athletes and providing reports to head coaches and other athletic administration.
Prior to joining the staff at Saint Joseph’s, Valesente was an assistant coach at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa., working specifically with catchers, infielders and batters. He has also served as a baseball instructor and assistant coach at the All-Star Baseball Academy (Broomall, Pa.) and was an off-season volunteer assistant coach for Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y.
A 2010 graduate of Saint Joseph’s, Valesente was a four-year member of the baseball team under Hamburg and was selected as the Senior Male Athlete of the Year before graduating. A three-time Most Outstanding Player award recipient after earning Atlantic-10 Conference All-Rookie team placement in 2007, he finished his four-year career with a .323 batting average after starting 170 of the 179 games he played.
Ranking fifth all-time on the Saint Joseph’s career hit list with 216 to his credit, Valesente went on to sign an independent contract with the Alpine Cowboys in 2011, earning Pecos Professional Baseball League All-Star placement.
Signing as an undrafted free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball in February 2012, Valesente also played professionally for the State College Spikes and the Jamestown Jammers within the New York Penn League in 2012 and 2013. He was one of 40 players in Saint Joseph’s history to be drafted or sign with a professional baseball club at the time.
A four-time Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll recipient as an undergraduate at Saint Joseph’s, Valesente earned a degree in Business Administration before earning his master’s degree in Sports Studies from the United States Sports Academy. Valesente is the son of George Valesente, the long-time Head Coach of Ithaca College and New York State Baseball Hall of Famer.