Kevin Leighton, the head baseball coach at Manhattan College for the past six years, has been named head baseball coach at Fordham.
“We are excited to find a coach with the experience and accomplishments of Kevin Leighton,” said Frank McLaughlin, executive director of athletics. “We have a proud and successful baseball tradition at Fordham and look to Kevin, with the support of our alumni, to build on that success and the winning tradition.”
Fordham has the oldest and winningest baseball program in NCAA history. Through the 2011 season, the Rams have compiled 4,074 all-time victories—800 wins more than second place Texas (3,246).
Leighton, who won more than 30 games in each of his six seasons as head coach with the Jaspers, is coming off one of his most successful seasons, leading Manhattan to its second MAAC Championship and second appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Jaspers finished the season with a 34-19 record with six players earning All-MAAC honors, including the MAAC Pitcher of the Year.
Manhattan also had four players named to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Northeast Region Team. Leighton also was honored, being named the Anaconda Sports MAAC Coach of the Year after guiding the Jaspers to the regular season crown with a 20-2 conference record.
“I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to lead such a prestigious baseball program with a rich tradition at a great school like Fordham,” Leighton said. “I am very appreciative of everyone at Fordham for giving me this opportunity. I’m looking forward to getting the program to the top of the Atlantic 10.”
Prior to taking over as head coach, Leighton served as an assistant coach at Manhattan from 2002-2004.
Leighton arrived in Riverdale after a standout four-year career at Seton Hall University, where he helped the Pirates to back-to-back NCAA Regional appearances in 2000 and 2001 and the team’s first Big East Championship since 1987.
Leighton earned his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Seton Hall in 2001. He completed his master’s degree in administration and leadership in education at Manhattan in 2005. The Brewster, N.Y., native was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1997.
– Joseph DiBari