The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have hired baseball coaching veteran Tom Carcione to be their new hitting coach in 2021. Carcione replaces Steve Marino, who departed the club to pursue a career in law enforcement.
The 54-year old comes to Southern Illinois with nearly 30 years of experience across many different levels of baseball, both as a coach and as a player. Most-recently, Carcione served as the hitting coach for the Lincoln SaltDogs in the American Association from 2016-19. Under his tutelage, the SaltDogs finished in the top half of the league in home runs in each of his last three seasons, bashing a league-best 116 long balls in 2018. They also finished among the top teams in the circuit with a .274 team average and .357 on-base percentage that season, and were fourth-best with 531 runs scored. In addition, Lincoln was also top-five in the American Association in home runs, batting average, and on-base percentage in 2017.
"First, I would like to thank Mike Pinto for the opportunity to join the Miners organization," Carcione said. "With the success and reputation of the Miners through the years, I am excited to become a member of the coaching staff and help with their continued success and pursuit of a Frontier League championship."
Prior to his experience in Lincoln, Carcione was the hitting coach for the Windy City ThunderBolts in 2015. Before that, he served as an assistant coach and director of baseball operations at Northern Illinois University from 2012-15, and was also an assistant there from 2007-08. In between his two stints in DeKalb, Carcione served as the interim and then permanent head coach at Division-II Metropolitan State University of Denver for two seasons. In addition, he was the hitting coach for the Can-Am League's Ottawa Rapidz in 2008, and was made the interim manager that season, then hired as the permanent manager ahead of the 2009 campaign, but the team ceased operations that offseason.
Carcione has also spent two seasons as the pitching coach for the Sioux City Explorers in the American Association from 2006-07, was the head coach of Si Tanka University (NAIA) in South Dakota in 2005, and an assistant coach at the University of South Dakota from 2000-04. He began his coaching career as the bench and bullpen coach for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, also in the American Association, in 1999.
The River Grove, Illinois native who now resides outside Denver, Colorado also enjoyed a 10-year professional playing career, including five seasons in independent baseball and five more in the Oakland Athletics organization, where the former catcher advanced as high as Double-A. He was a 10th-round selection by the A's out of Texas A&M University in the 1988 MLB Draft.
"We are very excited and proud to add Tom to our coaching staff," Miners manager Mike Pinto said. "He has a depth of experience in the game- first as a player for 10 years, followed by a coaching career that spans from college through the pro ranks. He has worked with some very good hitters over the years, and has helped them get better each day. Our guys are going to love working with Tom."
The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League's most-successful franchise since debuting in 2007, winning the 2012 Frontier League Championship as well as division titles in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016. They have been awarded the Frontier League Organization of the Year award three times since their inception, and also set a new Frontier League attendance record in their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.