Mike Rizzo
Mike Rizzo
Title: Head Coach
Phone: (562) 907-4967
Email: mrizzo@whittier.edu
Team: Baseball

Hometown: Pittsfield, MA

College: Whittier '86

Years at Whittier:
20 (as head coach)

Overall Record:
312 - 398 - 4 (as head coach)

SCIAC Record: 191 - 230 (as head coach)


Mike Rizzo reached a milestone during the 2015-16 season as the head coach of the Whittier College baseball team.  The 20-year front man earned his 300th career victory with an 8-7 home victory over SCIAC foe Pomona-Pitzer.

Originally from Pittsfield, MA, he has amassed a 348-441-4 career mark, 210-259 SCIAC record, with nine 20+ win seasons which includes five straight from 2002 through 2006.

Under Rizzo’s guidance, Whittier has had 52 student-athletes named All-SCIAC, 22 garner All West Region honors, five named NCAA All Americans, three ABCA/Rawlings National Gold Glove winners and four Major League draftees.  At the conclusion of the 2017-18 season, the Poet baseball team received recognition by the ABCA for its excellence in the classroom.  Whittier has received this award for the third consecutive season. 

Poets drafted during Rizzo’s tenure include:

Thomas Vessella              2006       11th Round          Houston Astros

Thomas Phelps                 2008       38th Round          Baltimore Orioles

Julian Barzilli                     2014       31st Round           St. Louis Cardinals

Stephen Zavala                2015       37th Round          St. Louis Cardinals

In 2014, Julian Barzilli helped lead the Poets to their first ever appearance in the SCIAC Post Season Tournament, led the country in home runs with 17 and was named to the ABCA All American team.  Following an outstanding season, Barzilli was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 31st Round of the Major League Amateur Draft.

In 2015, Whittier College was the only NCAA Division III program to have players selected in back-to-back seasons when the St. Louis Cardinals selected senior catcher, Stephen Zavala in the 37th Round.  Zavala was outstanding behind the plate for the Poets and won a national ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove for his efforts.

The 2016 season saw the Poets’ recognized once again, as junior Tanner Marcoe won a National Gold Glove as one of the top three defensive outfielders in Division III.  Junior Jake Raynaud was chasing the Poet single season hit record (Andrew Vallejo ’12 (69)) and fell just short with 67.  Raynaud hit .419-6-42 and was named First Team All-SCIAC and All West Region.

Prior to being named head coach, Rizzo was an assistant under former Poet skipper, Jim Pigott ’80 for 11 seasons.

Rizzo began his collegiate playing career at Western New England College (now Western New England University) in 1983, and in his second season with the Golden Bears was named MVP of the 1984 NAIA District 5 Tournament.  In that tournament, Rizzo picked up a save against Southern Maine and a complete game victory in the championship game versus Castleton State.  He transferred to Whittier in the fall of 1984 and was twice named All-SCAIC as a Poet.  Rizzo still holds the single season record for innings pitched in a season and posted a 17-9 record on the mound for the Poets.

In 1986 he was named the Presidential Scholar Athlete and was also named the team’s MVP.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science.  In addition to his duties with the baseball program, he also serves as an Associate Director of Athletics for External Operations, and oversees the Purple & Gold Booster Club.

Mike and his wife Susan ’88, reside in Cypress, CA with their two children, Ryan and Kylie.


 Coaching History
 1999-Current  Whittier - Head Coach
 1988-1998  Whittier - Assistant Coach


 Coaching Record
 Year  School  Title  Record
2018  Whittier  Head Coach  24-16, 11-3 SCIAC - 5th
2017  Whittier  Head Coach  12-27, 8-16 SCIAC - 8th
2016  Whittier  Head Coach  15-24, 12-16 SCIAC - 6th
2015  Whittier  Head Coach  15-24, 12-16 SCIAC - 7th
2014  Whittier  Head Coach  22-20, 17-11 SCIAC - 3rd
2013  Whittier  Head Coach  15-24, 12-16 SCIAC - 7th
2012  Whittier  Head Coach  21-17, 15-13 SCIAC - 5th
2011  Whittier  Head Coach  16-23, 8-20 SCIAC - 7th
2010  Whittier  Head Coach  9-31, 6-22 SCIAC - 7th
2009  Whittier  Head Coach  12-28, 6-15 SCIAC - 7th
2008  Whittier  Head Coach  15-24-1, 8-13 SCIAC - 6th
2007  Whittier  Head Coach  17-23, 11-10 SCIAC - T 5th
2006  Whittier  Head Coach  20-19-1, 10-8 SCIAC - T 2nd
2005  Whittier  Head Coach  22-17-1, 14-10 SCIAC - 3rd
2004  Whittier  Head Coach  21-18-1, 9-9 SCIAC - 5th
2003  Whittier  Head Coach  24-15, 13-8 SCIAC - T 3rd
2002  Whittier  Head Coach  21-19, 8-10 SCIAC - 4th
2001  Whittier  Head Coach  19-21, 11-10 SCIAC - 5th
2000  Whittier  Head Coach  11-29, 8-13 SCIAC - 6th
1999  Whittier  Head Coach  21-18, 14-7 SCIAC - T 2nd
1998  Whittier  Asst. Coach  19-21
1997  Whittier  Asst. Coach  17-22
1996  Whittier  Asst. Coach  8-29-1
1995  Whittier  Asst. Coach  13-24
1994  Whittier  Asst. Coach  17-19
1993  Whittier  Asst. Coach  12-23
1992  Whittier  Asst. Coach  17-19-1
1991  Whittier  Asst. Coach  12-26
1990  Whittier  Asst. Coach  15-23
1989  Whittier  Asst. Coach  10-25-2
1988  Whittier  Asst. Coach  16-21