Chuck Ristano, a veteran pitching coach with 18 years of Division I experience – including the last 12 at Notre Dame – was named Florida State’s newest pitching coach on July 15, 2022.
Throughout his coaching career, Ristano has recruited and coached 39 players selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, including 24 pitchers and 21 players taken in the top 10 rounds. Ristano has also coached: nine MLB players; 26 All-Americans; five conference Players or Pitchers of the Year; four conference Rookies of the Year; and 47 all-conference selections.
“Chuck is a dynamic pitching coach who has the experience to recruit effectively in any part of the country,” head coach Link Jarrett said. “His recruitment and development of pitching staffs at Notre Dame – with versatility and unselfishness – was impressive. His dedication to his daily work with the pitchers, scouting report data, use of applicable modern technology and in-game pitch calling will help our FSU pitchers reach their full potential. His track record for producing Major League-caliber arms and a plethora of draft picks speaks for itself.
“Chuck’s wife, Lizzy, is a phenomenal softball coach who is leaving a championship program at Notre Dame. She helped build the Irish program as both a player and an assistant coach, while their kids Jane and CJ have grown up around sports and are fantastic kids. We are very fortunate to have the entire family at Florida State.”
“I’m incredibly excited for the chance to follow Coach Jarrett to Florida State,” Ristano said. “The environment he creates for our players, staff and families is special. I have long admired the Seminoles from across the diamond, and the level of respect I have for the program, its players and tradition is immense. It is such a privledge and honor to be a part of it, and I am really looking forward to working with the current and future Seminoles in our pursuit of excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community.”
Ristano spent the past 12 seasons at Notre Dame, serving as the pitching coach and liaison to MLB scouts and scouting directors while implementing advanced player development technology, maintaining the yearly calendar and helping with daily practice plans. He also assisted in all recruiting and academic matters, helping the Fighting Irish to a team GPA of 3.27 in Fall 2021. Notre Dame led the ACC with eight players on the All-Academic Team in 2022.
Ristano produced 17 Major League Baseball draft selections, 13 all-conference selections and eight seasons with an earned run average under 4.00 during his time in South Bend.
In addition to his college coaching career, Ristano has also served as a pitching coach for the 2019 and 2022 USA Baseball 16U/17U National Team Development Program. The program identifies, evaluates, coaches and selects the most elite players in the country for eventual placement on the 18U National Team. Ristano coached current Seminole pitcher Jackson Baumeister at the NTDP in 2019.
During the 2021 MLB Home Run Derby, Ristano was the pitcher for former Notre Dame star Trey Mancini. Mancini finished as the runner-up in the event.
In 2022, the Fighting Irish reached the College World Series for the third time in program history and appeared in back-to-back Super Regionals for the first time. Since 2020, Notre Dame’s .729 win percentage was second-best in the country and the Irish won at least 70 percent of their games in all three years.
Ristano’s 2022 pitching staff was one of the best in the nation, leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in ERA (3.91) and hits allowed per nine innings (7.77). Notre Dame was eighth in the country with 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings, setting a school record with 615 strikeouts for the year.
Notre Dame was 10th nationally in ERA and hits allowed per nine innings and 17th in WHIP (1.30).
Left-hander John Michael Bertrand was a unanimous All-American in 2022, while also being named a CoSIDA Academic All-American and first-team All-ACC selection. Bertrand was Notre Dame’s first All-American starting pitcher since 2009 and led the ACC with a 2.81 ERA and 109.0 innings pitched.
Jack Findlay was a Freshman All-American, while Austin Temple led the ACC in opponent batting average (.200) and was ninth in the league in ERA.
In 2021, Ristano and the Irish reached the Super Regionals, finishing third in the ACC with a 3.95 ERA with three pitchers among the Top 10 in the conference in ERA. Bertrand was a first-team All-ACC pitcher – Notre Dame’s first since joining the conference in 2014 – and Tanner Kohlhepp was a second-team All-ACC selection with seven wins out of the bullpen as the Fighting Irish’s top reliever.
Prior to joining Notre Dame, Ristano was the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Temple (2010) and Monmouth (2006-09). Ristano began his coaching career in 2005 at Sacred Heart, his alma mater.
Ristano was a two-time captain and four-year letterwinner at Sacred Heart, graduating with a sports management degree in 2004. Ristano and his wife, Lizzy – a 17-year coach for the Notre Dame softball team – have two children, Jane and CJ.
Ristano’s Career Accolades include: