After a 19-year run as head coach of the JWU baseball team, John LaRose has been promoted to Associate Athletics Director as announced by Associate Dean of Students Mel Grar. He will be responsible for compliance, academics and staff training with sport oversight. LaRose finished his coaching career with a 429-341-6 record.
Under his leadership, Johnson & Wales baseball has been synonymous with success in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. In 2018, the Wildcats posted their eighth-straight 20-win season, the 16th overall under LaRose. The 2017 edition advanced to the GNAC Championship game.
After serving as an assistant, LaRose took over the head coaching duties in 2000 and within two years produced the first 20-win season in school history. Johnson & Wales has won at least 20 games in 14 out of the last 15 seasons. Under LaRose’s direction, the Wildcats have won a pair of GNAC regular season championships and he has been named GNAC Coach of the Year win 2011 and 2013.
As expected, JWU players have earned numerous accolades during LaRose’s tenure. In 2007, future JWU Hall of Famer, Alex Hurley became the first player to earn All-America honors. One year, later Brad Jackson, who was inducted into the JWU Hall of Fame in October of 2016, became the first Wildcat to sign a professional baseball contract.
At the conference level, LaRose’s players have earned 97 All-GNAC awards with four Players of the Year, three Pitchers of the Year and four Rookies of the Year. In addition, he has coached nine All-New England selections.
Coach LaRose has his roots in Rhode Island baseball. After starting his coaching career at North Smithfield High School, he moved on to be the pitching coach at the University of Rhode Island before taking a job as an assistant coach/admissions representative at JWU.
LaRose was a successful player in his own right, earned Academic All-Big East senior year at Providence College where he graduated with a history education degree in 1991. He received his master’s degree in sports information from the University of Georgia in 1994. Prior playing at PC, he was an All-State selection at Shea High School in Pawtucket, RI. LaRose lives in Cumberland, RI and has two daughters Hannah and Abby as well as son Jack.