Bill Decker was introduced as the Joseph J. O'Donnell '67 Head Coach for Harvard Baseball on September 26, 2012. He will begin his fifth season at the helm of the Crimson in 2017.
Coming off the program's most successful season since 2010, Decker led the 2016 Harvard squad to a 17-24 overall record, including a 9-11 mark in Ivy League play, with an impressive win over Wake Forest. Under his leadership, Nick Gruener, John Fallon, Matt Rothenberg, and Josh Ellis earned All-Ivy League recognition, as the program continued its upwards trend.
Harvard continued its improvement under Decker in 2015, tallying an 18-24 record in the program's most successful season since 2007. Harvard finished second in the Ivy League Red Rolfe division, and tallied seven wins in conference play. Ethan Ferreira was named to the All-Ivy first team, and Mike Martin and Jake McGuiggan were selected to the second team.
Decker's Crimson also saw improvement in 2014, earning an 11-28 record, including a Baseball Beanpot Championship, Harvard's first since 2005. Three Crimson, Mike Martin, Kyle Larrow and Carlton Bailey, earned All-Ivy League honors under his guidance last season as well.
After taking over in September of 2012, Decker led the Crimson to a 10-31 record in 2013, including a third-place finish in the Ivy League's Red Rolfe Division. The Crimson had three All-Ivy choices in Tanner Anderson, Mike Martin and Brandon Kregel.
Decker, the 2008 ABCA National Coach of the Year, spent 22 season as head coach of the Trinity College (Conn.) baseball team before coming to Harvard. Trinity’s all-time winningest coach, he owned a 529-231 (.696) record while winning five conference championships and advancing to nine NCAA Tournament appearances and winning one national title.
In 2008, Decker led Trinity to a 45-1 mark en route to the school's first-ever NCAA Division III National championship. After finishing the regular season undefeated, the Bantams ran their record streak to 44 games, which is the longest winning-streak in Division III history. The .978 winning percentage set a new NCAA record in any division in any sport.
On top of being selected as the 2008 ABCA National Coach of the Year, Decker was also selected as the New England Coach of the Year in 1999, 2004, 2008 and 2009 as well as the New England Small College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2009.
In 2012, Decker led the Bantams to a 34-11 record and a fifth NESCAC Championship title. In 2009, the Bantams won the NESCAC Championship, and the New England Regional Championship to earn a second consecutive bid to the Div. III College World Series. In 2007, Decker's team advanced to NCAA Tournament play for the third time in five years and won four games in the regional.
In 2005, Decker guided Trinity to a 35-9 record and was named the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) Coach of the Year. Trinity also won its second NCAA Division III Regional Championship title in three years and made its second trip to the NCAA Division III World Series.
All told, Decker owns 537 wins as a head coach at the collegiate level including one year at Macalester College in 1990. He got his college coaching start in 1989 as an assistant coach at Wesleyan (Conn.) Prior to that, Decker served single years in assistant roles at Deerfield Academy (Mass.) and Phillips Exeter Academy (N.H.) In all four of those stops, Decker also served as a member of the schools' football programs. He also served as a graduate assistant coach in football at his alma mater, Ithaca College (N.Y.)
Decker has been an active member of the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association as a regional coordinator. In 1997, Decker was a member of the USA Baseball National Trials coaching staff and has made summer trips as part of Major League Baseball International. Eight Trinity players have continued their baseball careers at the professional level in the past seven years, and Jonah Bayliss became the first NESCAC player in 10 years to appear in a major league game in 2006. Decker-coached athletes compete annually in the NCAA-sponsored collegiate leagues each summer.
A 1985 graduate of Ithaca College, Decker received a bachelor's degree in physical education with a minor in business. He also holds a master's degree in physical education with a concentration in coaching, which he received from his alma mater in 1992. Decker’s baseball career was cut short due to injury in college but the two-sport star was a team captain and an All-America defensive back for the football team.
Decker and his wife, Nancy, have three children, Kyle, Sarah and Kacey.
Bryan Stark joined the Harvard baseball team as an assistant coach in the fall of 2014 after two seasons at Navy in the same capacity.
Since his joining the program in 2014, Stark has been an invaluable part in guiding Harvard’s 12 All-Ivy League selections and four NEIBA All-Region team members.
In 2016, Stark helped Harvard to their most successful season since 2010, going 17-24 overall, and 9-11 in Ivy League play. Under his mentorship John Fallon and Matt Rothenberg emerged as dangerous threats in the Harvard lineup.
In his first season at Harvard, he played a key role in helping the team to an 18-24 record in the 2015 season, giving the program its most wins since 2007.
While in Annapolis, Stark served as the first base coach, while working with hitters and infielders. Stark guided a handful of Midshipmen to first team all-conference honors during his tenure as well.
Before arriving at Navy, he spent one season as an assistant coach at the University of Rochester in his home town. While at Rochester, Stark maintained various responsibilities for the Yellow Jackets, including working with the team's hitters and outfielders.
Stark has also served as general manager of the Youses Orioles, the Baltimore Orioles' collegiate summer league affiliate, and as the head coach of the Brockton Rox of the Future Collegiate Baseball League, where he was named Manager of the Year in 2014.
After graduating from SUNY Oswego, Stark was an assistant coach at his alma mater for a season. He played four seasons at SUNY Oswego where he earned all-conference honors and captained the team in his final two years.
Rakowski joined the Harvard staff in 2016 after spending the past six seasons at Holy Cross. He is in his first year with the Crimson.
During his tenure with the Crusaders, Rakowski helped 27 players earn All-Patriot League recognition, including 10 pitchers. He mentored five players selected in the Major League Baseball draft while in Worcester, and helped the Crusaders to a 30-win season in 2016.
Prior to his time at Holy Cross, Rakowski was the head assistant baseball coach and recruiting coordinator at Tacoma College from 2005-10. He helped lead Tacoma to the NWAACC playoffs during each of his five seasons, and helped place 40 players to four-year programs, with seven going to the Division I level.
Rakowski has also served as an assistant coach at Willamette, San Francisco State and DeAnza Junior College. Additionally, he serves as an instructor at the annual Stanford All-Star Baseball Camp.
A graduate of San Francisco State in 2002, Rakowski later received his master’s degree from National University in 2009.
Tom Conley joined the Harvard baseball staff in August of 2016.
Conley joins the Crimson staff after spending the past three seasons at Trinity. During his tenure with the Bantams, Conley helped the team improve its conference record in each of his three seasons, working with the catchers and hitters. The team finished second in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championships in 2016. Conley helped five players earn NESCAC All-Conference honors, including 2016 NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year Scott Cullinane at catcher.
As the head coach for the Pittsfield Suns of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, Conley assisted the Suns in reaching the playoffs in the past three seasons with the team winning its first conference championship in the 2014. He served as a mentor to four players selected in the Major League Baseball draft while in Pittsfield.
Conley served as an assistant coach at Bryant University during the 2012-13 season, and supported the team to the NEC Conference Championships. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts in 2012, where he played catcher, Conley later received his master's degree from Trinity College in 2016.
Morgan Brown '06 made a move to Director of Baseball Operations for Harvard in the summer of 2014. One of the Ivy League's top shortstops during his tenure with the Crimson, Brown initially returned to the team in the fall of 2010 as an assistant coach, a position he held for four seasons.
As a player at Harvard, Brown was the 147th Captain of Harvard Baseball (2005-06). He received All-Ivy League recognition as a shortstop twice and won Ivy League and Beanpot titles in 2005, along with Rolfe Division titles in 2003, 2005, and 2006. Additionally, he was named the Harvard Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year in 2006 and to the All-Ivy Academic Team and ESPN the Magazine All-Region teams. He was awarded the Francis Burr '09 Scholarship as a senior, the oldest continually awarded prize in Harvard Athletics. Brown was also a national finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship.
Following his collegiate career, Brown signed with the Can-Am League’s North Shore Spirit, putting in 20 games with that team in 2006. In 2008, he returned to professional baseball and played overseas in Belgium and spent the 2008-09 winter season playing in Australia.
He returned to the Can-Am League in 2009, playing for Quebec and Brockton and then completed his professional career with Quebec in 2010.
While at Harvard, Brown played summer baseball in the Cape Cod Collegiate Baseball League with the Wareham Gatemen as well as in the New England Collegiate Baseball League with the North Adams SteepleCats.
Upon graduation, Brown was awarded Harvard's prestigious Michael Rockefeller Fellowship. He spent September of 2006 through August of 2007 in India where, among other duties, he worked in an HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment program.
In addition to his coaching and administrative duties Brown has previously worked for Oxfam America in the Humanitarian Response Department where he focused on setting up development and humanitarian relief programs in Haiti following the January 2010 earthquake, and was stationed in Port-au-Prince for much of 2010-11. Following the 2011 spring season and through until the early part of the 2012 season, he was stationed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia assisting in the response to the drought in the Horn of Africa. In addition to his continued role with baseball, in his full-time role, he also now serves as a senior international program consultant for Harvard University focusing on the international operations of the university and its faculty and schools.
Brown is also now back at Harvard as a student, pursuing his Masters Degree in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.