Neil Ioviero is entering his 21st season at the helm of the Kean University baseball program. Under his guidance, the team has grown into one of the premiere programs in the nation culminating with the program's first national championship in 2007 and six World Series appearances (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 & 2013).
In 2016, Ioviero guided the Cougars to a 30-18 record, marking the 12th straight season Kean won at least 30 games. The team won the NJAC regular season title and earned a bid to the NCAA Championship, where they were among the final 16 teams standing in the nation. Ioviero was named the NJAC Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his career at the end of the season.
Ioviero, who collected his 600th career win during the course of the 2016 season, currently boasts a 639-258-2 (.712) record. He now stands with the most wins of any sport in Kean department history. Ioviero has been garnered with several honors during his recent success. In 2007 he was honored with the biggest award, the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings Division III National Coach of the Year. In addition, he has been tabbed the NCAA Division III Regional Coach of the Year (2007, 2008, 2009 & 2012), New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association (NJCBA) Coach of the Year (2007, 2008 & 2012) and has been named the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Coach of the Year five times (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2016).
During the 2007 campaign, the Cougars set many milestones including then, their first-ever trip to the World Series, a regional championship and a new standard for wins in a season with 43. After receiving one of 14 national "wild-card" bids, the Cougars would go on to win eight straight post-season games, including four in regional play. In an ironic twist, Kean needed 10 innings in both the regional and World Series championship games and defeated both of their opponents by an identical score of 5-4.
In 2002, Kean University captured the school’s first ever NJAC Championship and with a 33-12 record advanced to the NCAA Tournament. That year the Cougars then set school records for most wins and best winning percentage.
In his first season, 1998, Ioviero led the Cougars to a 25-9 mark and earned an invitation to the Division III Regional Tournament, only the second time in school history then that the Cougars had made the national tournament.
In his first 20 years in the dugout, Ioviero has developed 10 All-Americans, 22 first-team regional All-Americans, 38 first-team All-State and 37 first-team All-NJAC players. In addition, of the 37 first-team All-NJAC players, 13 have garnered either Player or Pitcher of the Year honors. Moreover, 16 of those players have gone on to play professionally following the end of their Cougar careers. More recently, in a new award offered at all divisions of collegiate baseball, seven infielders have been selected with the Rawlings Gold Glove award.
A standout pitcher in college, Ioviero played for legendary coach Fred Hill at Rutgers University. As a Scarlet Knight, Ioviero pitched on two NCAA Division I tournament teams, in 1990 and 1992. As a sophomore in 1991, he posted a 7-1 mark and was named to the New Jersey Baseball all-state squad.
Ioviero has played professionally in the independent Northeast League and the Frontier League. He also participated in the prestigious amateur Cape Cod Summer League and in the Atlantic Collegiate Summer Baseball League.
Ioviero earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Rutgers in 1994, adding a postgraduate degree in physical education and health from Kean University in 1996. He received his master's degree in supervision and administration from Kean in 2002. He currently resides in Woodbridge with his wife Letizia and their children Marcello and Letizia.