Head Coach Dennis Barth (4th season)
High School: Gloucester Catholic
College: University of Virginia (1985)
CAMDEN CITY N.J.The meteoric rise to power of the Rutgers University-Camden baseball program can be directly traced to the hiring of Head Coach Dennis Barth (photo provided) in August of 2012.
A winner at every level in his distinguished coaching career, Barth immediately brought his magic touch to collegiate ball during his first season at Rutgers-Camden in 2013. Inheriting a team that had gone 15-24 in 2012 and 27-48 over the previous two seasons, Barth helped the Scarlet Raptors post their first winning season since 2010 with a 23-19 mark. It was only the Raptors’ second winning campaign since 2006.
That campaign set the stage for a quantum leap in 2014 when Rutgers-Camden went 30-13-1, captured the program’s first-ever New Jersey Athletic Conference regular-season championship and earned the school’s first berth ever in the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship tournament. The Raptors’ final victory that season, an 18-11 marathon over Castleton State College on May 15, gave the team its first NCAA tourney win ever. It marked only the second time in program history the program had posted a 30-win season, with the first coming in 2002 (32-10).
Under Barth’s guidance, the 2014 Scarlet Raptors put Rutgers-Camden baseball back on the national stage. When the Raptors broke into the national rankings on April 15 with seven votes toward the ABCA/Collegiate Baseball poll and nine votes in the D3baseball.com rankings, it was the first time they had appeared in a national poll since ranking 26th in the ABCA poll on March 27, 2006. Rutgers-Camden peaked at 29th in the ABCA poll for three consecutive weeks (April 29, May 6 and May 13), the highest ranking for the team since a school-record 19th in that poll on April 8, 2002.
The Scarlet Raptors’ banner year led to numerous post-season honors, including recognition as the NJAC Co-Coach of the Year for Barth. Among the Raptors’ many honors, freshman designated hitter Joe Brooks earned NJAC First Team and NJAC Rookie of the Year recognition.
Barth continued his success during the 2015 season, leading the Scarlet Raptors to their second straight NJAC regular-season crown, earning NJAC Coach of the Year honors and adding accolades as Rutgers-Camden’s Coach of the Year. Rutgers-Camden posted a 27-17 record against a brutal schedule that featured 25 games against teams ranked in at least one of the two national Top 25 polls or receiving votes toward those polls. The Scarlet Raptors went 14-11 against those teams.
In October, the Scarlet Raptors received another reward for their success when southpaw Jeff Singer signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Phillies organization. As a senior in 2015, Singer was one of two All-NJAC First Team players on the Scarlet Raptors during the 2015 season, joining his junior battery mate, Jon Theckston.
In his three seasons at Rutgers-Camden, Barth has fashioned a record of 80-49-1, already good for the third-highest victory total of any coach in program history. With two more wins this season, he will tie Frank Trotman for second place.
During his first collegiate season in 2013, Barth’s Scarlet Raptors were in contention for the NJAC playoffs until they split their final doubleheader of the season. Although they finished in a tie for sixth place in the conference, they lost on a tie-breaker for the final NJAC playoff spot, barely missing a goal that had eluded the program since 2005. Rutgers-Camden did reach the ECAC Metro Championships, however, and the Raptors posted their first ECAC win since 2010 before falling in the semifinals.
Barth’s first Rutgers-Camden team featured a pair of all-conference players, four NJCBA All-Stars and two ABCA/Rawlings Mid-Atlantic Region stars.
A long-time successful head coach at Gloucester Catholic High School and Brooklawn American Legion baseball programs, Barth’s 2013 success didn’t end with the Rutgers-Camden program. Only three months after the collegiate season ended, Barth directed Brooklawn to the Senior American Legion World Series championship in North Carolina. His team compiled a stellar 46-9 season on its way to Brooklawn’s third national championship and first since 2001. Brooklawn added another national championship in 2014 with an 18-0 romp in the title game.
Barth nearly added another Brooklawn title in 2012. One week before taking the head coaching job at Rutgers-Camden, he led Brooklawn to the American Legion World Series title game.
Barth helped to establish Gloucester Catholic as a state and national powerhouse, posting an amazing 485-94-1 record in his 19 years as the Rams’ head coach. In his final game at Gloucester Catholic, his team defeated Don Bosco Prep, 4-1, to capture the 2012 Parochial A state championship. It was the ninth Parochial A or B state title in 10 tries since Barth took over the program in 1994.
After losing the 1995 B championship, his Rams won Parochial B state titles in 1996, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2011. They won the Parochial A title in 1999, 2000 and this season, with the 2000 team earning the national high school championship in polls by USA Today, Baseball America andCollegiate Baseball. That 2000 team was one of six Gloucester Catholic teams he piloted into the final Top 25 in the national high school rankings and earned him honors as the National High School Baseball Coach of the Year.
Barth’s Gloucester Catholic teams captured a South Jersey-record six Diamond Classic championships and he became the fastest New Jersey high school coach to reach the 100, 200, 300 and 400 victory plateaus. He has earned honors as the Northeast Region and Mid-Atlantic Region High School Coach of the Year from both the American Baseball Coaches Association and the Baseball Coaches Association, in addition to numerous honors as the South Jersey Coach of the Year from both the Courier-Post and Philadelphia Inquirer newspapers and the Hot Stovers Association.
During his tenure at Gloucester Catholic, the Rams captured 18 out of a possible 19 Tri-County Conference titles and won 20 or more games 18 times. They won 19 the other season.
Barth’s accomplishments with Brooklawn are equally impressive, from his days as the team’s batboy through his playing days and his years coaching. He became Brooklawn’s Assistant Head Coach in 1986 and was named the Head Coach in 2001. During that span, Brooklawn won its first two national championships (1991 and 2001), and added two more in 2013 and 2014 after finishing as the 2012 runner-up. Brooklawn returned to the World Series in 2015.
Brooklawn has captured 13 regional championships with Barth on the coaching staff, coming in 1991, 1992, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. From 1998-2001 the program became the first team to reach the American Legion World Series for four consecutive years. It topped that run with five straight trips from 2011-2015.
Barth has coached over 50 players who were drafted or played professional baseball, including Greg Burke, who pitched for the San Diego Padres and is currently in the New York Mets system. He also coached former Major Leaguers Brett Laxton (Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals), Mike Moriarty (Baltimore Orioles) and Zack Braddock (Milwaukee Brewers).
Prior to taking the Rutgers-Camden job, Barth coached over 250 collegiate players. Over 30 of his former players have coached high school or college baseball, including current Head Coaches Mike Dickson (Gloucester County College) and Mike Scappa (York College), Associate Head Coach John Yurkow (Penn) and Pitching Coach Jaime Steward (Rider).
Barth was the captain and an All-State centerfielder on the 1980 Gloucester Catholic team that went a perfect 24-0 on its way to the Parochial B state title. That team finished third in the national high school rankings.
Barth was a two-time All-South Jersey player (1979 and 1980) during his four-year Gloucester Catholic career. He went on to play two seasons at Villanova University, competing in the 1981 ECAC playoffs and hitting .350 in 1982, before transferring to the University of Virginia. He played for the Cavaliers in 1984 and 1985, batting second and hitting over .300 for the 1985 ACC regular-season champions that reached the NCAA tournament.
Barth graduated from Virginia in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and now owns Barth Tax and Financial Services, Inc., in Brooklawn. He also serves as the President of Sportz Central in Bellmawr, an indoor baseball and softball academy.
Barth started his baseball coaching career as an assistant as Gloucester Catholic in 1989 before being elevated to the head coaching position in 1994. He served as an assistant with the Brooklawn American Legion from 1986-2000 before taking over the head reins.
Barth also has coached with the Legion Stars National Team for the Junior Olympic Trials Tournament of Stars, first as an assistant coach in 2008 and then as the head coach in 2009.
The Brooklawn resident is a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association, the Baseball Coaches Association, the Pitching Central Inner Circle and the 90mph Club.