Rafters Name Craig Noto as New Field Manager


Noto Lauded Among Peers For Keen Recruiting Ability And Attention To Detail

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.- The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are pleased to announce the hiring of Craig Noto as the team’s new field manager for the 2015 season. Noto becomes the fifth manager in franchise history, replacing Ruben Noriega.

Noto will enter his 23rd year of coaching at the Youth, High School and Division 1 Collegiate level. He spent the past nine seasons as the Head Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator and Pitching Coach at LIU-Brooklyn. While at LIU Coach Noto recruited and coached five different players that have gone off to various levels of Professional Baseball, including the first Big League player in LIU history, James Jones of the Seattle Mariners. He has also coached 14 NEC All-Conference selections, two NEC Players of the Year and a Rawlings Gold Glove Winner. 

“Craig is very well respected around the game for his keen recruiting ability, which was evident in numerous conversations I’ve had with his peers at all levels ranging from the collegiate landscape to Major League Baseball,” said Rafters general manager John Fanta. “He is very passionate and will bring a wealth of experience to our organization. I look forward to working with him and having him lead our team on the field next summer.” 

Coach Noto is a skilled clinician in all facets of the game. His highly organized practices and attention to detail have been keys in the development of his players and assistant coaches over the years. As a 16 year Member of the American Baseball Coaches Association he has been a guest speaker at many clinics and organizational dinners across the country. His recruiting connections run across the entire country having signed players from California, to the Midwest, and East Coast to play at LIU.  The charismatic Noto has developed relationships throughout the country over his career and will be uniquely positioned in the Northwoods League to recruit a talented team in 2015.

Prior to joining the staff at LIU Brooklyn, Noto was the Head Coach for the Bergen Beach Youth Organization National teams. During his time with Bergen Beach Coach Noto saw over 120 players drafted by MLB teams. Twenty one of those players have reached the Major League level. While at the Bergen Beach Youth Organization as an instructor and coach, he led his teams to nine CABA World Series championships. Most recently, he directed the Bergen Beach squad to the CABA National Championship with his 14-year old team in 2005.

Coach Noto was an All-City player at St. Peters Boys HS and then went on to play for legendary New York City coach Louie De Martino at John Jay College. He was an all CUNY and ECAC Selection as a middle infielder for the Bloodhounds. 

“I am honored to be named the manager for the 2015 season with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters,” said Noto.  “The opportunity to coach some of the best players in the country, in front of the Rafters faithful, truly is an experience I am excited about. We are determined to bring a winning team to the great city of Wisconsin Rapids. The fans deserve to see a great product on the field every day and we are working hard to secure some of the best talent the collegiate ranks have to offer. I want to thank Vern Stenman and John Fanta for this opportunity.” 


The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel For more information, visit