Craig Noto- Field Manager
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters announced on October 6th that Craig Noto would return for his third season with the Rafters. Noto is currently an Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Wagner College, in Staten Island, New York.
The Rafters finished the 2016 season with 49 regular season wins and went a perfect 4-0 during the playoffs. Noto guided the team to winning both the South Division First and Second Half, culminating with the Rafters first Northwoods League Championship. Under his leadership, he and his coaching staff led the Rafters to tie or break 21 club records during the regular season, including posting a scoring average of 5.7 runs per game. The pitching staff posted an ERA of 3.41 while allowing the fewest walks and hits per innings pitched in the entire Northwoods League (1.29 WHIP). The team also posted a collective batting average of .369 during postseason play. In his tenure as Rafters’ Manager, Noto has seen seven of his players become Northwoods League All-Stars, four Rawlings “Finest in the Field” Gold Glove winners, and has helped develop seven players that have gone on to play professional baseball. Including postseason play, Noto holds a career record of 86-58 (.597 winning percentage) in his first two seasons and will look to build upon that in 2017.
Noto will enter his 25th 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.
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 which uniquely position him for helping recruit the Rafters summer roster.
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. Noto, who resides in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, NY, is a member of the American Baseball Coaches’ Association (ABCA) and also a member of the NYC MLB Scouts Association. He recently served as the Vice President of the Brooklyn Baseball Association from 2014-2016 where he oversaw all baseball operations for over 300 youth baseball and softball players from Brooklyn & Queens.