TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - University of Tampa baseball coaches Joe Urso and Sam Militello are a dynamic duo. They were the fastest staff to reach 500 wins in Division II history. They've played together with the Spartans and have been coaching UT for last 19 seasons.
Joe is the head coach, but he treats Sam as his equal.
"His wife claims he spends more time with me than with her,” laughed Militello. "It's been a great relationship. Hardly ever are we on different pages when it comes to this program."
"It's two head coaches, basically, in the dugout,” offered Urso. "We bounce things off each other. If I'm going to go with a bunt play or whatever it may be, I'm asking him his thoughts before I even put it on."
Joe and Sam grew up in Tampa, played on some same teams together, played against each other. But it's Militello that has bragging rights from his days in Little League.
"He has video of striking me out when he was 12 years old in a big all-star game,” laughed Urso.
Both were drafted by MLB teams. Sam made it to the majors with the Yankees, only to have his career cut short by injuries after just nine starts. As college coaches, they're a perfect combination. Baseball brothers with an acumen to win.
"He has an eye for what it's going to take to attack the opposing hitters like no other,” said Urso.
"He doesn't like to lose,” added Militello. "I knew he was a competitor. We all are when we are on the field. Boy, he hates losing. Really what I think, it's his heart. He creates this family atmosphere with these players. I think that's part of the reason we have had this success."
The two have the Spartans within five wins of another Division II national title.