Rutgers-Camden names Barth head baseball coach
CAMDEN, N.J. (August 27, 2012) – Dennis Barth has accomplished everything there is to do as the head coach of the highly-successful Gloucester Catholic High School and Brooklawn American Legion baseball programs.
His next challenge comes on the collegiate level in the competitive New Jersey Athletic Conference.
Only one week after leading Brooklawn to the finals of the American Legion World Series, Barth has been named as the head coach at Rutgers University-Camden. He replaces John Wink, who resigned after five seasons as the Scarlet Raptors head coach to return to private business.
“Rutgers-Camden has a good facility, an A-plus facility, and offers a good education,” said Barth, whose team will play at Campbell’s Field, the home of the independent Camden Riversharks of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. “It’s just a matter of getting kids on campus. The NJAC’s Division III baseball is as good or better than a lot of Division I programs.”
Barth is coming off another sensational season with his Brooklawn Senior American Legion team, which reached the championship game of the American Legion World Series.
“We’re extremely excited to be able to get Dennis here at Rutgers-Camden,” said Director of Athletics Jeff Dean. “He’s been successful at every level and is known throughout the state and the country. We’re confident his success will continue at Rutgers-Camden. We’re looking forward to a long and successful relationship as we grow our baseball program into a contender in the NJAC and a competitive force nationally in Division III.”
Barth’s Brooklawn assistant coach and former Gloucester Catholic pitcher Josh Copskey will join him as an assistant at Rutgers-Camden, which is coming off a 15-24 season.
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 and Collegiate 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 two national championships (1991 and 2001) and finished as the runner-up this summer.
Brooklawn has captured 10 regional championships with Barth on the coaching staff, coming in 1991, 1992, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2011 and 2012. From 1998-2001 the program became the only team to reach the American Legion World Series for four consecutive years.
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 Baltimore Orioles system. He also coached former Major Leaguers Brett Laxton (Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals), Mike Moriarty (Baltimore Orioles) and Zack Braddock (Milwaukee Brewers).
Barth also has coached over 250 collegiate players, including three current Scarlet Raptors: George Spingler, Nicco Esgro and Paul Walters. 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.
Copskey, meanwhile, will continue his long association with Barth, which has included stints as a player and a coach.
“I am very excited to be a part of the Rutgers baseball program,” the Magnolia, New Jersey, native said. “Coach Barth is a proven winner and I am constantly learning from him. I have high expectations for our team as we work toward gaining the NJAC Championship.”
A 2000 graduate of Gloucester Catholic High School, Copskey helped the Rams to a pair of Parochial A state championships in 1999 and 2000. The 2000 team also earned the national high school championship in polls by USA Today, Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
An All-Tri-County Conference and All-South Jersey baseball player at Gloucester Catholic High School, Copskey also earned All-South Jersey and Second Team All-State basketball honors for the Rams.
A four-year starter at Siena College, he appeared in 54 collegiate games, making 35 starts, and hurling 226 innings. He tied for the team lead with five victories and led the club with 70.1 innings as a freshman and compiled a 1.91 ERA as a senior. He graduated from Siena in 2004 with a degree in Marketing Management.
Copskey started his coaching career as an assistant for Barth in 2005, working with both the Gloucester Catholic and Brooklawn Senior American Legion programs. He helped Brooklawn earn a World Series berth and finish fifth nationally that season.
Copskey served as the Rider University Pitching Coach from 2006-08 and also has coached with the Brooklawn Junior American Legion (2008-2010) and Senior American Legion programs (2011-2012). Teaming with Head Coach Barth, he helped Brooklawn win state and regional championships in 2011 and 2012, earning a berth in the World Series both seasons. Brooklawn finished fifth nationally in 2011 and was the national runner-up this summer.
Copskey also has served as a baseball instructor at the Sportz Central Academy in Bellmawr since 2008.