June 20, 2014

MARTIN, Tenn. – Skyhawk head baseball coach Rick Robinson has announced the hiring of Rick Guarno as an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Guarno has spent the last two seasons as the recruiting coordinator alongside Robinson at Young Harris College in Young Harris, Ga. He will also serve as the recruiting coordinator and the hitting coach at UT Martin.

“Out of all of the guys that have worked for me over the last 16 years, Rick is by far the best combination of recruiting coordinator and hitting coach that I’ve had,” said Robinson, who was introduced as UT Martin’s 10th head baseball coach on June 3. “Skyhawk fans will enjoy getting to know him and his family.”

“I’d like to thank Coach Robinson and the UT Martin administration for this opportunity,” Guarno said. “I look forward to establishing a winning culture and competing for Ohio Valley Conference championships hopefully in the near future.”

Before his stint at Young Harris, Guarno spent two seasons as the volunteer assistant coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, his alma mater. He helped guide the Trojans to a 2011 Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship and the program’s first-ever NCAA Regional appearance.

In 2012, Guarno helped Arkansas-Little Rock rank in the top-10 nationally in four different offensive categories, setting program records for most home runs and triples in a single season. The Trojans ranked first in the nation in home runs per game (1.22), third in slugging percentage (.477) and sixth in scoring (7.4 runs per game). They also ranked in the top-20 nationally in on-base percentage (.395, 14th) and stolen bases per game (1.65, 20th).

Working primarily with the catchers at Arkansas-Little Rock, Guarno coached All-Sun Belt first team catchers Myles Parma and Nick Rountree. Parma hit a team-best .350 with a .439 on-base percentage in 2010 while Rountree crushed a team-high seven homers to go along with 14 doubles and 35 RBI’s in 2011.

Guarno began his collegiate playing career at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he hit .342 as a freshman to help the Retrievers advance to the 2001 NCAA Regional. The following season, he posted a .323 batting average with 10 doubles to help UMBC to a 20-7 conference record and a Northeast Conference championship game appearance.

Guarno then transferred to Arkansas-Little Rock, where he picked up All-Sun Belt first team accolades and second team ABCA Rawlings All-South Central Region honors in 2003. He started 55 games at catcher as a junior, hitting .344 with 27 doubles, 54 runs scored, 48 RBI’s and a .555 slugging percentage.

Guarno was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round (107th overall) of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft. He played seven seasons of professional baseball, earning a call-up to Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2008 after tallying a .290 batting average with five homers in 25 games at Double-A Tulsa. He retired from professional baseball in 2009 after winning a Golden League title with the Calgary Vipers.

A Syracuse, NY native, Guarno attended Bishop Kearney High School in Rochester, NY, where he was a two-time City-Catholic League All-Star. He ranked seventh in his graduating class and was a member of the National Honors Society.

Guarno graduated from Arkansas-Little Rock in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. He is married to the former Amanda Harrison of Conway, Ark.