ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Paul Kostacopoulos, who led the Navy baseball program for 18 seasons and served as a Division I head coach for 34 years, has announced his retirement from coaching. However, he will remain with the Navy athletic department in an administrative role.
Kostacopoulos expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to coach at Navy and the privilege of mentoring incredible young men who have gone on to serve the country in meaningful ways. He acknowledged the support he received from assistant coaches, support staff, administrators, and the leadership of athletic director Chet Gladchuk, and he looks forward to continuing his involvement with the Naval Academy family.
Gladchuk praised Kostacopoulos for his significant influence on hundreds of student-athletes throughout his career and his highly competitive programs with impeccable integrity. He highlighted Kostacopoulos’ character, professionalism, and expectation for excellence from every student-athlete he coached.
With an impressive career record of 1,027-704-7, Kostacopoulos was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014, the Maryland Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2018, and the Providence College Hall of Fame in 2019. His coaching career included 523 wins with the Midshipmen, making him the second-winningest coach in Navy baseball history.
Kostacopoulos brought a new era of excellence to Navy baseball when he joined the program in 2006. Under his guidance, the Mids achieved two NCAA Tournament appearances, two Patriot League Tournament titles, and six Patriot League regular-season championships. His teams consistently posted 30-win seasons, and the 2016 squad set a program record with 43 wins.
In addition to team achievements, Kostacopoulos’ players received numerous individual accolades. Navy baseball produced 87 All-Patriot League selections, 16 All-Americans, and 13 Freshman All-Americans. Several players were named Patriot League Pitcher, Player, Rookie, or Defensive Player of the Year. Nine Mids were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, and two of his draftees, Mitch Harris and Oliver Drake, reached the major leagues. Noah Song, drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2019, became the highest-drafted player in Navy baseball history.
Kostacopoulos also emphasized the importance of academics, with seven Academic All-Americans and 16 Academic All-Patriot League selections during his tenure. The Mids earned Patriot League Academic Honor Roll status 105 times, and three players received the Senior CLASS Award.
Before joining Navy, Kostacopoulos coached at Maine from 1997 to 2005, leading the team to two America East titles and a winning record in his last six seasons. He also spent seven years as the head coach at his alma mater, Providence, achieving a Big East Championship in 1992 and an NCAA Regional appearance in 1995.
A graduate of Providence College, Kostacopoulos played for the Friars for four seasons and was named team captain and Defensive Player of the Year during his senior year.
Kostacopoulos comes from a family with a strong baseball background. His father, Peter, served as the head baseball coach at Wesleyan University, accumulating over 400 wins in 27 seasons. His brother, Pete, held coaching positions at Colby College, Dartmouth College, and Wesleyan. Kostacopoulos is married to former Providence College basketball standout Joanie Powers, and they have two children, Annie and Matthew.
Navy baseball bids farewell to an accomplished coach who leaves behind a remarkable legacy of success on the field, in the classroom, and the lives of his players. The Naval Academy and the baseball community as a whole will forever remember and appreciate the contributions of Paul Kostacopoulos.
Throughout his 18 seasons at Navy, Kostacopoulos instilled a culture of excellence and discipline within the baseball program. His leadership and dedication resulted in numerous championships, postseason appearances, and the development of well-rounded student-athletes.
Under Kostacopoulos’ guidance, the Navy baseball program became a force to be reckoned with in the Patriot League. The team consistently competed at a high level, capturing six regular-season championships and two Patriot League Tournament titles. These achievements showcased the program’s commitment to excellence and its ability to perform under pressure.
Kostacopoulos’ impact extended beyond the playing field. He emphasized the importance of academic success and character development, fostering a well-rounded experience for his student-athletes. The academic achievements of Navy baseball players under his coaching were outstanding, with seven players earning Academic All-American honors and 16 players receiving Academic All-Patriot League recognition.
His ability to balance athletic and academic excellence made Kostacopoulos a respected figure both within the Navy community and the collegiate baseball landscape. His commitment to the holistic development of his players ensured that they were prepared for success not only on the baseball diamond but also in their future endeavors.
Kostacopoulos’ influence on Navy baseball will be felt for years to come. He leaves behind a strong foundation built on a winning tradition, integrity, and a commitment to developing leaders of character. The program will undoubtedly continue to thrive under his successor while honoring the legacy that Kostacopoulos established during his tenure.
As Kostacopoulos transitions into a new chapter of his career in an administrative role with the Navy athletic department, his expertise, and experience will undoubtedly continue to benefit the program. His contributions will extend beyond the field as he works to support the overall success and growth of Navy athletics.
The Navy and broader baseball communities will feel the impact of Kostacopoulos’ retirement. His achievements and coaching philosophy have left a lasting impression on the sport, influencing the lives of countless student-athletes he mentored.
Navy baseball bids farewell to a legendary coach who has etched his name in the annals of the program’s history. Paul Kostacopoulos will be remembered as one of the most successful coaches in Navy baseball history, a mentor, and a role model to his players. His retirement marks the end of an era but also opens the door to new opportunities and continued growth for Navy baseball.
As the Naval Academy prepares to embark on a new chapter in its baseball journey, it will undoubtedly carry forward the values, lessons, and legacy instilled by Coach Kostacopoulos. The program will honor his contributions by continuing to strive for excellence on and off the field, embodying the principles of teamwork, discipline, and dedication he exemplified throughout his coaching career.
The impact of Paul Kostacopoulos on Navy baseball will be felt for generations, as his influence extends far beyond wins and losses. He leaves a lasting legacy as a coach, mentor, and leader, and his retirement marks the end of a remarkable chapter in Navy baseball history.