In nine seasons as varsity head coach, Kevin Graber has helped guide Big Blue Baseball to nine consecutive Central New England Prep Final Four appearances, winning four Central New England Prep Championships in the last seven years, including back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013, the school's tenth Central New England Prep Championship in 2016, and another -- the program's 11th overall -- in 2018. The 2018 championship team finished the season ranked No. 1 in New England according to the year-end New England Baseball Journal Coaches Poll. Following the 2018 season, Graber was named Northeast Region Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), New England Coach of the Year by the National High School Baseball Coaches Assocation (NHSBCA), and finalist for National Coach of the Year by both organizations. He'll be honored by the ABCA at this year's national convention in Dallas, Texas, and by the NHSBCA during its national convention in St. Louis, Missouri.
Graber's teams have produced four Central New England Prep Most Valuable Players, three ABCA/Rawlings All-Region selections, and one NHSBCA All-New England honoree, and 37 of his former players have gone on to play college baseball since 2012, including P.J. Nowak '12 (Michigan State), Curtiss Pomeroy '12 (Georgetown), David McCullough '13 (Yale), Kevin Superko '14 (Georgetown), Chris Hohlstein '14 (Davidson), Tim Salvadore '15 (Virginia Tech), Thomas Lane '15 (Boston College), Jake Nelson '15 (Penn), Matt Hosman '15 (UMass Amherst), Richie Ciufo '16 (Brown), Nick Latham '16 (Boston College), John Simourian '16 (Georgetown), Matthew Cerfolio '17 (Columbia), Rob Cerulle '17 (Penn), Taylor Beckett '17 (Princeton), Henry Ennen '17 (Northeastern), Travis Lane '18 (Boston College), Joe Simourian '18 (Navy), and Anthony Redfern '18 (Georgetown). During that time, Nelson was drafted by the Detroit Tigers, and Pomeroy was drafted by the Atlanta Braves and signed the following year with the New York Yankees.
As a college player, Graber transferred from Division I Winthrop University to The College of Saint Rose in his hometown of Albany, N.Y., where he twice earned first-team all-conference honors and captained the Golden Knights to an NCAA Division II Regional berth. His ensuing playing career included stops in Australia, Minnesota, and upstate New York, batting .311 as a middle infielder for the Prairie League’s Southern Minnesota Stars in his best professional season. Graber then managed in pro baseball, guiding Southern Minnesota to a 48-24 record and earning league Manager of the Year honors with a roster that included former Major Leaguers Greg Olsen and Juan Buerenguer, before hiring on to manage the Adirondack Lumberjacks in the Northern League of Professional Baseball.
He segued to the college ranks shortly thereafter, and his career in collegiate athletics administration and coaching has included stops at Lassen College (Susanville, Calif.), Riverland Community College (Austin, Minn.), the University of West Alabama (Livingston, Ala.), and most recently, Amherst College (Amherst, Mass.), where he coached alongside American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Bill Thurston and also served as the college's director of alumni and parent programs. All the while, Graber spent summers managing the Saratoga Phillies of the New York Collegiate Baseball League and the Electric City Giants of the Mountains Collegiate Baseball League (MCBL), earning MCBL Coach of the Year honors. Graber coached a slew of future major leaguers during his time in college summer leagues, including American League All-Star J.D. Martinez of the Boston Red Sox; Mike Fiers, who pitched a no-hitter for the Houston Astros in 2015; and St. Louis Cardinals' ace Miles Mikolas.
Although now entrenched in the high school game, Graber continues his involvement in professional baseball as an associate scout for the New York Yankees and joins the organization’s staff each summer for a number of high-profile showcase events, including the Area Code Games and Summer Rivalry Classic, from which scores of players are selected in the annual Major League Baseball amateur draft.
Graber was inducted into the Schenectady, New York Baseball Club Hall of Fame in 1994; The College of Saint Rose Athletics Hall of Fame (along with his 1990 team that advanced to the NAIA World Series) in 2014; and the Amsterdam Mohawks Hall of Fame in 2016 in recognition of a trio of all-star seasons (1988, 1989, and 1990) playing in the New York Collegiate Baseball League.