PGCBL names new President, Vice President
UTICA — A new era in summer collegiate baseball in Upstate New York is on the horizon. After an extensive four-month-long search process, the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League announced that Robert Julian, former President of the New York-Penn League, has been named its next President and general counsel and that Joe Milazzo, current head baseball coach at Utica College, has been tabbed the league’s Vice President.
A New York Penn League Hall of Famer, Julian served as the President of the affiliated Class A Short-Season league from 1992 until 2001.
During his time in the NYPL, he helped the league’s franchises obtain $100 million in stadium renovations. By 2000, eight clubs were playing in new, multi-million-dollar stadiums. He also played a crucial role in re-locating franchises to large metropolitan areas such as Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Capital District, with state-of-the-art facilities to house each of those teams.
Under Julian’s watch, the NYPL reached a combined attendance of one million fans for the first-time ever in 1995, and that figure rose annually over the next four seasons.
Not only was Julian inducted into the league’s Hall of Fame in 2013, but its annual community service award was also named in his honor. More recently, Julian served for four years as Chair of the Board of Directors of the AAA Syracuse Chiefs.
Julian, former Majority Leader of the Oneida County Board of Legislators from 1978 to 2000, resigned from his role with the NYPL when he was elected to the New York State Supreme Court. He spent seven years as a Supreme Court Justice from 2001 until 2008 and has since practiced law in central New York. Julian graduated cum laude from Utica College and previously served on the college’s Board of Trustees. He also possesses an LL.M. from the University of London and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Queen Mary University of London.
“It is an honor to serve as President of the PGCBL,” Julian said in a news release. “The league provides a crucial platform for college players to advance and refine their skills. Playing in many former minor league stadiums, the league also gives Upstate New York communities high quality baseball with many players competing who are future Major League Baseball draft picks.”
Travis Heiser, the owner of the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs and a member of the league’s Executive Committee, lauded the baseball experience of Julian.
“As a proven executive with a passion for the game of baseball, Robert is the right leader at a pivotal time in the league’s history,” Heiser said in the release. “He will be responsible for spearheading our efforts to strengthen the PGCBL and accelerate its growth.”
Joining Julian at the helm of the PGCBL is Milazzo, who served as Julian’s right-hand man during their time in the NYPL. Milazzo worked with the NYPL office as a league administrator from 1994 until 2003. His responsibilities during that time included developing the league’s schedule, in addition to assigning and supervising umpire crews.
On the field, he is in his fifth season as the head coach of the Utica College Pioneers. He has guided the Pioneers to two Empire 8 Conference Tournaments and helped numerous student-athletes earn All-Conference accolades. In 2015, he helped Utica achieve its first 20-win season in over 23 years by going 20-16-1. The Utica native has also spent time as the head coach at the junior college level at Herkimer College and Mohawk Valley Community College.
In addition to his lengthy coaching career, Milazzo has spent nearly three decades as a special education teacher at Whitesboro High School in Whitesboro and has previously served as the Athletic Director at Notre Dame High School in Utica. Milazzo received his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland and earned a master’s in Special Education from the College of Saint Rose.
“We are dedicated to providing a quality baseball experience for our college players and first rate baseball for our fans,” Milazzo said of his new role with the PGCBL.
The Executive Committee, consisting of East Division representative Jason Brinkman (Vice President and General Manager of the Albany Dutchmen), Central Division representative Travis Heiser (Owner of the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs), and West Division representative Robbie Nichols (Owner of the Elmira Pioneers), will remain in place to help guide the transition to the leadership of Julian and Milazzo.
“The PGCBL is ecstatic to welcome and introduce Robert Julian and Joe Milazzo as the league’s new leaders,” said Brinkman in the release. “There’s no doubt that their successful leadership in minor league baseball will help guide this league into a very bright future, and we’re lucky to have them and look forward to having them get started.”
Perfect Game USA President Jerry Ford also expressed his enthusiasm at the new management group for the PGCBL.
“The PGCBL is a valuable extension of Perfect Game, and we’re excited to welcome Robert and Joe into their new roles,” Ford said in the release. “We’ve come to expect nothing but the best from the PGCBL, and having two more great baseball minds involved continue to make this league a premiere summer destination.”