Tag: college

Bill Holowaty, Local Sports Legend

May 26, 2020

Bill Holowaty is the current President of the Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League and former head baseball coach at Eastern Connecticut State University. Holowaty coached for 45 years (1967-2012) at ECSU and became one of the most successful coaches in the history of New England intercollegiate athletics. He led the Warriors to the postseason 39 out of 45 times, appearing 14 times in the Division-III College World Series and winning 4 championships (1982, 1990, 1998 and 2002). He was named Division-III National Coach of the Year 4 times. Coach Holowaty ended his career record with 1,412 wins, 528 losses and 7 ties – a winning percentage of .725, and has the third most all-time wins by a Division-III coach.

Coach Bill Holowaty, 2010.

William P. Holowaty was born on March 6, 1945 in Little Falls, New York. He was a gifted athlete with good size. Holowaty starred in football, basketball and baseball at Mohawk High School in Mohawk, New York. He became a top basketball recruit and visited Dean Smith’s University of North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest before deciding on the University of Connecticut. Coach Fred Shabel’s Huskies included UConn greats like Toby Kimball, Wes Bialosuknia and Tom Penders. Holowaty played basketball at UConn from 1964 to 1967, winning 3 season titles in the Yankee Conference. He was later recognized as a member of the UConn Basketball All-Century Ballot.

Bill Holowaty (center), UConn Basketball, 1965.
1965 UConn Basketball Team
1967 UConn Basketball Team
Bill Holowaty (left), UConn Basketball, 1967.

During college, Holowaty played baseball in the Hartford Twilight League with the Hamilton Standard team. Great local players like Wally Widholm and Hal Lewis were Bill’s teammates and mentors. Immediately after his basketball career, Holowaty became head baseball coach at Eastern Connecticut State College (renamed Eastern Connecticut State University in 1983) and quickly turned the program around. In 1973, he was the assistant coach for the Chatham A’s of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Holowaty was a guiding force for instituting the NCAA Division-III baseball championship in the mid-1970s. While coaching, he also served as ECSU Athletic Director for 15 years.

Bill Holowaty, ECSU Baseball Coach, 1969.
1970 Eastern Connecticut Baseball Team
Bill Holowaty (right), ECSU Head Baseball Coach, 1970.
Bill Holowaty, ECSU Basketball Assistant, 1971.
Holowaty earns 300 wins, 1979.
New England All-Star Game at Fenway Park, 1979.

1980 ECSU Baseball Team
Coach Holowaty celebrating the holidays at home plate, 1980.
Bill Holowaty, ECSU Head Baseball Coach, 1982.
Holowaty featured in Hartford Courant, 1983.
Bill Holowaty and Jason Holowaty, 1984.
Bill Holowaty, ECSU Head Baseball Coach, 1985.
Bill Holowaty, Eastern Connecticut, 1986.
Coach Holowaty, Eastern Connecticut, 1987.
Coach Holowaty, Eastern Connecticut, 1987.
Holowaty receives Gold Key, 1988.
Coach Holowaty, Eastern Connecticut, 1989.
Coach Holowaty, 1990.
1993 Eastern Baseball Team
1993 Eastern Baseball Team

Bill Holowaty built his coaching legacy upon competitiveness, consistency and fundraising. His vision for success included a Varsity and Junior Varsity team, Spring Training trips to Florida and a state-of-the-art ballpark in Willimantic, Connecticut. The ECSU Warriors posted at least 30 wins in 28 seasons under Holowaty leading to four national championships. In 2003, the Warriors lost the Division-III College World Series championship game in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded. Afterwards Holowaty was quoted saying,

Coach Bill Holowaty, 1998.
Nick Tempesta and Bill Holowaty, 2000.
Coach Holowaty wins 1000th game, 2002.
Eastern Connecticut wins D-III College World Series, 2002.
The Holowaty Family at National College Baseball Hall of Fame Induction, 2002.
Coach Bill Holowaty, 2003.
Coach Bill Holowaty, 2008.
Bill Holowaty, ECSU Head Baseball Coach, 2012.

“We’ll be back again. It’s like putting on a Red Sox uniform; you are hoping to win a World Series. You put on a Yankee uniform and you are expected to win. You put on an Eastern uniform and you’re expected to win.”

– Bill Holowaty
Holowaty Baseball Camp, Pomfret, Connecticut, 2014.
Holowaty speaks to Connecticut Mustangs AAU program, 2016.

In the final stage of his career, Holowaty continued to win. His Warriors had a streak of 11 consecutive 30-win seasons into 2012. The team fell one win shy of extending that streak in 2013. As a result of his success, Coach Holowaty earned several accolades and was inducted into the following Hall of Fame organizations: ABCA, Greater Utica Sports, National College Baseball, NEIBA and the Eastern Connecticut State University Athletic Hall of Fame. He was a co-founder of the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA). He served as ABCA President, was a long-time member of the ABCA All-America committee and is currently a member of the ABCA Board of Directors.

Coach Holowaty playing golf, 2016.
The Holowaty Family, 2017.
Evan Chamberlain and Bill Holowaty at Dunkin’ Donuts Park, Hartford, 2017.
Bill Holowaty, GHTBL President, 2017.
Andy Baylock and Bill Holowaty, 2017.

Bill Holowaty remains a fierce competitor to this day. He enjoys playing golf regularly with friends and family. He spends much of his time with his wife Jan Holowaty, his children Jason, Jennifer, Jared and his grandchildren. Jason and Jared Holowaty played professional baseball in Australia after college and carved out their own careers in baseball. Bill attributes much of his family’s success to his wife Jan and often mentions their shared love of sports.

Bill and Jan Holowaty, 2018.
GHTBL donates to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, 2018.
Jan, Bill and Jennifer Holowaty at the 2018 NEIBA Hall of Fame induction, 2018.
Coach Holowaty (right) with other college coaches at the annual American Baseball Coaches Association conference, 2019.
Bill DePascale and Bill Holowaty, 2019.

Coach Holowaty inducted into the National Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame

League Expands to 10 Teams

HARTFORD COLTS AND BRISTOL GREENERS TO PLAY BALL IN 2021.

The Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League is pleased to announce expansion for the 2021 season. The Hartford Colts and Bristol Greeners will join as new franchises. The Colts will be led by General Manager, Weston Ulbrich and will play home games at the new Johnny Taylor Field in Hartford’s Colt Park.

The Bristol Greeners, who played in the Tri-State League will be managed by A.J. Lorenzetti and will play home games at Muzzy Field and Page Park. Meanwhile, the Middletown-based Malloves Jewelers franchise will return this season after opting out last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other franchises include: East Hartford Jets, People’s United Bank (Wethersfield), Rainbow Graphics (Manchester), Record-Journal Expos (Meriden), South Windsor Phillies, Ulbrich Steel (Wallingford), and Vernon Orioles.

The GHTBL looks forward to this summer and we invite new players to apply for a roster spot on any one of our teams by going to www.GHTBL.org/Join and filling out the application.

GHTBL Executive Committee Holds Winter Meeting

President Holowaty leads plans for 2020 season.

On Sunday, December 8, 2019, the Executive Committee and managers of each GHTBL franchise convened at OC Kitchen in Rocky Hill, Connecticut for our annual winter meeting.  In preparation for the upcoming season,

GHTBL leadership discussed, decided and voted on several league matters.  These included where and when to play another league-wide Charity Series, revisions to GHTBL By-laws and mobilizing for the 3rd Annual Buzzy Levin Golf Tournament.

The golf tournament is planned for Sunday, May 17, 2020 at Blackledge Country Club in Hebron, Connecticut. All GHTBL Alumni will be invited to attend.  The Executive Committee predicts that 120 golfers will attend and that major support from local businesses will come in the form of tee signs sponsorships.

GHTBL leadership debated and eventually agreed on the start of the 2020 season. Opening Day of the Regular Season is expected to take place in the last week of May between reigning champions, the Vernon Orioles and Playoff Tournament runner-ups, People’s United Bank. 

All 8 GHTBL franchises plan to actively recruit new players as the season nears, especially in the age range of 18 to 22 years old. 

2019 GHTBL Regular Season Preview

Twilight League to reap benefits of developmental off season work.

The GHTBL, Connecticut’s premier amateur baseball league has made preparations for its 91st season.  Our 2019 Regular Season begins May 28th – Opening Day at Henry Park in Vernon at 6 PM, featuring defending champions, the Vernon Orioles vs. Rainbow Graphics.

As the season nears, we’d like to recognize Bill Holowaty and Andy Baylock, two of Connecticut’s greatest baseball dignitaries who sit atop the GHTBL Executive Committee.  Holowaty, a 4-time National Champion with ECSU enters his third season as President while Baylock, the former head baseball coach at UConn and 2-time Big East Champion serves as Vice President.  Holowaty and Baylock are GHTBL alumni themselves and aim to revive the prestige of the league.  They’ve led fundraising efforts, acquired top-notch baseball venues, and challenged league managers to recruit and compete at a higher level than in recent years.

This season, 8 revamped franchises will field a mix of collegiate ballplayers and several ex-professionals.  A new (and old) Middletown-based franchise, Malloves Jewelers has returned to the Twi-loop after a 25-year hiatus.  Malloves contended in the league from 1980 to 1993 under then owner, Jerome “Buzzy” Levin who passed away in 2017.  His son and proprietor of Malloves, Marc Levin, has stepped up as team sponsor and General Manager.  Levin  tapped former ECSU baseball captain and Cromwell High School head coach, Christian Budzik to be Manager.  The team will play home games at Palmer Field and at the newly constructed, Buzzy Levin Field in Middletown.

Other GHTBL franchises will return this summer vying for a league title.  In the West Division, People’s United Bank will sponsor a franchise yet again, backing Manager Tom Abbruzzese in his 43rd GHTBL season.  People’s will call Trinity College home and will feature Justin Morhardt, fresh off a professional stint in the Atlanta Braves organization.  A rebranded Ulbrich Steel team will test its metal with a revamped roster, including Will Musson, former UConn standout and 7-year veteran of professional baseball in France and Australia.  Charlie Hesseltine, Meriden native and former Atlantic League pitcher will step in as first-year Manager of the Record-Journal Expos

The East Division is also expected to provide parity.  The Vernon Orioles, behind Manager Jack Ceppetelli will seek their seventh straight Regular Season title.  The South Windsor Phillies franchise led by their General Manager and Reading Phillies Hall of Fame inductee, Gary Burnham Jr. will field a few pro-caliber players; Mike Hepple formerly in the New York Mets farm system and Kyle Richards, who made it to double-A with in the Kansas City Royals organization.

Almost an entirely new group of ballplayers have joined the East Hartford Jets franchise, led by their new Manager, Taylor Kosakowski, former closer at CCSU and Jimmy Schult, center fielder and 2011 D-III Player of the Year at ECSU.  Rainbow Graphics, a printing and embroidery business based in Manchester sponsors the same franchise that traces back to the 1960’s when Gene Johnson and his Moriarty Brothers club reigned supreme at Mount Nebo ParkRyan Pandolfi and Tyler Repoli will co-manage the Rainbow Graphics squad. 

2019 GHTBL Schedule of Events

July 14th – Hardball for Heroes Series at Palmer Field in Middletown – 4 ball games benefiting American Legion Post 75.

July 21st – #spreadingORANGE Series for MS at Dunkin’ Donuts Park – 4 ball games benefiting MS4MS, a national organization founded in Connecticut who fund Multiple Sclerosis research through Johns Hopkins Medicine.

August 2-11 ­– Playoff Tournament at Trinity College and Palmer Field – an 8 team, double-elimination tournament.


Did you know?
More than 350 professional ballplayers have competed in the Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League since the league was founded.  MLB All-stars Jeff BagwellBernie WilliamsRob Dibble and Ricky Bottalico played in the GHTBL.  Most recently in 2018, left-handed pitcher for the Vernon Orioles and graduate of University of Bryant, Jack Patterson, was drafted in the 32nd round by the Chicago Cubs and now pitches for the South Bend Cubs of the Midwest League (single-A).

For more information about the league visit: GHTBL.org/history

For the full 2019 GHTBL Regular Season schedule: GHTBL.org/schedule

Season to Feature the Top Venues in Connecticut

GHTBL’s 90th anniversary year to open on Tuesday, May 29, 2018.

President’s Note – Season Preview:

The GHTBL is set to open at 6 PM, Tuesday, May 29th in Vernon, CT at Frank McCoy Stadium at Henry Park in a matchup between 2017 champs, the Vernon Orioles versus the Playoff Tournament runner-ups, the Record-Journal Expos. An Opening Day ceremony with take place before first pitch. 

2018 marks the 90th year of the GHTBL and to celebrate this milestone, 8 franchises will enter the league to play a pure and fast brand of baseball that our league has been known for. GHTBL plays the game of baseball as it was intended to be played; hitting nine batters, using wood bats, and no video replays or pitch clocks.

Current and former college ballplayers as well as a several future and former professional players will take to the field to compete in 24 Regular Season games followed by our annual double elimination Playoff Tournament.

Throughout the 2018 Regular Season and Playoff Tournament our league has scheduled games to be played at best baseball fields in the Greater Hartford area. On Thursday, July 21 and 22 each GHTBL franchise will play a game at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford for a special Charity Series fundraiser for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Then the Ulbrich Clippers will host People’s United Bank at New Britain Stadium on Wednesday, July 25th.

From August 2-11, our Playoff Tournament will be held once again at Trinity College on their new turf ballpark. On Sunday, August 18th, we will host Connecticut Twilight League at New Britain Stadium for an All-Star game between our two leagues. 

Our 90th anniversary is turning out to be a highly anticipated year for the GHTBL and we’re pleased to have you be a part of it as a fan, players, parents, family and friends. 

All the best,

Bill Holowaty 
GHTBL President