By Patch Staff
In recognition with Riverwood International Charter School former head baseball coach Mike Santoro's 14 years at the helm, the school has retired his No. 11 jersey.
Former players and their families, along with several former coaches, joined the varsity baseball team in a special pre-game ceremony to honor and recognize Santoro's years of dedication to Raider baseball.
As head coach from 2000 to 2013, Santoro devoted himself to building a strong program which would reflect Riverwood's commitment to quality academics and integrity.
Santoro molded the Raiders into a top high school baseball program – a program that won region championships in 2000 and 2009 under leadership. Over the 14 years, Santoro led the team to eleven state playoff appearances including a nine-year streak of consecutive State Playoff appearances. Through the 2013 season, Santoro had 269 wins; 25 of his players continued their careers at the Division 1, Division II, Division III and junior college level schools. Additionally, four of his players were drafted into professional baseball.
A native of New York, Santoro moved to Atlanta in 1996 after graduating from St. John Fisher College where he played baseball. His first teaching and coaching position in Atlanta was at Banneker High School in College Park.
Santoro joined the Raider faculty in 1999 to teach advanced placement U.S. History and to serve as the head baseball coach. In 2012, he accepted the role of athletic director. Following the 2013 baseball season, he passed the head coach job to one of his former players and a current member of the Raider faculty, Max Gertz.
As important as Coach Santoro is to the school, Riverwood is a special place for him as well.
Santoro and wife Stephanie, a math teacher at Walton High School, have one daughter.