Transformative: 7-figure donation creates Steve and Stacey Waldis Endowment Fund for Seton Hall baseball

Waldis family also announces they will match giving up to $250,000 in effort to help program in honor of lasting impact of longtime assistant coach Michael Cocco

Seton Hall University baseball alumnus Stephen Waldis and his wife, Stacey Waldis, have made a transformational, seven-figure gift for the Pirate baseball program that will establish the Steve and Stacey Waldis Endowment Fund for Baseball.

The endowment will help fund coaches’ salaries, operational costs for the program and the naming of the Seton Hall bullpen for Michael Cocco, Class of 1986, a man synonymous with the program who passed away this past April.

Recognizing the positive impact of Cocco and the Seton Hall coaching staff on the student-athlete experience, Steve and Stacey Waldis have also issued a challenge to the baseball community in which they will match gifts dollar-for-dollar up to $250,000 for the Seton Hall baseball program.

Pirate fans and baseball alumni who would like to participate in the $250,000 match campaign in honor of Cocco can click here.

“This historic gift from Steve and Stacey will have a profound and lasting impact on our baseball program for years to come,” Seton Hall Athletic Director Bryan Felt said. “In establishing the Steve and Stacey Waldis Endowment, this gift will ensure continued success for Seton Hall baseball student-athletes. Our baseball alumni have always played a critical role in our tradition of excellence in Seton Hall baseball and the challenge match aspect of the Waldis’ endowment will help enhance the transformative nature of this gift.”

Seton Hall baseball coach Rob Sheppard said the gift will have great impact.

“Steve has always been a tremendous supporter of Seton Hall University baseball and that continues with Steve and Stacey’s endowment, which will help our program immensely,” he said. “It will help us adapt to the evolving landscape in college baseball and contribute to the success of our student-athletes. This endowment is a testament to the enduring commitment and support from our alumni. It is an investment in the future of the baseball program and its continued success for years to come.”

Waldis played for the Pirates from 1987-89 and became one of Seton Hall’s most reliable late-inning pitchers in his final two seasons. Waldis ranked third on the 1988 team in appearances with 15 and he went 2-0 with two saves. He was also a member of the 1987 Big East Tournament championship squad that advanced to the NCAA Regional. The Pirates went 117-45 in Waldis’ three seasons with the program.

Cocco made a lasting impact on Seton Hall baseball working under legendary head coach Mike Sheppard Sr., first as a four-year student manager and then as a graduate assistant and assistant coach. He was a part of two Seton Hall teams that made NCAA Regionals and he was on staff for the Seton Hall squad that won the 1987 Big East championship. Cocco also notably managed Seton Hall’s “B” team and he assisted then associate head coach and Seton Hall Athletics Hall of Famer Ed Blankmeyer with the pitching staff.

“All of us as players watched Mike’s commitment and work ethic every practice, every game, and every day,” Waldis said. “From ensuring our equipment was working properly to providing his coaching motivation, Mike set the example for us on and off the field and it made us want to be the best players we can be. Having this endowment and honoring Mike by naming the bullpen after him will remind every former and current player how important Mike was and always will be to the Seton Hall baseball program.”

Waldis has over 30-plus years of experience in startup and senior executive management positions in technology and telecommunication companies. During that time, his success did not go unnoticed, winning the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award an unprecedented three times. Waldis has raised over $2 billion in a combination of venture capital, private equity and public offerings.

Waldis is the founder and chairman of Synchronoss Technologies, which was one of the most successful initial public offerings of 2007. Waldis now runs his own family office, investing in technology and real estate offerings and helping entrepreneurs execute and scale into successful companies. Steve and Stacey Waldis currently reside in Naples, Florida. Their son, Hunter Waldis, was a five-year pitcher for the Pirates from 2018-22, where he made 66 appearances and recorded 123 strikeouts in 110.1 innings pitched.

To learn more, click here.