HICKORY – Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) is adding three volunteer coaches to its baseball staff, all of them former standout players in the program.
In a press release from the athletic department, the Red Hawks announced Chandler Jenkins, Randal Ortiz and Ryan Gant will be on head coach Paul Rozelle’s staff in 2019-20.
“I am over the top excited to add these guys to our staff as they look to begin their coaching careers,” Rozzelle said in the press release. “These guys know what our program stands for, and all three of them are winners.
“It will be nice to have these guys as a resource for our players, and I’m excited to watch them begin their coaching journeys here at a program they helped create.”
Jenkins, CVCC’s first National Player of the Year, will serve as an assistant coach and work specifically with outfielders and also oversee the Red Hawks’ offense.
He just completed his college career at East Carolina, where he played last season on a team that won 47 games – second most in ECU history – and made an appearance in the NCAA Super Regionals.
“I am extremely blessed, honored and excited to be joining the CVCC coaching staff,” Jenkins said in the press release. “I cannot thank coach Rozzelle enough for allowing me to begin my coaching career at a place that I called home for two years.
“To be able to return to my roots and have the opportunity to learn from Coach Rozzelle and Coach (Kris) Harvey about the ins and outs of coaching, along with helping kids develop and reach the next level, means the world to me.”
A catcher and third baseman on the Red Hawks’ 2015 World Series team, Ortiz will serve as an assistant coach working primarily with catchers.
“I am excited to re-join CVCC as a coach,” Ortiz said in the press release. “A big thank you goes out to Coach Rozzelle for the opportunity. I am ready for this challenge. I am a little nervous since it will be my first year coaching, but I am just going to use all of my experience and years of playing baseball and transfer that to the all of the players.
“I’m definitely ready to help the team in every way that I can, and hopefully help them reach the goal of going back to the World Series and winning a national championship.”
Gant, who was a member of the 2012 World Series team at CVCC, will serve as strength and conditioning coach.
“I am super excited,” Gant said in the press release. “I’ve been personal training clients for a while now and have been out of baseball for five years now.
“Coach Rozzelle posted the job opening about four or five months ago. As soon as saw it, I knew I had to jump on it.
“I miss the game, and I’m very excited to get back and be involved in this program.”
The three coaches join a staff of Rozelle, Kris Harvey and volunteer assistant Connor Dailey.
Harvey is pitching coach after playing at Clemson and in the minor leagues and he also serves as academic advisor at CVCC.
- Reported by CVCC Sports Information