Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina head baseball coach Bobby Moranda has completed his 2016-17 coaching staff as the Catamounts prepare to open their annual fall drills. Second-year assistant coach Brock Doud, who spent the 2016 championship season as a volunteer assistant, has been elevated to a full-time role, while Kyle Dean has joined the staff as the volunteer coach.
Moranda also announced that assistant coach Nate Cocolin will assume the role of pitching coach entering 2017, a duty in which Moranda has fulfilled since 2012. Cocolin previously coached the pitching staff at Gannon University prior to coming to Cullowhee a year ago where he mentored the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Pitcher of the Year in 2013 while the head coach. Doud will work with the WCU catchers and the hitters.
“I’m very excited to further enhance our coaching staff by reorganizing our assistant coaches’ roles to better utilize their strengths in maximizing the impact on our players,” said Moranda. “Coach Dean comes to us with NCAA regional experience as a player and team captain at Ohio, while competing in a very tough Mid-American Conference through his career.”
Dean comes to Cullowhee after a season on the coaching staff at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where he worked primarily with the Golden Grizzlies catchers and assisted with the hitters. He helped Oakland to its best win total (23) since 2012. His coaching experience includes a season as an assistant coach with the Southern Ohio Copperheads of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League (GLSCL), where he planned, organized, and conducted practices and coached first base.
Dean spent multiple years working as a baseball instructor between camps at Ohio Univ., the USA Baseball Academy, as well as for independently for youth players.
A hometown product from Athens, Ohio, Dean was a four-year starter at Ohio University and team captain for the Bobcats baseball team. While an undergraduate, Dean was a member of Ohio’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and was named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll eight times over four years. He also received the Distinguished Mid-American Scholar Athlete Award for the 2014-15 academic year.
Dean was a part of the Bobcats’ 2015 Mid-America Conference (MAC) tournament championship, advancing into the 2015 NCAA regional field. That 2015 OU squad finished 36-21, posting the nation’s biggest turnaround from the previous year.
Western Carolina opens its annual fall team practice on Thursday (Sept. 1) at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. Plans include practicing a combined 27 times over the NCAA-regulated 45-day period, culminating with the annual Purple & Gold Fall College World Series, which is tentatively scheduled for the first week of October.
WCU is coming off a 31-31 season a year ago that included a 15-9 mark in Southern Conference play and ultimately ended in the NCAA Clemson Regional – the program’s first postseason appearance since 2007. The Catamounts return 24 players from last year’s squad with seven position players having significant career starts, while the entire weekend rotation from a season ago that was split between four players all returning.