Cafalone joins Redhawks baseball staff

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The longtime head coach accepts his first Division I job.

After 11 years as a head college baseball coach, Chris Cafalone is giving up running his own program to become an assistant.

And he couldn't be happier -- which is also the way Southeast Missouri State head coach Mark Hogan feels.

Hogan announced Tuesday that Cafalone has joined the Redhawks' staff as an assistant. He replaces Scott Southard, who resigned this summer after seven seasons at Southeast to enter private business.

Cafalone rounds out a Southeast staff that also includes assistant Jeff Dodson, who has been the Redhawks' pitching coach the past three seasons.

"I feel really good about Chris joining our program," Hogan said. "He has a great background, and he comes highly recommended.

"He's willing to roll up his sleeves and work. He's also been an excellent recruiter, which is another big attribute."

A native New Yorker, the 38-year-old Cafalone spent the past five years as the head coach at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, N.Y. He spent the previous six years as the head coach at Division II Barry (Fla.) University.

"I'm really excited about this position," said Cafalone, who has also been an assistant coach at Barry University and Hardin-Simmons University in Texas. "It's my first Division I coaching job and I think it's a great opportunity for me."

Cafalone played collegiate baseball at Utica (N.Y.) College and Onondaga Community College prior to transferring to Hardin-Simmons. He was a catcher and designated hitter on Hardin-Simmons' last Division I team.

Hogan said Cafalone's primary duties at Southeast will be recruiting and working with the hitters.

"He'll basically assume the responsibilities Scott had," Hogan said. "We had a great pool of candidates, and I think Chris will be a great fit here."

Hogan said Southeast administrators have addressed the issue regarding the salaries of the assistant baseball coaches that was part of the reason Southard left the program to enter private business. The 2005-06 edition of the state's official manual listed Southard's salary at $13,846.

"It has improved, and I'm thankful for that," Hogan said.

Soccer player honored

Southeast sophomore Megan McGrath is the Ohio Valley Conference defensive player of the week.

McGrath scored the game's only goal and was part of a defense that limited Arkansas-Little Rock to eight shots during Friday's 1-0 season-opening victory at home.

The Redhawks play their second game of the season Sunday when Missouri State visits Houck Stadium for a 2 p.m. match.

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