FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
Charlotte, N.C. – Charlotte head baseball coach Loren Hibbs has named former 49ers catcher Kris Rochelle to his coaching staff for the 2010 season. He will take over as hitting instructor and work with the catchers and infielders.
Rochelle had his pro playing career cut short, playing parts of three seasons of minor league baseball following his 2007 graduation and drafting by Detroit. He joins the Niners after two seasons with the Washington Wild Things and a season with the Oneonta Tigers.
"We are excited to have Kris back in our program," said Hibbs.
"He improved each and every year as a player and we expect him to do the same as an assistant coach. He has tremendous energy, a desire to teach and a great passion for UNC Charlotte and our baseball program. He fits with our other coaches and understands the high level of expectation associated with Charlotte 49er Baseball. Our players will benefit from his knowledge and enthusiasm."
Rochelle holds the distinction of the highest batting average for a single season at Charlotte since 1998. He became the seventh player to hit over .400 for a season after leading the Atlantic 10 with the .404 average in his 2007 season. Also in his senior season, Rochelle led the conference in on-base percentage (.502), while second in hits (92), walks (44) and runs scored (64). He was seventh in total bases (132) and 12th in RBI (50).
"I am extremely fortunate because this was the exact job I thought about getting in the future," said Rochelle.
"It is a little earlier than I expected when I thought about my career, but when the opportunity came, I had to jump at it. I had young guys behind me playing my position that I coached a little along the way as a player so I think I am ready to work hard at this. I look forward to getting our team on the field and evaluating them and getting ready for the season. I am certainly going to miss hanging out with my teammates and playing games, but knowing I was coming back to Charlotte was the easiest part of the process."
Although he was injured as a pro, he rarely missed a game in college. He is currently tied for eighth on the all-time career games played list at Charlotte, with 215. He caught all but four of Charlotte’s school-record 549.1 innings pitched in 2007, helping lead to Charlotte to its first combined regular season and conference tournament titles as the Niners earned the third of four NCAA postseason bids. Charlotte finished first in the country with a 2.64 team ERA in 2007.
Rochelle has been approved to recruit and will hit the road in the coming weeks before the start of the 2009-2010 school year next month.
The 49ers begin the 2010 season with a home-and-home series against High Point on February 19 on the road and February 20 at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium in Charlotte. The Niners are scheduled to play 23 of their first 27 contests at home in 2010.