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Akron announces 2012 Coaching Staff

AKRON, Ohio – New University of Akron baseball coach Rick Rembielak announced the hiring of three assistant coaches today. Offensive coach Fred Worth, pitching coach Matt Ford, and volunteer assistant coach Drew Saylor will make up Rembielak’s staff for the upcoming 2012 season.

Experienced collegiate and high school coach Fred Worth will mentor the Akron hitters in 2012. Worth comes to Akron with over 30 years of high school coaching experience and 10-plus years of collegiate experience.

Worth most recently served as the director of baseball operations at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. from 2006-2009. Worth was the camp director for the Demon Deacons and also arranged the travel for the program’s road contests.

Worth began his coaching career at Miami East High School in Casstown, Ohio where he taught American Government and History, was the head baseball coach, and was the offensive coordinator for the Miami East football team.

Worth coached the Vikings to 11 league championships, three district titles, and one regional crown on the baseball diamond. Additionally, Worth was named league coach of the year 11 times, district coach of the year four times, and state of Ohio coach of the year once.

From 1997-2006, Worth served as the assistant baseball coach at Findlay University in Findlay, Ohio. As the Oilers hitting coach, Worth aided his ball clubs in breaking every offensive record in school history. Worth also helped coach Findlay to its first ever Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.

Worth graduated from Ohio University in 1974 with a dual major in Political Science and American History. He completed a masters of science in Education and Administration from Findlay in 2001.

Worth and his wife of 37 years, Janet, have three children and five grandchildren.

Coaching the pitchers for Rembielak will be Matt Ford. Ford joins The University of Akron baseball coaching staff after spending the previous 10 years pitching professionally, including one full year as a major leaguer with the Milwaukee Brewers.

A High School All-American at J.P. Taravella High School in Coral Springs, Fla., Ford was selected in the third round of the 1999 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Ford spent the next three summers as one of the top pitching prospects in the Blue Jays organization posting a 2.42 ERA with the single A Charleston Alley Cats in 2001 and a 2.37 ERA with the single high-A Dunedin Blue Jays in 2002.

Ford was selected by the Brewers in the Rule V Draft prior to the 2003 season and would pitch in 25 games for the MLB club in 2003. He completed the season with a 2.15 ERA in 21 relief appearances and pitched 43.2 innings.

Ford then spent the 2004 and part of the 2005 season with the Brewers double-A affiliate Huntsville Stars, where he continued to be ranked one of the clubs best minor league pitching prospects. He then moved to the Kansas City Royals organization in the middle of the 2005 season and played at the triple-A Omaha Royals. Ford was signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Twins and spent the 2006 season at the triple-A Rochester Red Wings. Ford would go on to sign with the Colorado Rockies in 2007.

Ford played for the independent Bridgeport Bluefish and York Revolution in 2007 and 2008, before playing the 2009 seasons with Caribes de Anzoategui of the Venezuelan League.

Ford spent his off seasons from professional ball youth and high school pitchers in his home state. Most recently Ford was the assistant coach at West Broward High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. where he worked with the pitching staff from 2008-11. He also spent time in a similar role at both Chaminade Madonna High School in Hollywood, Fla. and his alma mater, J.P. Taravella High School. Ford was also the owner and operator of the South Florida Pitching Academy, where he worked with pitchers aged 12-18. All told, Ford has had a hand in the development of four future MLB draft picks.

Ford and his wife, Dana, have been married for three years. He received his degree from Trinity University.

The final addition to Rembielak’s staff is former Kent State standout Drew Saylor, who joins the staff as the volunteer assistant coach.

Saylor spent the 2011 season as an assistant coach at Cleveland State, where he helped coach the Vikings to school records in doubles and outfield fielding percentage.

Saylor begin his playing career at the University of Cincinnati, where he was a two-year starter and led the squad in extra-base hits. Saylor then transferred to Kent State where he would go on to be a First-Team All-MAC, First-Team Collegiate Baseball and Louisville Slugger All-American during his senior year, while leading the Flashes to the MAC title. He was also a semi-finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award after batting .374 with 14 homers and 68 RBIs.

Saylor was a 13th round draft pick of the Florida Marlins in the 2006 MLB Draft and would go on to play five seasons of minor league ball in the Marlins and Astros organizations, and in independent leagues. Saylor helped lead the Lake Erie Crushers to the 2009 Frontier League Championship and won the Fran Riordan Citizenship Award in 2010.

Saylor graduated from Kent State with a bachelor’s degree in education in 2008. Saylor and his wife, Amanda, are expecting their first child this winter. He is the son of University of Akron graduates, Jeff and Barb, and his sister Kristin is also a UA alum. Saylor’s younger brother, Scott, is a current member of the baseball team.

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