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Maryland names James Belanger as Assistant Coach

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland head baseball coach John Szefc on Monday added a second member to his 2012 coaching staff and announced the hiring of James Belanger as an assistant coach.

Belanger joins the Terrapin coaching staff after four seasons at Monmouth University and will serve as the pitching coach. This past season, Belanger oversaw the development of Pat Light, who was named New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association (NJCBA) Pitcher of the Year and drafted 37th overall in the Major League Baseball Draft by the Boston Red Sox.

“Jim is a very accomplished, young pitching coach,” said Szefc. “Jim came highly recommended. He is a native New Yorker and is familiar with the northeast recruiting area. He has worked the last three seasons with Dean Ehehalt at Monmouth. Dean’s last four pitching coaches are at Auburn, Notre Dame, Old Dominion and now Maryland. Jim will be an outstanding pitching coach in a conference like the ACC and he’ll be able to work with [recruiting coordinator] Rob Vaughn to both be major players in recruiting up and down the east coast.”

In 2011, Belanger developed a staff which helped lead the Hawks to 36 regular season wins and the 2011 Northeast Conference (NEC) regular season title. The pitching staff posted a 3.34 ERA, which ranked 36th nationally and first in the NEC. In over 460 innings pitched, the staff allowed a league-low 462 hits, 216 runs, and 132 walks while recording a conference-high 322 strikeouts.

Under Belanger’s tutelage, Nick Meyers earned 2011 NEC Pitcher of the Year honors, and Andrew McGee was named to the 2011 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American team and was honored as the NEC Relief Pitcher of the Year.

A graduate of the University of Louisville, Belanger began his coaching career as an undergraduate assistant coach with the Cardinals in 2009. Working with the pitchers, Belanger helped Louisville win the Big East regular season and tournament championships as the Cardinals hosted a NCAA regional for the first time in school history.

A native of North Babylon, N.Y., Belanger spent the summer of 2008 as the head pitching coach with the Bayside Yankees Senior American Baseball Club. The Bayside Yankees finished with a team ERA of 3.41 on its way to the National Amateur Baseball Federation National Championship.

A two-year letterwinner at Louisville, Belanger was a member of a Cardinals’ starting rotation in 2007 and 2008. After helping the Cardinals advance to the 2007 College World Series, Belanger helped the squad win the Big East title and a spot in the 2008 NCAA tournament.

Belanger holds an associate degree in general education from Cecil Community College and a bachelor of science in sociology from Louisville.

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