Jeff Calcaterra New Head Man at Hartford
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - After 17 years as a member of the Indiana baseball family, Jeff Calcaterra has been named the head coach of the University of Hartford's baseball team. Calcaterra, a Hoosier assistant coach the last 11 years, has been the program's top assistant, pitching coach and recruiting coordinator the past eight seasons.
Calcaterra takes over a Hartford team that is a member of the America East Conference and went 11-33 during the 2004 campaign. He will assume head coaching duties on November 29.
"This is a great opportunity for myself and my family," said Calcaterra. "The opportunities I have been provided here with Coach [Bob] Morgan and Indiana University have given me the experience and the knowledge to be able to move into a head coaching position. I worked a long time, worked hard and put a lot of sacrifice into the Indiana program over the last 17 years. I did everything in mind with trying to become a head coach, and I'm excited to have that chance at Hartford."
Aiding Calcaterra in the move out East is the fact he will be surrounded by family members. His wife Karen is a native of Connecticut and in addition to their two children, John (12) and Anthony (2), her family still resides in the state.
"My wife is from West Hartford and all my in-laws are there, so that will definitely make the move easier. The transition is going to be fairly smooth because of all my family in the area," said Calcaterra.
The toughest part about his departure from Bloomington is leaving behind the memories and friendships he has made through the years. Known to everyone simply as 'Cal', he touched a lot of people during his 17 years at Indiana, which began back in 1989. Calcaterra lettered four years at IU as a catcher from 1989-92, where he received his degree in sports management in 1992.
A team captain for the Hoosiers, he garnered All-Big Ten honors in 1992 and was named the team's most valuable defensive player. Calcaterra's best season at Indiana came in his junior year when he batted .322 with 10 doubles and 25 RBI. That season he also reeled off a streak in which he threw out 27 consecutive runners from behind the plate.
As an assistant, the Hoosiers averaged 34 wins during his 11-year tenure while posting nine winning seasons.
"I'm excited and the opportunity at Hartford is great, but I'm saddened to have to leave a place I've called home for the past 17 years. You don't realize how rooted you are in one place until you leave. Saying good-bye to everyone, all the people I have met, the friendships I have made and the players on this team; that is the hardest part.
"All the people that came through the program, whether I played with them or coached with them, have helped develop and shape me into the person I am. That is what makes it so difficult to say good-bye."
Head coach Bob Morgan, who has been with Calcaterra each of his 17 years in Bloomington is sad to see him leave, but excited for the opportunity that awaits him in Hartford. Morgan is also proud to add Calcaterra to his "cradle of coaches". Calcaterra is the18th assistant under Morgan to land a head-coaching job.
"We are really happy for Jeff," said Morgan. "I think it is a great opportunity for him. I'm really going to miss him. He has been a big part of our program. He knows me and knows our program. He has been the nuts and bolts of our program. From a selfish standpoint, I hate to lose him, but I'm very happy for him. It is a great opportunity. He is ready to be a head coach, and he will go out and do an outstanding job. I'm very happy for him, very proud of him, and we will be cheering for him."
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