CHRIS RODRIGUEZ NAMED 19TH HEAD COACH OF PACIFIC BASEBALL
University of the Pacific and Pacific Athletics is proud to officially announce that Chris Rodriguez has been named the 19th head coach for Pacific baseball.
After serving as the interim head coach for the Tigers in 2020, Rodriguez will now take the reigns of the program full-time, with the rest of his coaching staff to be determined at a later date.
“Following a national search that attracted very talented coaches, I am honored and excited to welcome Chris Rodriguez as the new head baseball coach for the University of the Pacific,” said Director of Athletics, Janet Lucas. “Our desire was to identify someone who could elevate Pacific baseball while providing the leadership necessary to successfully recruit, develop, and graduate student-athletes who are prepared for baseball at the next level and for their careers following sport.”
Despite the shortened season this past spring, Rodriguez guided the Tigers to an 8-9 overall record, which included a 5-2 start with series wins over California Baptist and South Dakota State. Furthermore, Rodriguez also helped outfielder Charles Middleton emerge as one of the most feared athletes in the conference as he was named as one of the top 50 junior hitters in the country by D1 Baseball after tallying team-highs in batting average (.403), home runs (4), RBI (20), doubles (5), slugging percentage (.657), base on balls (12) and total bases (44) in his first year in Stockton.
“I am truly honored to be selected as the next head baseball coach of the University of the Pacific,” said Rodriguez. “I would like to thank Janet Lucas and senior associate athletic director Wes Yourth for this incredible opportunity to lead the Pacific baseball program into the future. I promise I will work tirelessly to institute my vision and infuse my work ethic and passion into this program, building a positive and competitive reputation not only in the Stockton community, but on a national scale as well.”
With 15 years of experience in coaching at the collegiate level, including a head coaching stint at Modesto Junior College, Rodriguez brings a seasoned perspective to the Tigers. Prior to being named interim head coach on January 6, he also spent one year on the bench as an assistant under former head coach Ryan Garko in 2019.
As an athlete himself, Rodriguez was a catcher for two years at Modesto Junior College (MJC) before being drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 52nd round of the 1995 Major League Baseball draft. Ultimately, he would not sign with the Rockies until prior to the draft in 1996.
Rodriguez would go on to win a Northwest League Championship with the Class-A Portland Rockies in 1997.
After finishing 1998 Spring Training with Portland, Rodriguez spent the following years taking his talents to the classroom. He earned an associate’s degree from Modesto Junior College in 2005, his bachelor of arts degree in physical education from Stanislaus State in 2007, and his master’s degree in Sports Coaching from The United States Sports Academy in 2008.
Back on his old stomping grounds, Rodriguez served as an assistant coach at Modesto Junior College for two years, from 2006-2008. Following this success, he would go on to be named head coach of the program from 2009-2012.
After his five seasons at MJC, Rodriguez resigned to accept a position at San Joaquin Delta College, where he would spend the next six years as an assistant coach and adjunct professor. While with the Mustangs, he worked with catchers and hitters, coached third base and was in charge of recruiting efforts for the program. With Rodriguez on staff, San Joaquin Delta made Final Four appearances in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018, won a State Championship in 2018 and were state runners-up in 2014 and 2015.
During his time as a coach, Rodriguez has seen 63 of his athletes go on to play Division I baseball, with 24 of these players reaching the professional level.
A native of West Covina, Calif., Rodriguez resides in Modesto, Calif. with his wife, Liz Baroni-Rodriguez, son, Logan (7) and daughter, Noelle (4).