WEST HAVEN, Conn. – University of New Haven Director of Athletics Deborah Chin is proud to announce Chris Celano as the Chargers next head baseball coach. Celano becomes the third head coach in the storied history of Charger baseball and will begin his duties on August 1, 2011.
“I am excited and thankful for the opportunity to take over the Chargers’ baseball program,” said Celano. “New Haven baseball has a rich winning tradition and I am looking forward to the challenge of keeping New Haven atop the Northeast Region.”
Celano recently completed his seventh year as head coach at Dowling College where he led the Golden Lions to six postseason appearances, including four NCAA Division II Tournament appearances. The skipper guided Dowling to its first NCAA Division II World Series and was named the Division II National Coach of the Year in 2009. That season also marked the Golden Lions first NCAA East Region Championship, while the team set a single-season program record for wins with 35. Also the ABCA East Region Coach of the Year in 2009, Celano earned his first Coach of the Year honor in 2008 from the East Coast Conference.
During his seven seasons as head coach, the Golden Lions recorded 20-or-more wins six times. In 2006, Celano led Dowling to 22 victories in its final 25 games to advance to the NCAA Tournament. Celano also coached three student-athletes that were selected in the MLB First Year Player Draft, three All-Americans and 31 All-Conference honorees during his tenure at Dowling.
“The University is very excited to welcome Chris as the new Charger baseball coach,” said Associate Vice President, Director of Athletics and Recreation Deborah Chin. “Chris understands the Division II model of life in the balance and is a perfect fit for the University of New Haven. His student-athletes have achieved academically, competed at the highest level of athletic competition and personally developed through service to their communities.”
“It was impossible to find a better match as the next head coach,” added former head baseball coach Frank “Porky” Vieira. “By hiring Chris, the program is pointed in the direction of the World Series.”
Prior to his stint as head coach, Celano served three seasons as an assistant coach at Dowling from 2001-03. A Setauket, N.Y. native, Celano also served as the college’s Director of Sports Information from 2003-04.
A 1994 graduate of Ward Melville High School, Celano received his Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from SUNY New Paltz in 1999. After a successful college career as a left-handed pitcher, he went on to play professionally in Rimini, Italy where he was a member of the 1999 Italian League Champion Rimini Pirates. Upon returning, Chris signed with the Sioux Falls Canaries of the Northern League and spent the 2000 and 2001 seasons in the states.