Head Coach Evan Agona - 3rd Year
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The 2018-2019 season will be Agona's 5th season as Head Baseball Coach at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) and 14th overall at the collegiate level. Over the past four years, he has quickly turned the program from a relatively unknown to a perennial regional contender. In his four seasons Agona has led the Challengers to an overall 169-59-1 (.741) record, winning over 40 games in each of the past three seasons.
The 2018 campaign saw the Challengers once again contend for conference crown finishing in second place with an overall record of 41-11-1, and for the third consecutive year come up just short of a World Series berth as the third place finisher in the NJCAA Region XII Tournament. In 2016, Agona’s squad set a school record with 47 wins, and won the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference. In each of the past three seasons, the team has earned national recognition finishing in the top 15 of the national rankings and reaching a program best ranking of sixth in May 2016. Since 2015, the Challengers have dominated their home turf going 95-9, including an undefeated season of 29-0 during 2016. Additionally, the Challengers have had two of the nation’s longest winning streaks over the past two years winning 21 consecutive games in 2017 and an 18-game stretch in 2016.
During his tenure, 18 players have been honored as All-Conference Selections, 6 as All-Region Selections, and 3 All-American Selections. The Challengers lineup has also featured two conference player of the year winners, Matt Starcovic in 2017 and Manny Rodriguez in 2016. In 2017 first-baseman Garett Robberts was also the recipient of the prestigious national Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Agona’s players have also be recognized for their efforts in the classroom with 22 players earning Academic All-Conference honors and 3 have been recognized as Academic All-Americans. Furthermore, he has helped place nearly 40 players that have moved on to attend 4-year programs over the past four seasons, and one that has moved on to play professionally.
Agona came to Tri-C after spending 5 years as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Mount Union. During his time at Mount Union, the program achieved unprecedented success; highlighted by a program first conference championship and NCAA Regional Tournament appearance in 2013. He began his coaching career at Thiel College (PA) where he served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator from 2004-2007. He served the 2007-08 season as the Head Coach at conference foe Mercyhurst North East (PA) and was the head coach at Slippery Rock Area High School (PA) in 2009.
Throughout his coaching career, Agona has coached numerous players that received recognition for their successes including; 58 All-Conference selections, 17 All-Region selections, 4 All-American selections, two conference Player of the Year selections and a conference Pitcher of the Year. Additionally, four of his former players have moved on to play professionally. During each of his four stops at the collegiate level, the program has set numerous school records including single-season wins at all four during his tenure.
Agona was a four-year letter winner, and part of two North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship teams at The College of Wooster where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business economics in 2004. He earned a master’s degree in sport management from Slippery Rock University (PA) in 2008. Prior to college, he attended Ursuline High School in Youngstown, where he was a two-year letter winner in both baseball and football. During his baseball career, he twice earned honors as a 1st Team All-Steel Valley Conference player and was a captain of the 2000 OHSAA State Championship team.
In addition to his coaching role, Agona also serves as an adjunct professor on campus. Additionally, he owns his own business Agona Baseball Camps, LLC where he conducts showcases, camps, lessons, and tournaments. Agona currently resides in Canton, with his wife Mary Kate and their children Aubree (5) and Easton (2).
Assistant Coach Scott Saylor - 3rd Year
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Assistant Coach Scott Saylor is in his 4th year on the coaching staff at Cuyahoga Community College. He is responsible for leading recruiting efforts and is primarily responsible for coaching catchers and infielders.
He was an assistant coach at John Carroll University. While at John Carroll, the program won the conference championship and made an appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Scott was responsible for coaching infielders and hitters, as well assisting with student-athlete recruitment and the coordination of camps.
In addition to his time at John Carroll, Saylor spent time as an assistant coach at Barberton High School. During his playing career, Saylor spent time at Malone University and the University of Akron. He graduated in 2012 from the University of Akron with a degree in Sports Management. Additionally, Scott worked with the All American Baseball Academy conducting camps and lessons for youth and high school players.
Assistant Coach Bob Merritt - 3rd Year
firstname.lastname@example.org | (330) 842-0076
Assistant Coach Bob Merritt serves as Pitching Coach.
Bob came to Cuyahoga Community College in July 2014 after spending 4 seasons as the Pitching Coach at Baldwin-Wallace University. During his time at Baldwin-Wallace, the program and the pitching staff inparticular under his tuteledge, experienced dramatic improvements. The team broke school records for wins. In 2014, the program reached the NCAA Division III World Series.
Prior to Baldwin-Wallace, Merritt spent over 30 years as an Ohio high school teacher/coach at Crestwood and Caldwell High Schools. Merritt experienced great success at the high school level with over 400 career wins, numerous coach of the the year selections and has been inducted the Northeast Ohio Baseball Coaches Association and the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association Halls of Fame. Additionally, Merritt developed over 50 players that went on to play collegiately and had one player selected in the Major League Baseball draft.
Merritt played baseball and earned his Bachelor's Degree from Miami (OH) University, and received his Master's Degree from Xavier University. He currently resides in Mantua with his wife Karen. The couple have two grown children Brett and Brittany.