Nov. 17, 2007
Moraga, CA - Head Coach Jedd Soto announced this week that he has promoted Gabe Zappin to Associate Head Coach. Zappin, a fifth year assistant at SMC, has spent the past ten seasons alongside Soto - five years at Saint Mary's and five at Feather River College.
"Gabe has been great for our program both on and off the field. I can't speak highly enough of his work ethic, attitude and character," said Soto.
Zappin has served brilliantly as the recruiting coordinator for the Gaels the last few seasons. He has produced several strong recruiting classes - including 2007's incoming class which was nationally recognized by Perfect Game. This year's class is no different; several of the top players from California have already given their verbal commitments to sign their national letters of intent on November 14th.
Steve Roberts, also entering his fifth season with the Gaels program, announced this will be his final year at Saint Mary's College. Roberts, who will remain on staff as Director of Baseball Operations, has coached with Soto and Zappin for nine seasons. Roberts has seen several of his outfielders drafted during his tenure; Mike Sansoe - an 18th round selection by the San Diego Padres in 2005, and Sam Carter - free agent signing with the San Diego Padres in 2006. Roberts' former outfielder Chris Roberson, a 9th round draft pick in 2001, broke into the Major Leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2006.
Roberts, a native of Auckland, is the lone Division I baseball coach in the country from New Zealand. He plans to complete a master's degree in education this spring and return to his homeland after the completion of the Gael's season.
"As both a coach and friend, Steve is not easily replaced. His close relationships with the student-athletes and community have provided a foundation for the success of this program. We wish him nothing but the best in his return to his family and friends in New Zealand," said Soto.
Coach Zappin's promotion left some vacancies in the staff. To address these openings, the Gaels have added Lloyd Acosta to their staff as recruiting coordinator and Nik Kosach as the catching coach.
Lloyd Acosta enters his first year on the Gael's coaching staff after a six-year stint as recruiting coordinator at U.C. Davis. In addition to managing Saint Mary's offense and assisting with hitting, Acosta will serve as SMC's recruiting coordinator.
During Acosta's tenure at UC Davis, the team fielding percentage improved each season, culminating with a No. 1-ranked .970 fielding percentage in 2003 - the year the Aggies went to the Division II World Series. Last season, Acosta's third baseman, Danial Descalso, was drafted in the third round by the St. Louis Cardinals. Previous to Danial, shortstop Ryan Coultas was drafted in the sixth round by the New York Mets in 2003.
Acosta also served as an assistant at Sierra College in 2001, where the Wolverines made the playoffs for the first time in 17 years. Prior to that, Acosta coached at Rocklin High School.
Nik Kosach comes to Saint Mary's after a standout collegiate career at the University of Portland in Oregon. As a four-year starter at various positions for the Pilots, Kosach collected many accolades during his career in Portland. Kosach finished sixth in West Coast Conference play in both batting average (.388) and on-base percentage (.448)during his senior season. He also led the Pilots in fielding percentage as a catcher, making just one error in 175 total chances that same year. Overall Kosach finished his four-year career at Portland 7th all time in games started and 8th all time in games played.
Kosach earned his Bachelor degree in Organizational Communication in 2006. He will be in charge of the Gaels catchers while in his first season at Saint Mary's College.