PC: Mark Perfetti/The Recorder
NEWARK, N.Y. – Newark Pilots owner Bob Ohmann is pleased to announce the hiring of Juan Carlos “JC” Calderon as the team’s next head coach.
“We are very pleased to welcome JC to Newark as our head coach for the 2017 season,” Ohmann said. “He came to us highly recommended and has a proven background of coaching success. JC fully understands the expectations of the PGCBL and our organization, and because of that, I’m confident that he’ll be an outstanding mentor and leader for our team.”
“I am really excited to start this new journey in my baseball career,” Calderon exclaimed. “I’m honored to be a part of the Pilots family and the PGCBL. I am pretty excited to compete and bring the championship back to Newark.”
In quoting former professional tennis great Jimmy Connors, Calderon added, “I hate to lose more than I love to win. I’m going to bring that winning mentality to the Pilots.”
Calderon comes to Newark having spent the past six years as an assistant coach at the junior college and summer levels. His coaching career began in the PGCBL, first in 2011 as an assistant with the Amsterdam Mohawks, who reached the PGCBL Championship Series, and then with the Cooperstown Hawkeyes in 2012.
“I’m delighted for JC and the Newark Pilots,” Amsterdam head coach Keith Griffin said. “He’s very knowledgeable and has a great work ethic. I look forward to having him in our league once again.”
Said Calderon about his return to the PGCBL, “I’m excited to come back to where everything started. It’s a great league. The PGCBL was pretty young when I started my coaching career, but now it has more teams, which tells you how much the league has grown.”
From 2013-14, he served as an assistant with the La Crosse Loggers in the esteemed Northwoods League. His 2013 Loggers established new franchise records for hits (651) and RBIs (366) in a season, while leading the Northwoods League with 62 home runs.
Most recently, Calderon spent two summers as a hitting coach for the Terre Haute Rex in the Prospect League. Terre Haute led the league with a 43-17 overall record and 521 hits in the 2015 regular season before sweeping its way to the 2015 Prospect League Championship. His work with T.J. Collett helped the catcher from the University of Kentucky earn Baseball America’s honor as the league’s top prospect this past summer.
In his time as a summer collegiate assistant coach, Calderon has seen 41 former players selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
At the junior college level, the Caracas, Venezuela, native spent three seasons as the top assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College from 2011-13, where he aided in recruiting and hitting instruction while coaching third base. During the 2014 college season, he served as the assistant head coach at the College of The Albemarle. The Dolphins recorded a .321 batting average under Calderon’s tutelage that spring.
As a student-athlete, Calderon played two seasons at Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas, before transferring to Oakland City University, an NCAA Division II institution in Oakland City, Indiana. With the Mighty Oaks, he compiled a career batting average of .345 and an on-base percentage of .480.
Calderon received a B.S. in Business Administration from Oakland City in 2010 before earning a master’s in Education from Iowa State University in 2013. He is currently pursuing a master’s in Teaching with a concentration in Spanish at Northern Arizona University in his current residence of Flagstaff, Arizona.
In addition to bringing the PGCBL Championship back to Newark, Calderon stated that his main goals were to help the players “get better so they have better opportunities when they go back to their respective schools,” and to “teach them the right way to play the game of baseball.”
“If they listen and play the right way, I think we are going to have a successful summer,” he stated. “Like I said, I hate to lose, so I’m going to do the most that I can to win a championship.”