Card photo courtesy rackrs.com
LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. – The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs will have a new face at the helm for the 2012 season. Former professional baseball player Roberto Vaz has been named head coach.
“I am extremely excited to be the head coach of the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs. I would like to thank Travis Heiser and David Dittmann for hiring me and giving me the opportunity to be a part of this organization" Vaz said. "Being a native New Yorker and having the chance to coach in my home state is truly a dream come true. I will attack this challenge with vigor and do everything in my power to bring a championship to Mohawk Valley”.
Roberto Vaz is in his first year as assistant coach for Louisiana State University Eunice. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Alabama where he had an impressive career with the Crimson Tide. At LSU Eunice, Vaz is in charge of the hitters, outfielders, and assists with recruiting.
“As a coach I plan to establish a winning culture, a connection with the community, and an understanding of responsibility and accountability to both. Also, I plan to mold my players, to be young respectful men, under the Christian values that I was raised" Vaz said.
In 1996, Vaz won a national championship as a member of Northeast Texas Community College team where he was the recipient of the MVP, Big Stick (top hitter) and Sportsmanship Awards (1st and only individual ever to win the awards in the same season) for the National Junior College Athletic Association. For these efforts he was selected to the Golden Anniversary All Time World Series Team as one of the greatest JUCO players ever.
In 1997, while at the University of Alabama, Roberto was named First Team All-American, All-SEC and still holds several offensive records at the university. Also, in 1997 Vaz was nominated as a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top collegiate baseball player. While playing at the University of Alabama, the team finished as runner-up at the College World Series in Omaha, NE.
After being drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 1997 first year player’s draft Vaz played seven years of minor league baseball including winning the Triple A World Series in 1999 as a member of the Vancouver Canadians. Vaz played in both the Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers Minor League Organizations where he reached Triple A.
“After conducting a national search for a head coach we really felt that Roberto was the best fit for our organization,” said DiamondDawgs President Travis Heiser. “We are excited to have someone with Roberto’s professional baseball background and passion for the game. His family values and respect for the game will translate well to our
players and fans.”