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Cape League & Collegiate Coaching Veteran Macaluso Named Navs Manager

01/09/2020 8:46 AM

LYNN, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators have named collegiate coaching veteran and Reading, Mass., native Bob Macaluso as their field manager for the 2020 Futures Collegiate Baseball League season. After leading the managerial search, first-year President and General Manager Derek January made the announcement on Thursday.

“Mac” becomes the sixth skipper to lead the Navigators in the Futures League, bringing more than 30 years of experience at all levels of the game to the position. His career has included time in each of the three NCAA divisions as well as two of the most competitive summer collegiate circuits in the country, the Alaska and Cape Cod Leagues.

“We had significant interest in our managerial position which was exciting in its own right, but Mac’s resume jumped off the page,” January said. “As soon as I met Mac I knew he was the right manager for us. Getting someone with his wealth of experience to run our club is exciting. He knows how to win without sacrificing the development of his players. This is a ‘home run’ hire for the Navigators.”

Most recently in 2019, Macaluso served as an assistant coach for the Alaska Baseball League’s Anchorage Bucs who won 29 games en route to both the regular-season and “Top of the World Series” playoff championships. He was a head coach in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League, guiding the Brewster Whitecaps for six summers (2003-08) after spending the previous three as an assistant.

“I’m really excited to come back to the Boston area and North Shore to coach the Navigators,” said Macaluso, who spends the rest of the year as a physical education teacher in Santa Rosa, Calif. “I’ve always enjoyed being involved with summer baseball at the collegiate level and have followed the Futures League. I’m from Reading so to coach and manage at Fraser Field is a really exciting opportunity. I’m looking forward to experiencing the Futures League and helping the North Shore Navigators grow.”

Macaluso’s latest experience in a college dugout came as a D1 assistant at the University of the Pacific during the 2018 season, a year after he worked in the same role at D2 Cal State San Bernardino. He was an assistant at Cal State Bakersfield in 2015, helping the Roadrunners win 37 games and their first-ever Western Athletic Conference championship before being tabbed to lead the D1 program as head coach for the following year.

Macaluso arrived at Bakersfield after spending seven seasons (2008-14) as an assistant at UC Irvine, where the Anteaters went 274-136, made four NCAA tournament appearances and advanced to the 2014 College World Series in Omaha, Neb., during his tenure. Under longtime college baseball figures Dave Serrano and Mike Gillespie, he primarily worked with the team’s infielders and coached third base. Macaluso helped Cal State Los Angeles to the D2 College World Series as an assistant in 2007 before being hired to the Irvine staff.

Macaluso’s time on the Cape began with a championship in 2000, his first of three years as an assistant for Brewster. He served as the Whitecaps’ hitting and third-base coach before taking over the head job in 2003 and earning the league’s Manager of the Year honor after his first summer. Throughout his time in Brewster, Macaluso recruited and coached players from every major D1 conference in the country. Ryan Braun, Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal have all gone on to successful Major League Baseball careers after spending time in Brewster with Macaluso as head coach.

From 1999-2006, Macaluso was a D3 head coach at Muhlenberg College. His 136 wins still stand second all-time at the Allentown, Pa., school. Taking over a program that had never finished higher than ninth in the Centennial Conference, Macaluso led the Mules to a fourth-place finish in his first season and back-to-back appearances in the conference championship in 2002-03. The program had its first conference Player of the Year and all-region honorees during his time there.

He began his coaching career close to home as the pitching coach and head junior varsity coach at Melrose High School from 1989-92 before leading Weston High School’s varsity program from 1993-96. Throughout those two tenures, Macaluso also coached the Reading Legion Post 62. The Springfield College graduate returned to his alma mater for the following two seasons, helping the Pride win at least 20 games in both.

“I’ve been at a lot of different levels from high school and legion to collegiate,” Macaluso said. “I feel like I’m well equipped to help these players continue to grow and understand how summer baseball operates. I know the day-to-day grind of dealing with the players and being prepared for each and every game.”

Macaluso replaces Mike Odenwaelder, the Amherst College assistant coach who led the Navs to a 30-win season in 2019 and returned them to the FCBL postseason after a two-year absence. Odenwaelder also became the franchise’s first-ever Manager of the Year recipient.

The Navs are now preparing for the 13th season of collegiate ball at Fraser Field and their ninth in the Futures League. The 2020 opener and Macaluso’s managerial debut is scheduled for Wednesday, May 27. Until then, stay up to date on the latest Navs news by visiting nsnavs.com and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.