Bard taps Salvatore as new head coach

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ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - The Bard College Department of Athletics and Recreation announced Friday that Andy Salvatore has been named head baseball coach.

Salvatore will replace Ed Kahovec, who resigned earlier this week to become an assistant coach at Div. I Holy Cross.

There hadn't been a varsity baseball game played at Bard in 76 years when Kahovec and Salvatore restarted the program in 2013. The donation of a turf facility prompted Bard to bring baseball back, and the rebirth of the program has been arduous and sometimes painful. Kahovec and Salvatore have been the architects, bringing the program to respectability in just a few years.

For the first two seasons, Bard didn't have a home field or a place to practice. "Home" games were played in Wappingers Falls, Kingston, Oneonta, Farmingdale and even Flemington, N.J. The 2013 roster had 14 players on it, and there were 16 in 2014.

With completion of Honey Field slated for fall of 2014, the recruiting efforts of Kahovec and Salvatore started to bear fruit. The Raptors took to their new field with 19 players in 2015, and this past spring there were 33. With six freshmen and one transfer joining the team this season, it is expected that the 2017 roster should be in the range of 35 players, which is on par with other teams in the Liberty League. With seven seniors on the 2017 roster, the group, like the program, is still quite young.

"I am honored and humbled to have been selected to serve as the next head baseball coach at Bard College," Salvatore said. "I would like to thank (Vice President) Jim Brudvig and (Athletic Director) Kris Hall for their support, and for entrusting me with this great opportunity."

After going 0-20-1 in conference play in 2014 - Bard's first year in the Liberty League - the Raptors have won 11 league games over the last two seasons. Several players have won All-Liberty League awards, and Honey Field, by many accounts, is the finest baseball facility not only in the league, but in the region.

"Bard baseball has developed with Coach Salvatore's commitment to our recruiting process and student-athlete development," AD Kris Hall said. "He has been instrumental from the initiation of our program, to holding a seat on the committee that designed Honey Field, to selectively seeking scholar-athletes on a national level. His familiarity with our systems and the Liberty League is of great value to Bard College, and we are excited to see where Bard baseball will go under Coach Salvatore's leadership."

Salvatore came to Bard from Oswego State, where he played for four years and was an assistant coach for three years.

"I'm excited to get back to work on the field with our players," Salvatore said, "and to continue to build on the upward trend that Bard baseball and Bard Athletics in general has been on."

The 2017 season will start on Mar. 4. After five consecutive home games, the Raptors will take a Spring Break trip to California.