CCC&TI Hires Frank Pait as First Baseball Coach
HUDSON, NC (December 19, 2018) — Building a college baseball program from scratch is no easy task. Fortunately for Caldwell Community College and Technical (CCC&TI), someone with more than two decades of coaching experience, including building a program from the ground up at a neighboring community college, was available.
Frank Pait, a native of Wilkesboro and a former head coach of baseball programs at nearby Lenoir-Rhyne University and Catawba Valley Community College, will be the new head coach at CCC&TI. His first day will be Feb. 1, but he has already started making plans for the team’s launch in Fall 2019.
“To come in and put your thumbprint on something that is happening for the first time is as exciting and challenging as it gets,” Pait said. “We want to create something that everyone in the community can be proud of.”
In November CCC&TI’s Board of Trustees approved the addition of baseball and softball to the college’s Athletic Department. Both teams are scheduled to begin play in Fall 2019. Competing in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), conversations are underway to determine in which division Caldwell will compete, but that decision has not yet been made.
For the baseball program, finding a coach with the right experience and connections to local baseball was important.
“We have hit an absolute homerun with Frank,” CCC&TI Athletic Director Matt Anderson said. “His reputation and track record speak for itself. He is a proven winner and knows how to build a program.”
Anderson said the goal is to compete on a national level and hiring Pait is a good first step.
“He’s been through this exact process before. Not only did he build a program from scratch, he had them in the national tournament in the third year of the program,” Anderson said. “I truly believe we’re going to build something special here and I am so excited for our student athletes, our college and our community.”
Pait said he has been involved in baseball his entire life. He began playing at a young age and as a player at Wilkes Central High School he earned a scholarship to play at Wingate University. After earning his degree, he took a Graduate Assistant job with Lenoir-Rhyne University baseball. He then coached baseball at West Wilkes High School and served as an assistant coach at Wingate before landing the head coaching job at Lenoir-Rhyne. He went on to become the first head coach of the baseball program at Catawba Valley Community College, where he built a program that played in the NJCAA World Series and had a fifth-place finish in only its third season of existence. He left coaching in 2015 but is ready to return to the game.
Recruiting will begin immediately, he said, with a focus on local players first and expanding outward in the region and beyond.
“We’re not scared to recruit out of state, but we want local guys,” he said. “If they can play, we want them here.”
Pait said that the community can expect fundamentally sound teams that will be well prepared and will play aggressive baseball. It all starts, he said, with recruiting the right players and creating the right atmosphere.
“We’re going to bring in good guys and we’re going to try to make them better people. We’re going to bring in good students and make them better students. We’re going to bring in good players and try to make them great players,” he said. “If we do those things, the winning and success will take care of itself.