Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Abrahamowicz to become head coach at Oberlin

On July 1, it will become official.

Lorain Catholic graduate Adrian Abrahamowicz has been named the head baseball coach-in-waiting at Oberlin College, replacing Amherst graduate Eric Lahetta, who has been at the helm for 13 years.

Since joining the Yeomen staff in 2005, Abrahamowicz has served as pitching coach and has managed the offense while coaching third base. During the last three seasons, he has also served as the associate head coach and team’s recruiting coordinator. He is largely responsible for bringing in some of the deepest classes in program history.

“It’s a really exciting time for me, because I’ve had an opportunity to help build the program as a recruiting coordinator,” Abrahamowicz said. “I feel like I’ve got a head start on things I wanted to do. Coach Lahetta has always been a guy that let me do my thing recruiting. We’ve been able to build a program, rather than come into a situation where you’re walking into a program that you’re not familiar with. I’m familiar with the school. I’m familiar with the reputation of the school, the type of kids we have to recruit academically and are going to fit in our baseball program.”

Abrahamowicz, a Tiffin University graduate, coached at Lorain Catholic in 2004 — the school’s last year — and was the assistant coach from 1996 to 2000 at the now-defunct school. He also coached at Elyria Catholic in 1995.

“I’m a little more of a direct guy than Eric, but at the same time, he has given me the flexibility to be the type of coach that I am,” Abrahamowicz said. “I’ve been able to do a lot of things from within the start and now it’s time for us to reap the benefits. A lot of what were doing is a credit to Coach Lahettta as well.”

Abrahamowicz will be replacing Lahetta, who will be taking on a new role as the assistant athletic director — a job that will allow him to spend more time with his family.

His wife Becky Lahetta (Kanuch) is the girls’ soccer coach at Oberlin High School. His daughter Mackenzie plays soccer and basketball at Firelands, his son Cody runs track at South Amherst Middle School and he also has a one-year-old son named Chase.

Lahetta, a 1986 Amherst graduate, originally went to Ohio Wesleyan to play football and baseball after high school. He then transferred to Bowling Green and played baseball for two years for the Falcons after making the team as a walk-on. He went to work as a director of stadium operations with the Canton-Akron Indians before taking the job as pitching coach at Oberlin College for two years before taking the head position.

“I’m looking forward to new challenges,” Lahetta said. “I’ll be doing some new things and learning some things. I’ve been prepping myself over the last 13 years to do this so I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Lahetta is confident in the baseball program he helped build.“Adrian has done a great job,” Lahetta said. “He’s been my right-hand man for the last six years. The last three years, we’ve been prepping him to be head coach. Baseball-wise, he’s as good as anyone around here. He’s done everything we’ve asked as an assistant coach. It’s his time to be a head coach.

“I feel like as a head coach that I’ve done a pretty good job of turning the program around and getting it to a point where were very competitive and I think Adrian is the guy to take it to the next level.”

Abrahamowicz is excited about the future of the Yeomen, especially juniors Phil Brua (Avon), Brandon Cantrill (Western Reserve), Ben Puterbaugh (Massillon Jackson), Ben Kauder (St. John’s Jesuit) and Ryan Mouch (St. John’s Jesuit).

Oberlin opens up its season on March 12, when they play a doubleheader at Berea College. They then will travel to Marysville, Tenn. to play back-to-back doubleheaders against Marysville College in the Foothills Classic.

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