Raphael Cerrato was named head coach of the Rhode Island baseball program on July 17, 2014.
A 1994 Rhode Island graduate, Cerrato served as URI's top assistant from 2012-14, working specifically with the team's infielders and hitters. During that span, the Rams established a new single-season record for fielding percentage (.970 in 2013) while All-American and MLB draftee Jeff Roy recorded the program's second-best single-season performance in both hits (84) and runs scored (59) in 2012.
As then head coach Jim Foster's recruiting coordinator, Cerrato has played a key role in bringing in four Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team selections as well helping the Rams claim a share of the A-10 regular season title in 2013.
"The University of Rhode Island is a place that will always be special to me and I am so grateful for the opportunity to lead this program," Cerrato said, upon his promotion. "This is a place that I want to be for long, long time. I was lucky to involved in the resurgence of the program under Frank Leoni before being a part of what Jim Foster continued to build. I am incredibly thankful for being given the chance to add to the tradition and success of Rhode Island baseball."
Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Jim Martin enters his first season at Rhode Island in 2015, joining head coach Raphael Cerrato's staff after spending the previous four years as the head coach at Division II Merrimack. Under Martin's direction, the Warriors enjoyed a return to prominence thanks to his coaching style and ability to recruit top-notch talent in a region often dominated by perennial Division II powers such as Franklin Pierce and Southern New Hampshire.
Martin led six of his players to Northeast-10 All-Conference honors in 2014, headlined by sophomore Frank Crinella, the NE-10 Player of the Year as well as the program's first-ever NCBWA East Region Player of the Year. Prior to that, Martin had mentored 2013 All-American Casey Cotter along with Academic All-American and 2013 MLB Draft pick Joe Mantoni.
After slowly laying the foundation for success in his first two seasons, Martin's efforts paid off in the spring of 2013 when Merrimack enjoyed one of its best seasons in program history at 30-19 overall.
Sean O'Brien enters his first season at Rhode Island in 2015, joining head coach Raphael Cerrato's staff after spending the previous two years at Endicott College (Division III).
In his time with the Gulls, O'Brien's defensive responsibilities included working with the team's catchers, outfielders and corner infielders. Offensively, he was in charge of hitting, bunting and baserunning while also assisting with scouting and recruiting.
In his two years at Endicott, he helped lead the team to back-to-back Commonwealth Coast Conference regular season and tournament titles as well as an appearance in the 2013 NCAA Northeast Regionals. That year Endicott received the program's first-ever national ranking, checking in at No. 19 in the D3Baseball.com Poll.
The 2014 academic year marks Casey Buckley's first year as an assistant under head coach Raphael Cerrato. Buckley comes to Rhode Island after having spent the 2014 season at Division II Dowling College, where he served as the assistant pitching coach as well as the team's scouting director and strength & conditioning advisor.
In his one season with the Golden Lions, Buckley helped guide the pitching staff to the best team ERA in all of Division II (2.42). Additionally, Dowling posted an overall record of 36-17, claimed the regular season conference title and advanced to the finals of the NCAA East Regional.
Following the conclusion of he 2014 season, Buckley moved to Rhode Island to take on pitching coach duties for the NECBL's Ocean State Waves. He also served as the club's strength & conditioning advisor.
Director of Operations
The 2014 academic year marks Jackson Geary's first year as head coach Raphael Cerrato's Director of Operations. A native of Wakefield, R.I., Geary comes to URI after finishing his collegiate career which included time at both Coastal Carolina and Post University.
Geary spent his first three seasons (2009-11) at Coastal Carolina, combining for a 3.73 ERA over 18 relief appearances. Coastal captured the Big South Championship in each of his three seasons with the team. He then transferred to Post, where he was a team captain and posted a 2.30 ERA in four starts as a senior.
Outside of competition, Geary received multiple academic achievement awards while at Coastal Carolina and was a Dean's List honoree throughout his time at both universities. He also landed a spot on the CACC All-Academic Team in the spring of 2013.