Worcester, Mass.—After an extensive nationwide search, Clark University has announced the hiring of Billy Cather as the next Head Coach of the baseball program. Director of Athletics Trish Cronin confirmed the appointment for Cather as he begins work on Monday, October 1st and becomes the eighth coach in program history.
"We are very happy to have Billy joining our staff as the next head baseball coach. His coaching and playing experience stood out in our nation-wide search as the best fit for this program. Billy's commitment to player and personal development will certainly take the baseball program to the next level, and we are very excited to have him get started," said Cronin.
Cather brings over 10 years of coaching experience to Clark, including his most recent seven seasons as the head coach of the Division III Lesley College baseball program. Prior to Lesley Cather served as an Assistant Coach for the University of Maine baseball team for four years.
"After searching through a large pool of talented and qualified candidates we are thrilled to announce Billy Cather as the next head baseball coach at Clark. His experience at both the Division III and Division I levels make him an outstanding fit for a program that has seen much success over the past three years. Cather is dedicated to building on the program's recent successes and we look forward to watching him take the team to new heights," said Associate Director of Athletics and chair of the search committee, Joe Brady.
Cather guided the Lesley Lynx to the baseball program's first NECC Championship title in the 2017 season. He helped lead Lesley to a single-season program record for wins in each of the past two seasons, including notching 19 victories in 2016. Billy became the All-time winningest coach in program history at Lesley as he coached 11 players to NECC All-Conference honors, including Rookie of the Year Tom Muratore in 2015. His teams have also been successful in the classroom as 13 players have been named to the NECC All-Academic team in his tenure.
A former four-year standout at the University of Maine, 2005-2009, Cather saw action in 193 career games, starting 179, mostly in centerfield. As a junior he was drafted by the Washington Nationals but he stayed at the University of Maine to continue pursuing his undergraduate degree in marketing. Cather served as a captain for the Black Bears during the 2009 season and was a two-time America East Second Team honoree. In 2007, he also earned a spot on the America East All-Tournament Team. He finished his career with a .323 batting average. He scored 146 career runs with 31 doubles, 13 home runs to go along with a pair of triples. He drove in 100 career runs and stole 60 bases over four years. Cather joined the University of Maine's coaching staff after graduating in December of 2009 and stayed with the team until 2013.
During the 2010-2011 campaign, Cather and the Black Bears won the America East Championship and proceeded to upset #20 Florida International University in the NCAA Tournament in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Also in 2011, he mentored Taylor Lewis, who was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 America East Tournament and was drafted in the 10th round of the MLB Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In his final season as an assistant coach of the Black Bears, Cather helped lead the team to an America East regular season title in 2013 while leading the conference in nearly every offensive category as the team hit .305, slugged 117 doubles and 25 home runs, stole 95 bases, and averaged over six runs per game. Following the season, Black Bears short stop Mike Fransoso (Pirates) and catcher Mike Connolly (Giants) were both drafted in the 27th round of Major League Baseball's First Year Player Draft.
Throughout his four years as a coach, Cather had seven players drafted in the MLB Entry Draft, averaged 33 wins per season, and earned a spot in the conference tournament each year, while making three appearances in the championship series.
During the summer of 2010, Cather played for the Worcester Tornadoes and former Red Sox great and current minor league coach, Rich Gedman. He saw action in 62 games where he hit .302 with 31 runs scored and 22 RBI. He had 14 doubles to go along with three home runs. He also won back-to-back New England Collegiate Baseball League Championships with the Vermont Mountaineers in the summers of 2007 and 2008.
"I am thrilled to be joining the Clark University community. As a Worcester native, I understand the high academic reputation of the University and I am very excited about the continued growth of the baseball program over the past few years," said Cather. "I would like to thank Patricia Cronin, Joe Brady and the members of the search committee. I know the program is moving in the right direction and my goal is to help continue the recent success…I am looking forward to building a relationship with everyone in the community and help provide a positive experience for our student athletes. As a staff, we will push our student athletes to get better every day on the field, in the classroom and in the community".