Huskies honor members of the 2013 squad before an exhibtion with program alumni
Semifinal Saturday has better results for Huskies this year.
UConn Baseball Wins Fifth Straight; Penders Earns 300th Career Win
UConn vs Houston (photo by Stephen Slade)
UConn vs CCSU (photo by Stephen Slade)
UConn vs Cincinnati (photo by Stephen Slade)
UConn vs Memphis (photo by Stephen Slade)
BIG East Baseball Championship
Chris Podeszwa has been a member of his former UCon teammate Jim Penders' coaching staff since Penders took over as head coach in 2004. Podeszwa's focus is primarily on the instruction of infielders and hitters.
The 2014 Huskies finished in the top-100 nationally in on-base percentage, placing fourth in The American with a .364 mark. Podeszwa also helped three hitters (Blake Davey, Max McDowell, Bobby Melley) earn All-Conference nods, while Melley was named 2014 NEIBA New England Player of the Year.
In 2013, the Huskies finished with a .270 team batting average and an impressive .365 on-base percentage. UConn scored 318 runs in 63 games, averaging out to 5.05 runs per game. Podeszwa also guided second baseman LJ Mazzilli to an All-America season before he became a fourth round draft pick of the New York Mets.
Podeszwa was an integral part of the 2011 UConn club that won the program's first-ever BIG EAST Regular Season Championship and advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time.
In 2010, Podeszwa helped the Huskies' set new single-season records in hits, runs scored and RBI, besting the records the club set in 2009. UConn recorded 750 hits, 542 runs scored and 492 RBI in 2010.
After graduating from UConn in 1993, Podeszwa served as an envoy coach for Major League Baseball International in New York and Europe. His responsibilities included preparing the German Junior National Team for the European Championships while organizing coordinated clinics for youth players and coaches.
"Dez is a full-time teacher and there is nobody that works harder than he does," said Penders. "His energy is contagious and his contribution to our success has been outstanding. The fire he had as one of my teammates burns just as hot today as one of our coaches."
In 1995, Podeszwa moved to Sweden to play and coach for the Skelleftea Bears Baseball Club in Skelleftea, Sweden. His stay in Scandinavia was highlighted by both of his teams capturing the Swedish National Championship.
In 1996, Podeszwa was hired as the assistant baseball coach at Mitchell College in New London, Conn., and in 1998, he became the assistant baseball coach for the University of Connecticut's Avery Point branch under head coach Roger Bidwell. At Avery Point, Podeszwa helped lead his squads to the NJCAA Region XXI Championship in 1999 and 2000. Avery Point also captured the Northeast Region Championship in 1999 and earned a trip to the NJCAA Division II World Series.
In between summer evaluation and recruiting assignments for the Huskies, Podeszwa continues to serve as an assistant baseball coach for Yarmouth-Dennis of the Cape Cod Baseball League. He enters his 15th season with the Red Sox, who won the league championship in 2004, 2006 and 2007.
Podeszwa played at UConn from 1990-93. He was part of the 1990 BIG EAST Championship club and played every position for the Huskies except center field. He and Penders were teammates at UConn for three seasons.
Podeszwa, who earned a master's degree in 2003 at Southern Connecticut, is married to UConn alum, Isabella Basile. The couple has three children, Sophia, born May 17, 2000, Connor, born April 1, 2003 and Emilia, born January 5, 2006. They reside in Waterford, Conn.