Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Saint Leo assistant to take over Zephyrhills baseball

Former Saint Leo University assistant Chad Sommers has been hired to replace Bruce Cimorelli as Zephyrhills baseball coach.

Sommers, 30, was introduced by Cimorelli, who stepped down after 13 seasons upon being hired as the Bulldogs' athletic director, and first-year ZHS principal Steve Van Gorden at a Wednesday morning news conference at the school.

He becomes only the fourth Bulldogs coach since 1980.

"Full of energy, very child-centered, a good teacher of the game," Van Gorden said of Sommers. "His baseball knowledge is phenomenal. … Looking at the whole athletic program, he's wanting to get very involved with all of athletics at Zephyrhills High School. Great morals, ethics, strong disciplinarian."

Sommers, who owns a local residential real estate branch, won't be on the ZHS faculty. He was hired from a pool of six applicants, Van Gorden said.

"You can definitely tell athletics are very important here," said Sommers, a Chicago native raised in Baltimore. "I've been out of baseball three years and the competitive fire never dies. Baseball's my life, it always has been, and I'm ready to compete."

A former catcher at the University of Charleston (W.Va.), Sommers most recently served as coach of the Zephyr­hills Snappers of the wooden bat Florida Collegiate Summer League. That team, which played its home games at ZHS' Clements Field, won the 2005 FCSL title before relocating.

In 2004, Sommers served as coach and general manager of an Orlando-based FCSL club that eventually became the Snappers. Before that, he spent three years as recruiting coordinator and assistant at Saint Leo. Sommers also has coached at Division II Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia, and in the wooden bat Valley Baseball League in Virginia, which caters to aspiring pros.

Sommers said his first order of business will be assembling a coaching staff and getting in touch with returning players. Zephyrhills, 16-9 last season, must rebuild its entire starting infield now that senior first baseman/pitcher Tyler Guy and sophomore sibling Jacob Guy have transferred.

Cimorelli also confirmed longtime assistant Kenny Prickett won't be on Sommers' staff.

"I think with all the kids that have left and the level of talent coming in, it was really important for us to find someone that was going to be a teacher," Van Gorden said.

"Chad, during his interview process, definitely displayed that he's a teacher; he's going to work with these kids, and that was very important during our hiring decision."

Vacancies galore at Gulf: Travis DeWalt's first summer as Gulf High athletic director promises to be a hectic one.

The school currently is seeking head coaches for four boys sports (basketball, track, cross country, weightlifting) and two girls sports (cheerleading, volleyball). Some of those spots became vacant when coaches took the same positions at nearby Anclote.

"I'm confident we'll fill the positions," DeWalt said. "Although the guys there will be missed, that's for sure."

Joey Knight can be reached at jknight@sptimes.com.

Former Saint Leo assistant to take over Zephyrhills baseball 06/17/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 7:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over "inappropriate conduct"

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels' overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip

    Blogs

    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  5. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games

    Blogs

    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.