Final 2013 Roster (thru 8/7/2013)
Scott Pickler - Manager
One of the most respected veteran community college coaches in the nation, Scott Pickler had another successful year at Cypress College in 2013, winning his fifth California state championship. Pickler, in his 29th year directing the Chargers, has led Cypress to five state championships (1991, 1994, 1997, 2003, 2013) and four runner-up finishes (1996, 1999, 2004, 2007). Pickler, who served as a coach for the 1995 USA Baseball National Trials, has a career winning percentage of .671 (904-404-4). He also has coached for sixteen years in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League. In 2004, 2006, and 2007 he led the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox to the Cape Cod League Title.
Pickler took over a struggling Cypress program in 1985 and quickly turned the Chargers into a respected California powerhouse. He has been chosen as the National Coach of the Year for California junior Colleges four times.
With all of his professional accomplishments, Pickler's biggest victories and proudest moments come when he sees his athletes move to four-year colleges and universities or the professional ranks. Over 200 student-athletes have received scholarships, and 120 plus players have been selected in the Major League Draft. There have been 15 former Chargers who have been brought up to the Majors in Pickler's tenure including eight who are currently active.
Before coming to Cypress, Pickler had an outstanding high school coaching career. In six seasons at Savanna and Loara high schools, he posted a combined record of 123-36 and won the CIF championship with his 1983 Loara squad. Pickler is a 1968 graduate of Savanna High winning Athlete of the Year recognition. He attended Cypress College and earned all-conference recognition under Coach Larry Mercadante. He earned a degree in physical education from San Diego State University and played second base for the Aztecs.
Scott and his wife Sharon have two children; Jeff (36) and Kari (32). Jeff was an all-conference choice for his dad at Cypress in 1995 and then went on to be an All-American and All Academic American at the University of Tennessee. Kari is a graduate of UCLA and was a Bruins Song Leader. She has performed on Broadway in the musical "Big'', is the owner of The E-Factor, and is the mother of Scott's first grandchild. Pickler's younger brother Brad is the head coach of the softball team at Cypress and has led the Chargers to five state championships.
Chris Podeszwa - Assistant Coach
Chris Podeszwa enters his 17th season as an assistant coach for the Y-D Red Sox. Coach Dez has been a fixture in the first base coach’s box and works primarily on the instruction of infielders and hitters each summer. Under his assistance, the Red Sox won the CCBL championship in 2004, 2006 and 2007.
Podeszwa recently completed his 10th season as an assistant coach with the UCONN Huskies, where he was an integral part of the 2013 UConn club that won the BIG EAST Championship and advanced to the NCAA Regionals. The 2011 Huskies had a program record 10 players drafted. In 2010, led by 1st rounders Mike Olt and George Springer, 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.
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, and former Cotuit manager 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.
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.
“Dez” and his wife Isabella have three children, Sophia 13, Connor 10, and Emilia 7. They reside in Waterford, Conn.
James Cordes - Assistant Coach
James Cordes just finished his fifth season at the helm of Redlands East Valley High School in Redlands, CA. Traditionally a power house in the southern California rankings, the REV Wildcats have captured 5 league titles in the last 7 years and visited the CIF sectional title game and semi-final game in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Cordes has guided the Wildcats to a 104-35-1 overall record in his five years, capturing 3 league titles, being named coach-of-the-year three different seasons, and being named West Region DII High School Coach of the Year in 2012. He has coached 28 1st-Team All-Citrus Belt League players and seen more than 29 players move onto collegiate baseball. Three players have been drafted out of REV during Cordes’ tenure, the highest being Griffin Murphy (Toronto Blue Jays) in the second round of 2010. Major League pitchers Tommy Hanson (Los Angeles Angels) and Tyler Chatwood (Colorado Rockies) are alum to Redlands East Valley as well. During the fall, Cordes is a scout for the Los Angeles Angles, helping manage the Angel’s Elite scout team.
Cordes is returning to Y-D for his second summer under the tutelage of Scott Pickler. Cordes will continue to work with hitters and infielders, while helping run the daily youth baseball camp. Playing his collegiate baseball at the University of Redlands, Cordes was a three-year starting shortstop. Before settling at Redlands East Valley, Cordes also served as an infield coach at UMass-Boston and an assistant coach at Boston College High School.
With a Master’s in English from Boston College, Cordes teaches English at Redlands East Valley. His family resides in Sun Valley, Idaho, where he grew up.