CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte baseball Head Coach Loren Hibbs has announced that assistant coach Kris Rochelle will not return for his sixthh season with the Niners coaching staff stepping down to pursue other career opportunities outside of baseball.
“Life decisions are not easy and I know this was a difficult decision for Kris,” commented Hibbs. “He has a tremendous opportunity, both professionally and financially, outside of baseball. I support him 100% as I know he will be successful.”
Rochelle oversaw several aspects of the Niners baseball program including field maintenance, equipment and team managers. Other responsibilities included recruiting and working with catchers and infielders defensively. Rochelle was also the primary assigner of summer league placements for the players.
In his four-year playing career with the Niners, Rochelle holds the distinction of hitting for the highest batting average for a single season at Charlotte since 1998. He became the sixth player in team history to hit over .400 for a season after winning the Atlantic 10 batting title with the .404 average in his 2007 season en route to the Niners' return to the postseason. He was a major factor in the team leading the nation in earned run average (2.64) as he caught all but 4.1 of the nearly 550 innings played that season. Also in his senior season, Rochelle led the conference in on-base percentage (.502), while second in hits (92), walks (44) and runs scored (64). He was seventh in total bases (132) and 12th in RBI (50).
He was drafted in the 50th round by the Cubs out of high school opting to play for Coach Hibbs at Charlotte. After obtaining his degree from Charlotte in Earth Science, Rochelle was drafted again in 2007 by the Detroit Tigers in the 22nd round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
“Kris is a Niner and will always be part of our Charlotte family,” continued Hibbs. “He worked tirelessly, as a player and a coach, to make our program better. I want to thank him for the effort he put forth for the better part of nine years.”
Hibbs, who just recently signed a contract extension through 2018, will begin a national search immediately to fill Rochelle’s vacancy.