Sports

Menlo College makes baseball coaching changes

David Tufo never ventured that far away and now he's back.

Tufo, who worked with the Oaks four years before taking a position at Santa Clara University last season, was rehired by second-year baseball coach Jake McKinley to assume the role as top assistant.

Tufo will coach infielders and run the offense.

Second-year assistant Jason Ochart will take over as Menlo's full-time hitting coach.

"David Tufo is an exceptional hire for us," McKinley said. "Not only is he very familiar with Menlo, he is a great infield guy who has a great knowledge base of offensive production. I think he is one of the top up-and-coming coaches in college baseball."

Tufo served as an assistant coach at Menlo College from 2010-13 before assuming the Director of Baseball Operations role at Santa Clara.

In his previous stint at Menlo, Tufo worked with the Oaks' infielders, helping the Oaks record a top-five ranking in NAIA fielding percentage (.970) in 2013. Infielder C.J. Dailey won the NAIA National Gold Glove award in 2012.

Tufo also served as the head coach for the Forest City Owls in Forest City, N.C. of the Coastal Plain League in 2013.

Ochart finished his collegiate playing career at Vanguard two years ago. He led the team in hits with 57 and posted a .313 batting average in his senior season. Ochart stole a team-leading 25 bases in 31 attempts.

"Sliding Jason to the position of our full-time hitting coach was a no-brainer," said McKinley. "Of all the young coaches I have ever met, he is one of the most cerebral hitting guys out there. I truly believe he has the skill set and knowledge base to become one of the best hitting guys in the country."

The Oaks look to build on last year's 29-28 record, the fifth consecutive 25-plus win season for the program.

"Both of these assistant coaches are not only great baseball guys, they are outstanding people," McKinley said. "They have a nice way of connecting with players individually and will undoubtedly help our program continually grow."

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Menlo Athletics

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