Menlo School looks to its past for its baseball future

As a player, Ryan Cavan helped the Menlo School baseball team to a Central Coast Section title in 2004. Now, Cavan hopes to keep the Knights in the championship picture as the team's new head coach.

Ryan Cavan, a 2005 Menlo School graduate, is the school's new head baseball coach. Photo courtesy of Southern Illinois Miners.
"Menlo baseball is where I developed my fundamentals early on in my career and learned how to play baseball the right way," Cavan said. "The Menlo baseball program has a history of great coaching, players and championship-caliber teams. My job is to continue the Menlo tradition of excellence on and off the field, and lead these Menlo players to becoming their absolute best."

Cavan, who was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of UC Santa Barbara, plays for the Southern Illinois Miners of the independent Frontier League.

"Ryan has been a part of the program as an assistant coach and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a player at the college and minor-league levels," said Kris Weems, Menlo's new athletic director. "Ryan's passion for the game is equally as strong as his love for Menlo School.

"More importantly, Ryan will stress skill and player development . . . Ryan truly cares about coaching and mentoring young people, and his experiences at Menlo and at the college and pro levels will serve him well."

With the Miners, Cavan is batting . 304 and has a team-high 288 assists through 87 games. The infielder played five seasons in the Giants' organization, including in 2013 when he batted .283 with 38 RBI in 75 games for Class-A San Jose. In March last season, Cavan was called up to join the San Francisco Giants for a spring training game in Scottsdale, and in his major-league debut, he homered and drove in a run. In 2012, he earned a Gold Glove award as the top defensive second baseman in minor league baseball.

Cavan also served as an assistant coach for the Knights last season. As a student at Menlo, the two-time, first-team all-league selection batted .398 his senior year .449 with 23 RBI his junior season and led the Knights to a CCS title. He also played soccer and started a surfing club with his friends at Menlo.

"I will be able to share all the great coaching I have had while being in the Giants organization with the Menlo baseball players," Cavan said. "My style of coaching will be fun and challenging in order to get the most out of each and every individual player, while having the team's best interest at heart.

"Menlo baseball and Menlo School made a huge difference in my life, and it is time for me to give back to the program that gave me so much."

Cavan replaces Craig Schoof, who had been the head coach at Menlo for 27 years (1984-92 and 1997-2014), winning 17 league titles and five CCS championships while qualifying for section action 22 times. His baseball team this season had the highest cumulative grade-point average (3.6176) of any team in the section.

Clearly, Cavan has some big shoes to fill.

"I'm excited for Ryan and the program," said Schoof. "Ryan has coached with us the last three or four years before he reported (to the pros) and came back and worked with us this year for another three or four weeks after being let go by the Giants and before reporting to the Independent league.

"He was always a coach on the field when he played for me so I am not at all surprised this is what he wants to do, now that his pro career is winding down. He didn't tell me he was applying, but we've been texting back and forth over the last few days. I talked with Ryan for more than an hour on Sunday night. He is very excited about the opportunity . . . Obviously I will be there to support him in any way possible."

— Menlo School Athletics/Palo Alto Online Sports


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