By Ray Hamill — College of the Redwoods announced on Tuesday afternoon that Brad Morgan has been replaced as head coach of the baseball team and assistant Andrew Aiello will take over the program on an interim basis.
The decision was made in light of some “recent challenges” regarding the set-up of the team’s restricted practice class, which got under way on Tuesday.
“It was an internal matter,” CR Athletic Director Bob Brown said. “It essentially had to do with the start-up of the class and the challenges we’re all facing.
“There are a variety of things we’re all being required to do right now that are far outside the norm.”
Morgan has been with the department for seven years, including five as head coach, after previously playing for the Corsairs for two years.
He will remain working within the department and will continue to teach at the local community college.
“Brad is an outstanding person and he’s been a valuable part of our department for seven years,” said Brown, who also coached Morgan as a player in 2006 and 2007. “He will remain in the department and continue to be an integral part of our faculty and game management staff. We will also be looking to expand his teaching and professional development opportunities.”
Brown, however, added that it was time for a change.
“Due to some recent challenges in these last few weeks it became evident that it was time for a change in leadership for the baseball program,” the AD said.
Aiello has been an assistant coach with both the CR baseball and football teams in recent years, the latter of which was suspended earlier this year because of budget constraints in the wake of COVID-19.
“He met with the group today and had his first training session,” Brown said of Aiello, adding that the Oceanside native has “an extensive background not just in football, but also in baseball.”
Aiello also has a familiarity with the baseball players, having been an assistant coach.
As of right now, the 2021 season is tentatively scheduled to begin in early April and run through mid June, with a final decision expected sometime around mid November.
If the season is played, Aiello will oversee the program through the school year, with the process of finding a full-time replacement getting under way in the spring.
If the season is canceled, however, the hiring process will begin in January.
In his four and half seasons as head coach — with the most recent being cut short — Morgan posted 46 wins, which makes him the third winningest coach in the program’s history.
“I want to thank the athletic department and CR for the opportunity I’ve had over the course of these past five years and to especially thank all student athletes I’ve had the privilege to coach and mentor,” Morgan said in a press release. “I look forward to continuing my professional development in coaching, while continuing my teaching and also pursuing potential new opportunities in the department and in game management.”
Brown said of Aiello, “I am extremely confident that, based on his experience assisting us in baseball, his background as a player, and his familiarity with several of the current players over the past three years, that Andrew will easily and smoothly transition into the interim head position and guide the baseball program to both academic and athletic success in 2020-2021.”