Raphael Cerrato was named interim head coach of the Rhode Island baseball team on July 17, 2014 and - following a successful first season with the Rams - officially became the program's permanent head coach on June 23, 2015.
With the interim tag lifted and a core group of players returning in 2016, Cerrato's Rams won seven of their eight conference series - including three weekend sweeps - en route to a 18-6 mark in league play as well as the Atlantic 10 regular-season title. It was Rhody's first outright Atlantic 10 regular-season title since 2006.
At the conference championship, the Rams defeated host Fordham (10-1) on Thursday before easing past Davidson 13-4 on Friday and 15-2 in Saturday's title game. Overall, Rhody outscored its opponents 38-7 to finish with a +21 run differential over the course of its three-game sweep to the conference crown.
Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Jim Martin enters his third season at Rhode Island in 2016-17. He joined head coach Raphael Cerrato's staff after spending the previous four years as the head coach at Division II Merrimack. Under Martin's direction, the Warriors enjoyed a return to prominence thanks to his coaching style and ability to recruit top-notch talent in a region often dominated by perennial Division II powers such as Franklin Pierce and Southern New Hampshire.
Martin led six of his players to Northeast-10 All-Conference honors in 2014, headlined by sophomore Frank Crinella, the NE-10 Player of the Year as well as the program's first-ever NCBWA East Region Player of the Year. Prior to that, Martin had mentored 2013 All-American Casey Cotter along with Academic All-American and 2013 MLB Draft pick Joe Mantoni.
After slowly laying the foundation for success in his first two seasons, Martin's efforts paid off in the spring of 2013 when Merrimack enjoyed one of its best seasons in program history at 30-19 overall.
Sean O'Brien enters his third season at Rhode Island in 2016-17. He joined head coach Raphael Cerrato's staff after spending the previous two years at Endicott College (Division III).
In his time with the Gulls, O'Brien's defensive responsibilities included working with the team's catchers, outfielders and corner infielders. Offensively, he was in charge of hitting, bunting and baserunning while also assisting with scouting and recruiting.
In his two years at Endicott, he helped lead the team to back-to-back Commonwealth Coast Conference regular season and tournament titles as well as an appearance in the 2013 NCAA Northeast Regionals. That year Endicott received the program's first-ever national ranking, checking in at No. 19 in the D3Baseball.com Poll.
Assistant Coach/Pitching Coach
Kevin Vance enters his first season with Rhode Island in 2016-17, joining head coach Raphael Cerrato's staff as the pitching coach.
A native of Solana Beach, Calif., Vance comes to Rhody following a six-year playing career in minor league baseball. Selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 19th round of the 2011 MLB Draft, he ascended as high as Double-A in the White Sox organization, playing for the Birmingham Barons in both 2013 and 2014. The following year, he signed a free-agent contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks and made his Triple-A debut for the Reno Aces later in 2015.
Vance also has international playing experience as he represented the Philippines in February of 2016 when the club traveled to Sydney, Australia for the 2017 World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament. Additionally, he is fluent in Spanish and served as a translator for numerous Latin American teammates throughout his playing career.