As he drives along the Northern State Parkway to his new job, former Major Leaguer Frank Catalanotto is thinking about one thing: “The lineup.”
Catalanotto is the new head coach of Hofstra baseball, after a successful two year stint at New York Tech.
Last week, he earned his first Division I victory, as Hofstra defeated Houston Baptist 3-1.
“It was pretty cool, you want to get that first one under your belt, going into a season when you don’t know how many wins you’re gonna get,” he said.
The Pride won 17 games last season. They lost 22.
“At first, when I saw the team, I said this may be a long season.” Catalanotto said. “I’m still up in the air whether we’re going to be good or great. But this team has come along way since we first met in the fall.”
Catalanotto, who wrapped up a 14-year major league career by playing with the 2010 Mets, took the Hofstra job after coaching for two seasons at New York Tech. While with the Bears, he compiled a 46-21 record, including a Division II College World Series appearance in 2019.
He says he sees similarities with the Bears and the Pride.
“We’ve got a team that was much like the team I inherited at Tech. Guys with talent but not proper direction,” he said. “We want to build a winning culture. Make them believe they can win. Not allow them to continue to be comfortable losing games.”
Catalanotto was a star baseball player at Smithtown High School East and currently lives in St. James.
He says he’s adjusted to life as a college coach by realizing that baseball comes second.
“The most important thing is their schooling,” he said. “I have to remember that these are kids going to classes and I have to be on top of that. That’s the most important part. Build these men into great men.”
Hofstra’s next game is against LIU on Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Top: New York Mets Frank Catalanotto during a spring training baseball game in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Thursday, April 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)