Red Hawks baseball adds Dailey to coaching staff

Photo courtesy of David Scearce/Hickory Daily Record
Photo courtesy of David Scearce/Hickory Daily Record

HICKORY, N.C. — Catawba Valley Community College head baseball coach Paul Rozzelle has announced the addition of Connor Dailey to the Red Hawks' coaching staff.

Dailey replaces Colby Dishmond, who is leaving the program after two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach.

Dishmond also played baseball at CVCC during the 2014 season, batting .350 with three home runs, 12 doubles and 38 RBIs on his way to earning All-Region X catcher honors that season for the Red Hawks.

"First off, I want to thank Colby Dishmond for everything that he did for our program," Rozzelle said. "Just in two years as a coach, he made a clear, definite mark in our program — not only as a player when he was here, but now as a coach. He worked well with catchers and helped us earn our first catching Gold Glove Award. All of the extra work he put in with hitters did not go unnoticed. We wish him nothing, but the best as he goes on into adult life. We are his biggest supporters and his biggest fans. I talk to him every day. He is going to be a part of our family forever."

Dailey comes to Catawba Valley after finishing a successful baseball career at nearby Lenoir-Rhyne University.

In 17 games this past season for the Bears, the 6-foot-1 right-handed relief pitcher recorded two wins and struck out 24 batters in 25.1 innings. He finished his three-year LR baseball career with a 7-2 record, two saves and 50 strikeouts.

Rozzelle had a previous relationship with Dailey after coaching him as a member of the Statesville Owls during the summer of 2015. Rozzelle also coached Dailey's brother Matthew the past two seasons at CVCC.

"We're excited to add Connor to the staff because there is a relationship already built there," Rozzelle said. "I really kind of fell in love with him as a competitor and a player. Obviously, we coached his younger brother, Matthew, who was here and a part of our program. There is a tie in. Me and him have been together on a baseball field before. His brother has played here and been a part of the Catawba Valley family. It's a natural fit."

Connor is thrilled at the opportunity given to him to join the Red Hawk baseball program.

"I'm excited to be start my coaching career here at CVCC," Connor said. "I believe I'll fit right in with the culture. As a young coach, there is great opportunity here to learn from some great baseball minds."

Rozzelle is enthused by Connor's passion for the game and willingness to learn to coach.

"It's a very exciting thing to have a guy come in wanting to start his career because I remember doing the same thing," Rozzelle said. "He seems to have the same vigor and the same desire that coaching is what he wants to do. I know he is going to be great. I'm excited to have him and his experience coming off a great career at Lenoir-Rhyne and what he can offer to our program. To watch him learn and grow as a coach is going to be awesome."

Dailey will work alongside Catawba Valley pitching coach Kris Harvey, but Dailey will also have responsibilities and duties with position players.

Rozzelle believes that Dailey working with players outside of his playing position will be a good opportunity for him to develop as a coach.

"To me, that's how you learn to coach," Rozzelle said. "If you want to coach, you've got to be able to coach all the positions on the field. Obviously, you are going to have one position that you feel more comfortable with."