Cal Poly Baseball Coaching Staff
Head Coach • 15th Season
Pepperdine '83 (Master's: Cal Poly '85)
Hired in July 2002, Cal Poly head coach Larry Lee has elevated the Mustang baseball program to a level of play that is highly respected among his peers in the NCAA Division I West Region, resulting in 11 non-losing seasons in the last 14 years, 35 or more victories six times, a Big West Conference championship in 2014 and a trio of NCAA Division I playoff berths.
The 2014 Big West Conference Coach of the Year arrived at Cal Poly after 16 highly successful seasons as head coach at nearby Cuesta College.
The Mustangs earned their first NCAA Division I regional playoff berth in 2009, returned to the postseason in 2013 at UCLA, giving the Bruins their toughest test of the postseason as UCLA overcame a 4-0 deficit in the second round en route to the 2013 College World Series championship, and qualified for the 2014 postseason, hosting the San Luis Obispo Regional and finishing 2-2.
“I think Coach Lee and his staff do a great job of coaching," said San Diego head coach Rich Hill. "I’ve coached against Larry for so long. Their guys are so disciplined at the plate. They are extremely well coached."
"They are competitive and well-coached," adds UCLA head coach John Savage. "We know we dodged one against them in the 2013 regionals."
The historic 2014 campaign saw Cal Poly shatter the school record with 47 wins, finishing 47-12. The Mustangs, ranked No. 1 for a week by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper after sweeping Cal State Fullerton in mid-April, claimed the Big West title with a 19-5 record, two games ahead of Long Beach State and four in front of UC Irvine. The Mustangs have posted 12 winning seasons and ten 30-victory campaigns since 2000 and the 2014 squad won 40 games for the second year in a row and fourth time in school history.
Despite a 34-man roster with 24 freshmen and sophomores, the 2016 squad posted a 32-25 mark, opening the year with 25 wins in 38 games and tied for first in the Big West before falling back. The Mustangs finished in the top 40 in NCAA Division I in numerous categories, including strikeout-to-walk ratio, strikeouts per nine innings, walks per nine innings and sacrifice flies.
Lee guided the Mustangs to a 38-23-1 mark in 2004 to break the school record for wins in a season as a member of Division I and the 2013 squad to 40 victories, one shy of what was the school's all-time record for wins in a season (41 in 1977 and 1992).
Lee begins his 15th season at the helm in 2017, having led Cal Poly to eight 30-win campaigns, a 455-336-2 mark (57.5 winning percentage) and 12 top-four Big West finishes.
Under Lee’s guidance, Cal Poly has finished first in the Big West Conference once, second three times (2005, 2012, 1013) and a third-place finish in 2011.
In 2005, the Mustangs won 36 games and finished second in the Big West with wins over Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State. The 2006 squad won 11 of 17 three-game series while the 2007 Mustangs won 19 of their final 27 games en route to a 32-24 record.
In 14 seasons with the Mustangs, Lee has produced 38 first-team All-Big West players, seven All-Americans and six freshman All-Americans. A total of 63 Cal Poly players coached by Lee have signed professional baseball contracts, including 61 in the last 12 years.
From 2004-09, a total of 15 Mustangs were drafted in the first 10 rounds, including Garrett Olson in the first round (compensatory) in 2005. A total of 26 Cal Poly players have been drafted in the top 10 rounds over the last 12 years, including 15 Mustangs in the top five rounds. Southpaw Matt Imhof was a second-round pick of Philadelphia in 2014 while second baseman Mark Mathias was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the third round of the 2015 draft.
Lee led Cuesta to the California Community College State Final Four on four occasions, all in the last 11 years of his 16-year tenure. The Cougars reached the state’s Final Four in 1992, 1997, 2001 and 2002 and qualified for the Southern California Regionals each of the last six years, including a No. 1 seed in 1999 and No. 2 in 2002.
Lee's overall record at Cuesta was 460-241-3, including a state-leading 44 wins in 1997. His teams qualified for the regionals 11 times in his last 13 years and Lee was No. 15 on the state's community college baseball coaches’ list for career wins prior to being hired at Cal Poly.
Under Lee's leadership, Cuesta claimed nine Western State Conference titles, including six in a row (1997-2002), and averaged 38 wins during that six-year stretch. His teams produced a 267-119 record in conference games and Lee earned conference coach of the year honors eight times.
During Lee's tenure at Cuesta from 1987-2002, he produced 26 all-state players, three Southern California Players of the Year and numerous professionals. Thirteen of his 16 teams finished above the .500 mark overall, including the last seven.
Lee led his 2002 team to a school-record 24 consecutive wins en route to a 43-9 mark and a third-place state finish.
In 11 postseason appearances, Lee's teams compiled a 34-28 win-loss record.
Lee, a 1979 San Luis Obispo High School graduate, was a standout baseball and football player for the Tigers before going on to play baseball at Santa Barbara City College (1980), Orange Coast College (1981) and Pepperdine University (1982-83).
Lee was a first-team All-South Coast Conference selection at Orange Coast College as well as a second-team All-Southern California pick.
At Pepperdine, Lee was a career .304 hitter and, as a junior, earned first-team All-Southern California Baseball Association and second-team All-District 8 honors as the Waves posted a 46-21-1 record and earned a berth in the NCAA West Regional at Fresno State.
Lee hit 13 sacrifice flies for Pepperdine in 1982, tied for No. 2 in the NCAA record book for sacrifice flies in a season.
He enjoyed a brief professional baseball career, playing one year for the Utica Bluesox (1983) and ending his career in the Seattle Mariners' organization.
Before becoming head coach at Cuesta College in 1987, Lee served as an assistant coach for the Cougars for two seasons (1984-85) and at Cal Poly for one year (1986).
Lee earned his bachelor's degree in physical education/kinesiology from Pepperdine in 1983 and a master's degree in physical education from Cal Poly in 1985 as well as an adaptive physical education credential from Cal Poly in 1988.
Lee, 57, and his wife, Liz, reside in San Luis Obispo with their two children, Jenna and Brooks.
Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator • Seventh Year
Cal State Northridge '02
Teddy Warrecker, head baseball coach at Santa Barbara City College for 10 seasons, joined the Cal Poly baseball program as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator in August 2010.
"Teddy brings a lot of energy to the program," said Cal Poly head coach Larry Lee. "He has valuable experience as a head coach and, being at the junior college level, had to be a jack of all trades.
"Teddy is an integral part of our recruiting, oversees our catchers and represents the program extremely well," Lee added. "He is very talented in a number of different areas and we're excited and fortunate to have him on our staff."
Warrecker, 44, compiled a 193-198-2 record as the part-time head coach of the Vaqueros. Prior to his arrival, the team had endured 19 straight sub-.500 seasons.
"It's been a dream of mine to coach at the Division I level," added Warrecker, the son of legendary Santa Barbara High coach Fred Warrecker. "I've known for at least five years that's where I wanted to be. Coach Lee approached me about the job and it really came out of left field."
In the last seven years at SBCC, Warrecker guided Vaqueros to six winning campaigns, including a 20-16 mark in his final season (2010), and three regional playoff appearances. The Vaqueros went 102-65 (.611 winning percentage) over his last four seasons at the school.
Warrecker, who has five brothers, attended Santa Barbara High School and played for his father and head coach, Fred Warrecker, who recently completed his 38th season as head coach.
Warrecker was a catcher and first baseman at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria and was a two-time first-team all-conference selection, first-team All-Northern California and first-team All-State. He helped the Bulldogs win the Coast Valley Conference championship in 1993, while setting school career marks in home runs and RBI.
The following summer Warrecker played for the Kenai Oilers of the Alaskan Baseball League, a team that went on to win the NBC National Championship in Wichita, Kansas. He attended the University of Arizona before signing with the Cleveland Indians after his junior year.
Warrecker spent six years in the minor leagues as a pitcher with the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. In addition, he was invited to the Indians' Major League Camp as part of the 40-man roster in 1997. Warrecker also played in the final season, since reformed, of the Hawaii Winter League for the West Oahu Cane Fires.
After professional baseball, Warrecker completed his bachelor's degree in history at Cal State Northridge and recently finished his master's degree in sport science from the United States Sports Academy.
Prior to his 10-year stint at SBCC, Warrecker assisted his father at Santa Barbara High School, where the Dons won the Channel League in 1999, and 2000 and reached the CIF-Southern Section Division II championship game at Dodger Stadium in 2000.
Over the past several years, Warrecker has been invited to instruct at Showcase Camps at UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly as well as camps hosted by Baseball Factory, Area Code, ESPN Rise, TPX Top 96, and the Trosky School of Baseball.
Warrecker coached over 50 players who went on to play at the four-year and professional levels.
Lee, who played one year at SBCC (1980), was inducted into the California Community College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011 and asked Warrecker to introduce him.
"That was an incredible honor," said Warrecker. "Out of all the players who had played for him and coaches who had worked with him, he chose me. We've had a connection and now we're going to be together and I think it's going to be a great fit."
Baseball is synonymous with the Warrecker family name. Father Fred was MVP for the UCSB Gauchos baseball squad in 1960, while brothers Willy, Wes and Donovan played at California, San Francisco State and UCSB respectively. Tony played water polo at Santa Barbara High while Jonathan was a wrestler.
Warrecker and his wife Taryn, have two sons: Troy, 10, and Crosby, 5.
Assistant Coach • Third Season
Cal Poly '96
Chal Fanning, an assistant baseball coach at Cal Poly during Larry Lee's first year at the helm of the Mustang program and a pitcher under Lee at Cuesta College, returned to his alma mater as the team's pitching coach in August 2015.
Fanning, 48, replaced Thomas Eager, who resigned in July 2015 to become pitching coach at the University of California in Berkeley.
In 2016, Fanning's pitching staff at Cal Poly was ranked 13th in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.83), 20th in walks per nine innings (2.90) and 36th in strikeouts per nine innings (8.20).
Fanning coached right-handed reliever Justin Calomeni, who posted a 5-2 record and eight saves, was a second-team All-Big West Conference selection and was drafted in the ninth round of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Colorado Rockies.
Last year, Fanning was pitching coach at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. The Governors were 25-26 overall in 2015, finishing seventh in the 11-team Ohio Valley Conference with a 15-15 mark.
"We're excited to have Chal rejoin our staff at Cal Poly," said Lee. "He brings a number of things to the table. He is a good teacher, has a good eye for talent, has a lot of experience at the D1 level, and is very familiar with our program.
"Chal has a track record of success with his pitching staffs over the years," Lee added. "He is a great fit for Cal Poly baseball."
Fanning, a 21-year coaching veteran, was an assistant coach at Cuesta College for three seasons (2012-14) and played baseball at Cuesta under Lee in 1989 and 1990.
In eight Division I seasons as an assistant coach — one at Cal Poly (2003), six at Missouri (1997-2002) and one at Austin Peay (2015), Fanning coached or recruited 49 student-athletes who eventually played at the professional level. Missouri was 194-146 during his tenure.
Fanning coached four all-conference selections and saw a pitcher named Western State Conference North Pitcher of the Year in consecutive seasons at Cuesta College. At Missouri, he coached or recruited 19 All-Big 12 selections, three All-America selections, six freshman All-America picks and four professional players, including Ian Kinsler.
At Cal Poly in 2003, Fanning served as the Mustangs' recruiting coordinator and assisted in offensive and defensive development of student-athletes. Again his coaching and recruiting efforts paid dividends with 10 all-conference selections, two All-Americans, one conference player of the year and 16 future professionals among the players he coached or recruited. While with the Mustangs, he recruited Bud Norris, now with the Baltimore Orioles, and coached Garrett Olsen, who played parts of six seasons at the major league level with Baltimore, Seattle, Pittsburgh and the New York Mets.
Fanning also coached the San Luis Obispo Blues collegiate summer baseball league team during two stints (1994-96, 2006-14), compiling a 425-226 all-time mark over 12 seasons and winning a pair of California Collegiate League titles and two Coach of the Year citations. Major league players passing through his program include Brian Fuentes, Casey Fien, C.J. Cron and Kyle Hendriks.
As a player at Cuesta, Fanning helped the Cougars to their first conference title (1990) and was 7-7 with a 4.54 ERA in two seasons (1989-90). He led Cuesta in wins (4) and strikeouts (43) in 1990 and left with the program's career marks for appearances and strikeouts.
Fanning went on to pitch under Steve McFarland at Cal Poly, playing on the Mustang team which placed third in the 1992 NCAA Division II World Series. He served as the closer of that team and collected four saves. In regional play that season, he picked up a save and started the final game, leading Cal Poly to a World Series berth.
Fanning was 6-4 in two Cal Poly seasons (1991-92) with five saves and a 2.95 ERA.
A 1987 graduate of Paso Robles High School, Fanning was 16-2 with two saves and a 1.89 ERA as a Bearcat, garnering All-Los Padres League and All-San Luis Obispo County honors as a pitcher. He also earned All-CIF-Southern Section honorable mention praise.
Fanning, a 1996 Cal Poly graduate with a bachelor's degree in ornamental horticulture, stepped out of coaching after the 2003 season at Cal Poly and, with his wife of 12 years, Michele, opened a retail business in San Luis Obispo. Michelle also has owned an interior design company in San Luis Obispo since 1991.
Fanning also earned a master's degree in coaching and athletic administration (exercise science) at Concordia University of Irvine in 2014.
Assistant Coach • Second Season
Mississippi Valley State '06 (Master's: Southern Miss '08)
Damon Lessler came to Cal Poly from Southern Mississippi in Conference USA, where he served as an assistant coach and coordinator of camps for the Golden Eagle program.
In Lessler’s lone season coaching with the Golden Eagles, the team posted an overall record of 36-18-1 and finished a slot behind Rice for second place in Conference USA. Lessler worked with both the Southern Miss offense and defense for head coach Scott Berry’s team and saw the club post an overall batting average of .272, along with a fielding percentage of .976, its best in the history of the program. Several members of the club moved on to the professional ranks in the MLB first-year player draft or signed free agent contracts.
Prior to his time at Southern Miss, Lessler spent several years serving as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Chico State, focusing his on-field coaching duties toward Wildcat infielders, hitters, and baserunners for Head Coach Dave Taylor’s program.
The 2014 season saw Chico State post a 43-15 record and earn a trip to the NCAA Division II College World Series in Cary, NC. Chico State ranked first in Division II in overall fielding percentage at .977 in 2014. During his time at Chico State, Lessler coached and mentored shortstop Cody Slader, who was named the Rawlings Division II Defensive Player of the Year.
Lessler’s first season at Chico State saw the Wildcats compile a 37-18 record in 2013 and reach the NCAA Division II West Region finals.
Prior to coaching at Chico State, Lessler spent a year as an assistant coach at Oakland (Mich.) University. Serving as the Golden Grizzlies' catching coach and assistant recruiting coordinator in 2012, while contributing with hitting, infield and base running instruction, he helped Oakland set a school record for winning percentage (.714). In 2012 Lessler also served as the Associate Head Coach for the Bellingham Bells of the summer collegiate West Coast League.
As a player, Lessler was a star infielder at Castro Valley High School before going on to play collegiately at Mesa (Ariz.) Community College, Sonoma State and Mississippi Valley State. He played several years of professional baseball, including stints with the Sioux Falls Canaries, Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks and the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association and the Frontier League's Traverse City Beach Bums. Lessler also played abroad in Germany, Sweden and Australia as an imported American professional player.
Lessler received his bachelor's degree in mass communications from Mississippi Valley State in 2006, earning valedictorian honors, before obtaining a master's degree in sports administration from Southern Miss in 2008.
Administrative Assistant • Second Season
Cal Poly '16
Michael Dingilian, a pitcher at Cal Poly from 2012-15, is in his second season as an administrative assistant.
Dingilian pitched in 18 games, all but one in relief, as a Mustang, and compiled 1-0 record and 5.20 ERA. He earned his win in his junior campaign against Cal with 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief, allowing two hits.
Dingilian is a graduate of Chaminade High School in West Hills, Calif., where as a senior he posted a 9-1 record and 0.83 ERA. He struck out 56 batters in 50.2 innings and opponents hit just .143. Dingilian pitched a pair of shutouts and also played in the outfield, hitting .452 with seven doubles and five home runs, driving in 22 runs en route to MVP honors in the Mission League. He also earned first-team All-CIF-Southern Section and second-team All-State honors. Dingilian was 7-0 record with a 1.79 ERA as a junior.
Dingilian is a communication studies major at Cal Poly.
Jack Duffy, team manager of the baseball team at Bellarmine Prep for four years, is in his second season as team manager of the Cal Poly Mustangs baseball program.
A 2015 graduate of Bellarmine Prep in San Jose, Duffy earned the school's Spirit Award during graduation ceremonies. He also wrote for Prep2Prep.com for 2 1/2 years and earned reporter of the year honors in 2014. Duffy also was head yell leader for three years.
An agricultural business major at Cal Poly, Duffy became a Mustang because "Cal Poly is an awesome school that provides the smalll town environment I wanted and is still close to home." He also considered Alabama and South Carolina before choosing to attend Cal Poly.
Duffy, who aspires to work in professional sports, is the son of Tom and Pauline Duffy, both graduates of San Jose State. Jack has two sisters, Marie and Louise.
Clay Villars is a graduate of Templeton High School and is in his in his second season as a student manager for the Cal Poly Baseball program.
A sophomore at Cal Poly majoring in biology, Clay has a brother, Cory, and two sisters, Karlene and Kristyn. Clay is the son of Doug and Tracy Villars.
While at Templeton High School, Clay played three years of varsity baseball, and chose to pursue the job of team manager at Cal Poly because of his love for the game of baseball. Clay decided to choose Cal Poly because it’s close to home, and because he gets to spend time with his close friends and family in the San Luis Obispo area.
Clay’s hobbies include assistant coaching two youth club baseball teams, watching both the Dodgers and Lakers play, hiking, and volunteering at a hospital in his home community with classmates. Clay aspires to someday be a CHP officer or a paramedic with the Highway Patrol.
Lauren Pluim is a fourth year biomedical engineering major at Cal Poly and is in her second year as a team manager for the baseball program.
Lauren is a graduate of Cabrillo High School in Lompoc, Calif.
During her first two years at Cal Poly, Lauren played for the university’s volleyball program.
Lauren’s hobbies include volleyball and beach volleyball, playing the piano and singing.
Caitlyn Doulgeropoulos enters her second year serving as a student manager for the Cal Poly baseball program.
Caitlyn is a third-year animal science major, and is pre-vet with a concentration in equine science.
Caitlyn graduated from Ramona High School in Ramona, Calif., where she earned a GPA of 4.3. While a student at Ramona, Caitlyn was a member of the varsity golf team and served as the team captain during her junior and senior years.
Caitlyn grew up around the game of baseball, and has a twin brother, Jonathan, who attends the University of Arizona.
Caitlyn is a member of the Cal Poly sorority Gamma Phi Beta, and is the daughter of Colleen and Tim Doulgeropoulos.