KINGSTON, R.I. – The University of Rhode Island Department of Athletics has signed Raphael Cerrato to a contract extension that will keep him as the head coach of the Rams' baseball program through the 2023 season, Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn announced Wednesday.
"Coach Cerrato has done an amazing job as our head coach," Bjorn said. "The success he has had on the field, along with the wonderful young men he has recruited to this program, and ultimately the University, is something we can all be very proud of. I am excited to continue working with Coach Cerrato and know our future continues to be very bright under his guidance."
In five years at the helm, Cerrato has collected two Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year awards while leading the Rams to 136 wins, including five victories over nationally-ranked opponents. Additionally, Cerrato's 2016 Rams claimed the Atlantic 10 Regular Season and Championship titles and went on to win the program's first-ever NCAA postseason game when they traveled to South Carolina and upset the Regional Host and sixth-ranked Gamecocks.
Rhody has qualified for four of the last five A-10 Championships under Cerrato's guidance, combining for an 8-6 record in the league's postseason play.
"I would like to thank Thorr Bjorn and the leadership here at the University of Rhode Island for having the continued faith in me to lead this program," Cerrato said. "I am excited to keep pushing us forward with the help of the outstanding staff, alumni and supporters we have here at URI."
URI's student-athletes have experienced a wealth of success under Cerrato. Highlighting a lengthy list of individual accomplishments are Tyler Wilson, who was the A-10 Pitcher of the Year in both 2015 and 2016, and Chris Hess, who was honored as the NEIBA Player of the Year as well as NCBWA District I Player of the Year in 2017. In total, over the last five seasons, the Rams have had five MLB Draft Picks, five All-Americans, three freshman All-Americans, 14 NEIBA All-New England selections, 13 Atlantic 10 All-Conference picks and eight ABCA All-Region honorees.
Off the field, Cerrato has worked tirelessly on fundraising initiatives, including - but not limited to - a complete renovation of the team's locker room and the addition of berm seating, as well as other facility enhancements, at Bill Beck Field. Cerrato and his staff have fundraised more than $700,000 for the program over the last five years.
An Enfield, Conn. native, Cerrato was a member of the Rhody baseball team from 1989-93. He captained the Rams in 1993 and was an Atlantic 10 All-Conference pick in 1992. He returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach twice - in 1997, and again from 2012-14 - before taking over as Rhody's head coach in 2015.