Alabama State's José Vázquez Named Collegiate National Team Manager

Three-time SWAC Coach of the Year returns to staff for second straight year

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today named Alabama State’s José Vázquez the manager of the 2024 Collegiate National Team. Vázquez is a three-time Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Coach of the Year and returns to the stars and stripes after serving as an assistant coach in 2023.

The veteran head coach owns a 201-139 record at the helm of the Hornets and is coming off a stellar season in 2023, when the program went 41-18 with a 26-4 mark in conference play. Vázquez has led Alabama State to four first-place finishes in the SWAC East in the past six years, including a SWAC Baseball Tournament title and NCAA Regional appearance in 2022.

“José will do a great job representing all of college baseball in his role as the Collegiate National Team Manager,” said Eric Campbell, USA Baseball’s General Manager of Professional and Collegiate National Teams. “He made a great impression last summer as an assistant coach and is ready to add his name to the storied history of USA Baseball managers who have accepted the role of leading college baseball’s best in the national team uniform.”

“I am humbled by the opportunity to represent our country and manage some of the best college players in the nation,” said Vázquez. “I am grateful to USA Baseball for entrusting me with this task. I am also extremely happy that I get to represent Alabama State University and the Southwestern Athletic Conference at the international level. I know that it will be an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Following a nine-year stint as an assistant at Bethune-Cookman, Vázquez joined the Alabama State staff as an associate head coach in 2012 before becoming the head coach ahead of the 2017 season. He led the Hornets to 18 conference wins in each of his first three seasons as the head coach, finishing atop the SWAC East in both 2018 and 2019. After getting off to a 16-4 start in the COVID-shortened season in 2020 and finishing second in the conference in 2021, the Hornets had a pair of first-place SWAC finishes in each of the last two seasons. In 2022, Alabama State went 24-8 in conference play and won the SWAC Baseball Tournament to clinch a spot in the Knoxville Regional. Vázquez’s team followed its regional appearance with another strong season in 2023 as it led the nation with a .334 batting average and became the fifth team in SWAC history to finish a season with 40 or more wins. Alabama State’s Omar Melendez was named SWAC Pitcher of the Year following the campaign and earned a spot on USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, while Jamal George was the SWAC Freshman of the Year.

Vázquez has over 20 years of experience as a college baseball coach since first getting his start as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Bethune-Cookman, in 2003. The Wildcats were a perennial powerhouse in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) as Vázquez rose to associate head coach, posting a 100-4 conference record over his final six seasons with the program. Throughout his time at Bethune-Cookman, Vázquez helped lead the Wildcats to eight NCAA tournament appearances (2003, 2004, 2006-2011) before joining the Alabama State coaching staff in 2012.

Prior to entering the coaching ranks, Vázquez played collegiately at both Morningside College and Bethune-Cookman. He played in 54 games and was an all-conference catcher as a senior for Bethune-Cookman, batting .298 with a .404 on-base percentage playing under longtime college baseball coach Mervyl Melendez, who served as an assistant for the 18U National Team in 2018.

USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team annually comprises the top non-draft-eligible college players in the nation. The program owns 13 gold medals in international competition, including an Olympic gold at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games. Most recently, the U.S. went 7-3 in a pair of international friendship series against Chinese Taipei and Japan in 2023.

The remaining 2024 Collegiate National Team staff, as well as more information about the 2024 Collegiate National Team schedule, will be announced at a later date. For more information on the Collegiate National Team, follow @USABaseballCNT on Twitter/X.