BOSTON – Suffolk baseball assistant coach, former Rams' standout and University alumni Jhonneris Mendez has been named the 2018 Head Coach of the Martha Vineyard Sharks of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL), the organization announced.
A regular in summer coaching circles, Mendez earned his first head coaching role with the Seacoast Mavericks in 2017 after helping the squad to its winningest season, 36-18, in the team's history in 2016 as an assistant. That season, Mendez and the Mavericks qualified for the postseason and made a semifinal run.
Mendez' summer ball resume also includes an assistant coaching gig for the FCBL Team versus Team USA game last year where he worked on Worcester Bravehearts Manager J.P. Pyne's staff coaching the FCBL hand-picked roster to compete against Team USA's Collegiate National Team.
On Anthony Del Prete's staff at Suffolk, Mendez has helped the blue-and-gold to its first-ever back-to-back GNAC title and sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2016, before the Rams threepeated in 2017 to make a name for themselves on the regional circuit. Suffolk's journey to the Big Dance last season will go down in the Rams' record book with the team earning a place in the winner's bracket and on Championship Sunday for the first-time in the program's 70-year history and seven NCAA Tourney trips.
Over his two seasons on Suffolk's bench, Mendez has worked with six student-athletes honored with eight accolades from the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) in conjunction with the American Baseball Coaches' Association (ABCA) and Rawlings. In 2017, three Suffolk standouts earned D3Baseball.com All-Region recognition, while rising senior Brady Chant grabbed All-America status with a spot on D3Baseball.com's honorable mention squad. Also with Mendez on the staff, Suffolk has taken home 26 postseason accolades from the GNAC including back-to-back Pitcher of the Year honors in Worth Walrod (2016) and Chuck Gibson (2017) and the 2017 Rookie of the Year Jake Frasca.
Mendez, who earned a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Sociology, Crime and Justice from Suffolk in May 2014, graduated in December 2016 with a Master's of Education. During his graduate coursework, he worked as a graduate assistant in the Athletic Department as the Director of Intramurals.
Mendez holds a great deal of experience in the industry on both the coaching and administrative levels including an intern role as the Assistant to the Commissioner of the GNAC under Joe Walsh for the 2015-16 academic year.
Prior to returning to Beacon Hill, Mendez started his coaching career at Northern Essex Community College in 2014-15 and also spent time in 2013 as a teacher's assistant in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Science of Baseball program where he helped students become actively involved in their own learning, while focusing on the learning process by comparing the acquisition of baseball skills with academic skills and development.
On the diamond for the Rams, Mendez spent four years playing third base, right field and pitching. He earned first-team all-conference honors in the GNAC in 2012, Division III Baseball National Player of the Week in that same season and Suffolk University Athlete of the Year a year later (2013). Mendez was also a member of the Rams' men's basketball team during the 2012-13 season and served on the NCAA National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) from January 2013 to May 2014.
Mendez and the Sharks are set for a 58-game 2018 slate, which is scheduled to begin Thursday, May 31 versus the North Shore Navigators. Prior to taking his talents to the Vineyard, Mendez looks to help Suffolk raise its eighth overall and fourth consecutive conference championship banner and make its fourth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament this spring with the Rams.