The Rochester Honkers, five-time champions of the Northwoods League, on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 announced the signing of their 19th field manager in franchise history with the addition of 26-year-old Andrew Urbistondo in preparation for the 2022 Northwoods League season.
“It’s an honor to welcome Coach Urbistondo to the Med City,” Honkers general manager Jeremy Aagard said. “We are just as excited as he is to put a great group of young men on the field while being active in our community. As we look forward to bringing our league-best sixth league championship home to Rochester, Coach Urbistondo will lead the charge with passion and integrity.”
Urbistondo currently serves as an assistant coach at San Joaquin Delta College, a junior college that helped shape recent Honkers successes like Jackson Forbes, Carson Stevens, Zach Meddings, Nico Regino (2021) and Taison Corio (2020), to name a few. Urbistondo also fills the role of hitting and infielding coordinator for the Mustangs, and plays a key role in recruiting the Delta team each season.
Urbistondo helped San Joaquin Delta to a California Community College Athletic Association title in 2018, when the Mustangs topped perennial contender Sacramento City College after posting a 43-9 overall record. It was Delta’s first state title since 2011 and their third in program history. The Mustangs will embark on their first season in three years in the spring of 2022 after the COVID-19 pandemic canned both of Delta’s 2020 and 2021 seasons.
A former JuCo product himself, Urbistondo manned the middle infield positions between stops with Delta (2012-2014) and Bryan College (2014-2016), — a perennial NAIA contender in Dayton, Tenn. — where he hit .350 his senior season and built his coaching resume upon the conclusion of his playing career. Urbistondo served as a student assistant for the 2016-17 season with the Lions, amassing a 38-20 overall record and a second-place finish in the Appalachian Athletic Conference polls, and returned as a graduate assistant and recruiter for the 2019-20 season after his first coaching stint with San Joaquin Delta.
Urbistondo said his experience as a junior college player carries over to his new role in the dugout.
“Being a JuCo product, to me, means that you learn the true meaning of the grind and to fight for your future,” Urbistondo said. “It brings a different type of edge to the on-field operations and how we play the game. I’ll use what I learned as a junior college player to play the game fast, hard, and above all to leave everything we have on the field everyday.”
Just the newest Honkers hire, Urbistondo continues a long lineage of dugout leaders who have understood good baseball and the importance of being involved in the Rochester community. A Stockton, Calif. native, Urbistondo says it’s easy for kids in his hometown to get into gang violence or drugs. He’s no stranger to making a positive impact wherever he is.
“I’m a firm believer that the community is just as important as the on-field operations. My goal in life has always been to give back just as much as anyone or anywhere has given me. Since the amazing community in Rochester takes the time to come support us, we want to show the same support back by building a connection with them off of the field.”