Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pronk to Notre Dame College?

Notre Dame College could be adding a big-name assistant baseball coach.

Former Indians slugger Travis Hafner is strongly considering joining the Falcons' staff if he doesn't land a deal with a major-league team, according to multiple sources.

The Falcons started practicing Monday. As of late Tuesday night, a source said Hafner was not officially part of Len Barker's coaching staff. NDC opens the season Feb. 22 against King College in Bristol, Tenn.

Hafner would likely join the Falcons as a volunteer coach. He was considering coaching last season, but he returned to Major League Baseball after receiving a one-year contract offer from the New York Yankees. Hafner agreed to terms with the Yankees on Jan. 31, 2013.

Barker, like Hafner, also played for the Indians, and he has used his big-league ties to boost NDC's baseball profile. Former Indians catcher Ron Pruitt was a volunteer coach on Barker's staff last season.

Hafner's wife, Amy, is a cheerleading coach at NDC and he attended multiple football games last fall, so he's familiar with the growing South Euclid campus. The baseball program makes its Mountain East Conference debut this spring and will play home games at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon.

The 36-year-old Hafner has appeared in 1,183 major-league games. He played for the Indians from 2003-12 and maintains a residence in Northeast Ohio.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy


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