RiverHawks’ Ciarrachi joins Cubs’ baseball-operations staff
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February 20, 2006 - ROCKFORD, Ill. – Another member of the Rockford RiverHawks is leaving the organization for the major leagues.

The RiverHawks announced today that the Chicago Cubs have hired infield coach Jake Ciarrachi for a one-year program in its baseball-operations department. Ciarrachi’s first day at Wrigley Field was Friday. He will head to Arizona for spring training this week, said Ciarrachi’s father, RiverHawks president Dave Ciarrachi.

“You know how tough it is to get those jobs, it’s like pulling teeth,” Dave Ciarrachi said. “He’s got a well-rounded baseball background and he’s got a strong baseball background and he had some strong references.”

Jake Ciarrachi, 25, has been with the franchise since the very beginning. He was the first starting second baseman in RiverHawks history. The 2002 season had barely begun with he was sidelined for the rest of the season because of a back injury. He played just five games in 2002 and only one in 2003, when he joined the coaching staff. He had been the infield coach since 2003 and last year became the team’s on-field coordinator. He was the primary coach in charge of daily pregame practice.

“He’s coached with us and we’ve won a championship and he’s been a coordinator, has been on the field, had played the game, has a masters degree in sports marketing, has done college coaching, has also run a team in the Arizona Fall League and gone to scout school,” the elder Ciarrachi said. “When I think about it, he has really done a lot of things.”

Days after the RiverHawks won the 2004 Frontier League pennant, Ciarrachi went to Arizona, where he worked as the director of baseball/stadium operations for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. He described the role in the Major League Baseball-operated league as similar to being a general manager. Ciarrachi returned to Arizona in fall 2005 for scout school, where he was among the top graduates.

Ciarrachi has also been an assistant coach with Kishwaukee College and Benedictine University.

Ciarrachi is a native of Lombard, a graduate of Northern Illinois University, and has a master’s degree from Benedictine University. He played three years of baseball for the Huskies following a freshman season at Brown University.

Ciarrachi is the third member of the organization to be hired directly by a big-league club, and the second this year. Last month, sales executive P.J. Keene was hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks as a group-sales executive. Last March, sales executive Scotty Haulter, who had been the RiverHawks’ clubhouse manager during the 2004 season, was hired by the Colorado Rockies to work the Coors Field clubhouse.

“We’ve now lost a couple of quality people off the field,” Dave Ciarrachi said. “You want to see your people move up and on. You want to see people achieve their dreams.”

In addition, on eight occasions, major-league teams have purchased the rights to Rockford players and assigned them to their own minor-league affiliates. One, former University of Illinois pitcher Justin Olson, has reached as high as Double-A.

Opening Day at RiverHawks Stadium is 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, when the ‘Hawks host the Evansville Otters. The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 10-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 14th season in 2006. Advertising, season-ticket and suite information is available by calling the box office at (815) 964-2255. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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