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Hopkins to lead CCRI's Baseball program

05.05.2021

Joseph Hopkins - Head Baseball CoachJoe Hopkins: Head Coach

Written by Mike Parente, CCRI Marketing

Warwick, RI – Community College of Rhode Island alumnus and Cranston, RI, resident Joe Hopkins will take over as the college’s head baseball coach for the 2022 season following the resignation of former head coach Kevin Rix.

A Class of 1981 graduate and a former two-time All-Region selection as a catcher during his playing days, Hopkins spent four full seasons as the Knights’ assistant head coach from 2016–2019 in addition to the pandemic-shortened 2020 season in which CCRI played only seven games.

The brother of CCRI’s all-time baseball coaching wins’ leader and current Mayor of Cranston, Ken Hopkins, the younger Hopkins worked primarily as a hitting coach in addition to spending time as the team’s first- and third-base coach.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to become the new head coach of CCRI baseball,” Hopkins said. “I look forward to working with the student athletes, not only to make them better ballplayers on the field, but to have an impact on them and make them better people off the field. Let’s go, Knights!”

Hopkins boasts a wealth of experience as a coach in both baseball and basketball. On the diamond, he volunteered as a coach for the Newport Sunset League, Cranston Babe Ruth, and Cranston National Budlong Little League. Hopkins also spent five years as a baseball coach in the George Donnelly Sunset League in Newport and coached the freshman boys’ teams for both Western Hills Middle School and Cranston High School West.

After earning associate degrees at CCRI in Liberal Arts in Criminal Justice, Hopkins graduated Roger Williams University with a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice while working as a patrolman for the Cranston Police Department. He earned a promotion to detective in 2009 – a position he still holds to this day – and is assigned to the Criminal Investigation unit investigating homicides, break-ins, and personal property crimes.

“We are excited to have Joe assume the head-coaching position here at CCRI,” said the college’s Director of Athletics and Physical Education Kevin Salisbury. “Joe played here at CCRI and he has assisted with the program, so he knows the game. He will have an impact with his own style of coaching while teaching young men how to manage life after baseball as he prioritizes academics. It will really be fun to see what excitement he can bring to the program.”

The Knights are a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and compete in Division III (Region XI). In its last full season prior to the pandemic, CCRI finished 27-12 – including 16-1 in regional play – and advanced to the NJCAA D-III College World Series for the first time since 2012, led by NJCAA Second Team All-American Anthony Ramos (Cranston, RI) and Third Team All-American Ben Sears (Riverside, RI), now a pitcher for Division I University of Houston.