posted on April 14, 2011 12:25
Former Sanford River Rats head coach Ken Hopkins became the all-time leader in victories for the Community College of Rhode Island on April 1 when his Knights defeated Roxbury Community College 11-6. The victory gave him win number 256, helping him surpass his former coach, Harold “Whitey” Fell, on the school’s all-time list. Hopkins has been the head coach at CCRI since 2001. He has compiled an overall record of 256-122-2 during that time span.
Hopkins played at CCRI from 1974-76 as a starting pitcher. In 1975, he set a school record for season earned run average (.29) that still stands to this day. After graduation, Hopkins began his coaching career by assisting at various local high schools. In 1981, Fell hired him on as a pitching coach at CCRI. After a few successful years, Hopkins then became head coach at Rhode Island College where he stayed until 1989. After taking an 11 year hiatus from coaching, he jumped at the chance to take over the CCRI program in 2001. In his ten years at CCRI, Hopkins has taken home three NJCAA Region XXI Division II championships and has been named coach of the year twice.
Hopkins first joined the Florida Collegiate Summer League in 2006 when he took an assistant coaching position with the Winter Haven Wart Hogs. One of his players, Mike McClendon, was the highest drafted FCSL player taken in 2006, going in the 10th round to Milwaukee. In 2007, Hopkins was an assistant coach for the Altamonte Springs Snappers, who lost in the championship game to Leesburg that year. In 2008, Hopkins was named head coach of the Sanford River Rats. That year his team set a team record with a 5-game winning streak from July 13-24.
By demonstrating to his players the right way to play the game and the right way to act both on and off the field, Hopkins has become one of the most highly regarded coaches in Rhode Island baseball history.
Former CCRI graduate George Tager described Hopkins as “a great mentor and teacher not only of the game, but of life lessons” as well.” Current player Cody Ortega says “He has taught me to think about my actions, to understand the consequences and how they will affect not only me but everyone around me.”
The FCSL would like to send our congratulations to Coach Hopkins on this outstanding achievement. It is coaches like him that positively impact our players and makes our league one of the top in the country.