The Keene Swamp Bats didn’t have to look beyond their own dugout to find their next head coach.
With Manager Gary Calhoun having moved on to the Cape Cod Baseball League, the Swamp Bats tabbed assistant head coach Shaun McKenna to lead the team this summer. McKenna is no stranger to Keene, tracing back to 2004 when he first served as an assistant coach. McKenna played a critical role in Keene’s charge to the New England Collegiate Baseball League championship last season in handling all things related to the offense.
“I’m truly excited about becoming the next head coach of the Keene Swamp Bats,” McKenna said in a statement. “I am grateful to the Bats’ board of directors and (President) Kevin Watterson for placing their confidence in me. I am certain we will take a run at bringing back to back championships to the fans of Keene.”
McKenna, a 2001 graduate and four-year player at Southern Maine, is also an assistant coach at his alma mater under Ed Flaherty, who has been head coach there for 33 years. McKenna played for Flaherty and was a member of the 1997 squad that won the NCAA Division III national championship. In his four years, McKenna batted .285 (43 for 151) with 11 doubles, one triple and two home runs. His second and final career homer was a grand slam against Keene State in 2000.
Working with Calhoun last year, McKenna helped guide the Swamp Bats to a 26-18 regular-season mark and first place in the Northern Division. “Shaun has an understanding of the Swamp Bats in the Keene community. Additionally, he is a proven winner over the course of his coaching career,” Watterson said.
McKenna has also been an assistant coach at Marshall University, Castleton State and St. Anselm. McKenna was also the director of operations for the Virginia Beach Collegiate Summer League and head coach of the league’s Virginia Beach Waves.
He replaces Calhoun, who, similarly, was elevated from Swamp Bats assistant head coach to manager a year ago. Calhoun accepted an offer to coach the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in the Cape Cod League this summer.