The last time Aaron Cottingham coached baseball was in March of 2020. His team was loaded with talent and off to a hot start, winning 8 of their first 9, before the world shut down for the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, he’s been itching to get back to the sport that he loves, so when the opportunity arose to be the Head Coach of Cavalier Baseball, he had no hesitation before saying yes.
Aaron has been playing sports his whole life and always knew he wanted his career to be in this field, one way or another. However, his passion for working with high school athletes directly through teaching and coaching was not immediate when he started out his career. Aaron majored in sports management, and his first job after graduating college was for Ripken Baseball, running their summer baseball camps. Being around baseball for work made him realize how much he truly loves the sport, but he was forced to pivot when Ripken asked him to relocate, something he wasn’t ready to do.
After Ripken, Aaron started working with Velocity Sports Performance and fell in love with working with athletes through strength and conditioning. After Velocity, Aaron worked at a handful of middle and high schools, teaching and coaching, before coming to CCES in the summer of 2020 as our Head of Strength and Conditioning. While Aaron joined Cavalier Athletics in the midst of COVID-19, he was still intensely committed to creating workout programs to better our athletes and teams, even amid all the initial restrictions.
Since then, Aaron has expanded his job description to include several new roles, including coaching linebackers for Varsity Football, Assistant Athletic Director, and now the Head Coach of CCES Baseball. Cottingham is excited to get started and wants to prioritize building a program that is strong at both the Varsity level and developing players at the Middle School and JV levels. He says, “I want this program to be respected within our community, but also across the state. We are committed to making some necessary changes for our program to be successful, and we will compete relentlessly.”
Coach Cottingham’s three core values are love, trust, and competition, values he’s seen in programs led by other coaches he greatly admires. Through coaches he had as a high school student and coaches he has worked alongside as an adult, Aaron has learned the importance of balancing two of his great passions -- being fiercely competitive on the field while also being a consistent and supportive presence for his players and investing in their development as young men off the field.
He says, “When a group of people set aside their uncommon differences for a common goal that’s bigger than themselves to truly embrace the team concept, anything is possible. We will be intentional in preparation, play the game the right way, and focus on the process, not just the results.”
Varsity Football Head Coach, Quin Hatfield, says of Cottingham: “Aaron sets a high standard and matches it with his work ethic. His passion and competitive spirit is contagious. We arrived at CCES at the same time in 2020 and he has served as a great partner and collaborator. It is a blessing to work alongside him on a daily basis.”
Director of Athletics, Molly Miller, says "Aaron's impact on our athletic program was immediately felt upon his arrival in June 2020. In a short period of time, he became someone that the students gravitated towards and trusted. When evaluating the needs of the baseball program and looking for a leader who would strike a balance between putting together a quality program on the field and setting a standard of excellence in sportsmanship and team culture, Coach Cottingham was the perfect person. We are excited about the future of Cavalier Baseball."
Year 1 is officially underway, with the baseball season kicking off on Monday and about a month until the first game. Aaron is excited to build a great foundation this season, establishing a positive team culture and getting back to the fundamentals of baseball. Click here
for the Cavaliers’ spring schedule!