One of the key elements in Cal's run to the 2011 College World Series was Tony Arnerich, the Golden Bears' third base coach and chief hitting instructor. Arnerich, who will be entering his fourth season as assistant coach and fifth year overall with the program in 2012, is a former standout catcher at Texas Tech and professional ballplayer in the Kansas City Royals and Florida Marlins organizations.
Arnerich, 31, has been a huge boost to Cal's hitting and catching corps with extensive experience as both a player and a coach. He was the head coach of the St. Cloud River Bats of the Northwoods League from 2005-08, leading his team to the first half title and the league championship in the summer of 2007. Arnerich also served as a part-time assistant coach in 2007 at Sonoma State, where he earned a degree in sociology in June of 2008.
As a player, Arnerich attended Santa Rosa Junior College where he was a two-time, first-team all-league selection and a 2000 first-team Junior College All-American, helping guide his team to the 1999 California Junior College World Series. He then earned a scholarship to Texas Tech, where he was second-team All-Big 12 in 2001, leading the Red Raiders to an NCAA Regional berth while pacing the team with 24 doubles. During the summers, Arnerich was a three-time Northwoods League All-Star and was named the league's MVP in 2001. His number was retired following his 2001 season, and he is now a member of the Northwoods League All-Decade Team.
Arnerich signed with the Kansas City Royals after his 2001 summer season, advanced to the Double A level with the Wichita Wranglers during the 2003 and 2004 seasons, and was twice invited to the Royals' Big League Camp. He then played in the Florida Marlins' organization from May 2004 through June 2005, advancing to the Double A level with the Carolina Mudcats.