‘It’s exactly what I would want’; Athletic director from Oregon named new Desert Hills baseball coach

Desert Hills players celebrate with trophy after winning the 4A state baseball championship with a 16-3 victory over Dixie, St. George, Utah, May 21, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Desert Hills baseball program officially named Kevin Cave as their new head coach on Thursday.

Kevin Cave will be the new head baseball coach at Desert Hills High School, photo date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Marist Catholic High School, St. George News

Cave will join the program after former baseball coach Chris Allred decided to take the job as head basketball coach for the Thunder.

Cave has played baseball all of his life and was a first-team all state selection as a senior shortstop for Central Catholic in Portland, Oregon. After finishing second in the state tournament, Cave signed his letter of intent to play baseball at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

In college, Cave was a platoon player who played eight different positions during his first two seasons. He saw time on the mound, time in the infield and time in the outfield. When he made the travel team for the Bulldogs, he also caught bullpens.

Towards the end of his senior season in college, Cave said he tore his labrum and had no desire to continue his baseball career.

He found his way into the coaching ranks and will be joining the Desert Hills athletic department after being the athletic director at Marist Catholic High School. He has also coached baseball at three other high schools in Oregon with some success.

The Thunder’s Landon Levine hits a solo home run, Desert Hills vs. Dixie, 4A state baseball championship, St. George, Utah, May 21, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

“I have had a few league titles and some coach of the year awards,” Cave said. “My Central Catholic team in 2011 made it to the state championship game and lost, so we finished second. I’ve also coached some good ballplayers along the way, some guys that have eventually gone on to play in the minor leagues.”

As for coming to St. George, Cave said he is ready to make the move.

“I know the weather and the brand of baseball played in St. George are both things that are really attractive,” he said. “In Eugene we get a lot of rain. We’re right around 40 inches of rain, and I think St. George might be less then 10. It’s going to be a lot more outside baseball, and that excites me a lot. Getting a chance to work on a field that is a great facility already is something that is exciting as well.”

But the location is not new to Cave; he said he has been targeting Utah, Southern Utah in particular, and had been regularly checking the Washington County School District website. When he saw the job opening at Desert Hills, he said he texted his wife in excitement.

While he will be the head baseball coach, Cave will be joining Desert Hills as a social studies teacher as well. The teaching position is another thing that excited him about the new opportunity.

On the diamond Cave loves to coach infield and outfield defense while finding joy in teaching the mental side of the game of baseball. He aims to frame the mind of his players to get into a competitive state while competing on the field. He hopes his players can achieve this at Desert Hills.

Desert Hills vs. Washington Sentinels, American Legion Summer Classic baseball tournament, St. George, Utah, June 21, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News / Cedar City News

When it comes to the Thunder, they will be the defending state champions in the 2021 UHSAA baseball season since there was no 2020 season. Cave said he’s ready to step into a program with a winning mentality, and that it is the level of intensity where he wants to coach.

“I’m really excited to be able to do it at a really high level,” Cave said. “I have a feeling that the group of baseball players in St. George are going to be really talented. They’re going to know a lot about baseball already, and I hope I can give them what knowledge I have. It’s exactly what I would want to do, coach at that level.”

Cave will be relocating to St. George from Eugene, Oregon, with his wife and two daughters. He hopes to become a part of the community and make new relationships in the St. George area.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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