ABOUT KAI CORREA
The Portuguese surname "Correa" is of occupational origin. The name is derived from the Portuguese word correia, meaning "a leather strap or belt" (Latin corrigia, "fastening”) and applied as an occupational name for someone who works with leather. So it’s only appropriate that Kai Correa’s passion is teaching infield play.
Kai currently serves as the Defensive Coordinator for the Cleveland Indians Organization. He joined the Indians Player Development staff in December of 2017 after spending seven and a half seasons as a collegiate infield coach. In 7 seasons of coaching college baseball, Kai's defenses have set the program record for fielding percentage at both of the institutions he has worked at (Puget Sound '14, Northern Colorado '16).
Life as a Bear
Kai spent the '15, '16, & '17 seasons as an Infield Coach and overall Defensive Coordinator at the University of Northern Colorado (Division I) in Greeley, Colorado.
Prior to his arrival at UNC, the Bears won 10 games and finished 10th in the Western Athletic Conference in the Spring of 2014. In each of the next three springs the Bears increased their infield fielding percentage, improved their win total, and finished higher in the conference than the previous season.
In 2015, his first season in Greeley, Correa helped to guide UNC to a 6th place conference finish and their first WAC tournament appearance in program history. During the 2016 campaign the Bears finished 5th in the WAC and set a program record for fielding percentage. Bear infielders fielded .970, which ranked second amongst all WAC infields. In 2017 UNC appeared in the postseason for a third consecutive spring, won their first game at the WAC tournament in school history, and finished third at the WAC tournament. The Bear defense put together another solid season, finishing WAC play with a .971 in conference fielding percentage.
Once A Logger
Prior to UNC, Correa spent three seasons as the Head Assistant at the University of Puget Sound (Division III) in Tacoma, WA. As Head Assistant, Correa served as recruiting coordinator, infield coach, and also oversaw Puget Sound’s overall team defense, strength and conditioning program, and academic advising.
In three seasons with the program, Correa transitioned the Puget Sound defense from one of the statistically lowest ranking team defenses in the West Region to one of the top 40 defenses in all of Division III baseball (368 total teams). In 2014, Correa directed a record setting team defense that finished with the highest fielding percentage in school history.
Clinician & Guest Speaker
Kai is an experienced clinician and has worked with USA baseball as an infield instructor at the USA 17U National Team Development Program in 2019 and for the west region teams at the USA Baseball National Team Identification Series in 2016 and 2017. He has also served as an infield instructor and evaluator at Top 96, Trosky Baseball, ABD, ABC, CBA, Base by Pros, Stanford University, University of Kansas, and University of Washington baseball camps from 2011-2017.
Kai enjoys spending his off-season’s sharing his passion for infield play. He was a featured infield speaker at the ABCA Convention (2019) and has also spoken at the ABCA Convention Expo Theatre (2017), the Colorado Dugout Club Convention (2017), the Baseball Aruba National Convention (2017), the Oklahoma High School Baseball Convention (2018), the Be The Best Clinic (2018, 2020), the Baseball Canada High Performance Coaching Seminar (2018, 2020), the ABCA Barnstormers Clinic in Denver (2018), Curacao Baseball Week (2019), the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Convention (2019), the Inside Baseball Clinic (2019), the i70 Baseball Convention (2019), the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (2019), the Michigan High School Baseball Convention (2020), and the Best Ever Ever Convention in Toronto (2020)
Big Island Born
Kai was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii and comes from a long lineage of Hawaiian baseball coaches. His grandfather, Jimmy Correa, was a legendary, local high school and youth coach for 70 years from 1946 to his passing in 2016. His father Tom was a high school coach for 15 years from 1991 to 2006.
As a player, Kai was an All-Conference Infielder at Waiakea High School in Hilo, Hawaii, helping to lead Waiakea to back-to-back top 3 state finishes. Collegiately at Puget Sound, he played second base, third base, and shortstop from 2007-2011. As a senior captain, he was a key contributor in Puget Sound’s 2011-second place conference finish, the school’s best finish since joining the Northwest Conference in 2000.
Kai received his degree in History from University of Puget Sound in 2011. He, his wife Brittany, and daughter Avery live in Verrado, Arizons in the offseason.