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Joey Pavlovich

Joey Pavlovich

Coach Pavlovich begins his first year as Head Baseball Coach for Iowa Lakes. He was a Graduate Assistant Coach in charge of the pitching staff for the past two seasons.

Coach Pavlovich brings a fresh face to the position. He preaches a process-oriented approach and brings a grind it out, hardworking mentality to everything he does. Additionally, academics is an important aspect to what Coach Pavlovich teaches as the Iowa Lakes Baseball program is focused on preparing young men to ultimately complete their education and become successful in life.

Under Coach Pavlovich's guidance, the Lakers pitching staff made several notable accomplishments over the two seasons. During the first year, four pitchers were named ICCAC Pitchers of the Week, including three in a row from April 7-27, 2014. Iowa Lakes ended the 2014 season with a team ERA of 4.66 which was a 1.10 run improvement from the year prior. The staff led the conference in fewest walks allowed with 135. Jesus Brito finished second in the conference with a 3.02 ERA and earned Honorable Mention All-Region accolades. He was the first Iowa Lakes pitcher to do so since 2008. Alex Cristobal finished third in the league with a 3.34 ERA.

In his second year, the pitching staff continued to grow with 8 pitchers reaching 88+ mph. For the second year in a row, the Lakers led the ICCAC in fewest walks, while also leading the conference in strikeout to walk ratio at 2.53 to 1, which also ranked Top 20 Nationally. Kyle Thomas earned 2nd team all-conference honors as a pitcher going 4-2.

In the summer of 2015, Coach Pavlovich served as the pitching coach for the Lake Erie Monarchs in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League working with all Division 1 pitchers from colleges that included Michigan, Western Michigan, Toledo, Eastern Illinois, Bowling Green State, Eastern Michigan, Northwestern, Kansas, Cincinnati, and Central Michigan. The Monarchs ended the summer going 21-18-1 along with a 4.06 team ERA ranking 3rd out of 11 teams. This was a 0.65 drop overall from the summer prior.

Coach Pavlovich is originally from Tucson, Ariz., and graduated from East Central University with a bachelor's degree in general mathematics and a minor in psychology. In the spring of 2015, he completed his master’s degree in higher education at Iowa State University. Aside from being Head Baseball Coach, he is also the Estherville housing coordinator.

He is married to Stacie Pavlovich, a critical care nurse who resides with him in Estherville.


Robert Varvaro

Robert Varvaro 
Coach Varvaro begins his second season with Iowa Lakes as the program's Graduate Assistant. 

During Coach Varvaro’s first season with the Lakers, the team hit .305 which ranked them fifth in the conference. Under the guidance of Coach Varvaro, the Lakers improved their throwing out percentage to a school record 50%. Baseball player Blake Rogers improved his throwing out percentage from 18% to 52% with the guidance of Coach Varvaro. This lead Blake to be third in the country for runners caught stealing. 

Robert played baseball and football at Lynbrook High School in Lynbrook, New York. He then attended Wesley College (Del.), where his team won the ECAC South Regional Championship in 2010. Before joining the Laker family, Robert completed an internship at Velocity Sports Performance in New Jersey where he worked with all levels of athletes, he also served as the assistant varsity baseball coach at Paul VI High School for 2 seasons. 

During the summer of 2015 Robert was on the Bayside Yankees coaching staff. This season he will be in charge of the hitters, catchers, defensive alignment and 3rd base coach.


Ruben Santacruz

Ruben SantacruzCoach Santacruz comes to Iowa Lakes after coaching over 12 years in the Chicago Public League. During that time, he helped numerous baseball players continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.

Ruben graduated from Chicago State University with a degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in physical education. Additionally, he has a master’s degree in school counseling and guidance from Lewis University.

Coach Santacruz specializes in infield defense instruction and running speed improvement.

Ruben recently retired after 20 years as a physical education teacher in the Chicago Public Schools.  

Questions or comments? Please email us at or call 712-362-2604 or 800-521-5054.
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