Chico Heat Coaching Staff
Fred Ludwig – Field Manager
Ludwig, a former First Team Academic All American with Chico State Baseball, previously held the position of head baseball coach at Pleasant Valley High School where he earned a .729 winning percentage over a three year period. As a three-year baseball letterman at Chico State, Ludwig’s teammates elected him as their Team Captain 1991.
Fred is recognized as a community leader through his efforts with local kids. He has coached and mentored hundreds of our kids with both the Chico & Paradise American Legion baseball teams. Born and raised in Northern California, Ludwig is enshrined in the Paradise High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Ludwig was named the Great West League Coach of the Year in 2016 leading the Chico Heat to the league Championship where they defeated the Medford Rogues.
Coach Lauer is entering his first season with the Chico Heat after spending the last 6 years coaching college baseball throughout the Midwest and New Mexico. Ryan is a native of Chico and graduated from Pleasant Valley High School in 2005. Lauer grew up playing in the Chico American Legion program, while having playing stints at Butte College and Feather River College and was a standout for the NorCal Pirates summer collegiate team from 2008-2011.
In the summer of 2015, Lauer was the Head Coach of the Springfield Sliders in Springfield, Illinois which is a summer collegiate team that plays in the Prospect League. He is currently living in Chico and working towards a Master’s Degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration. His father Jim and his mother Deedee have worked at Butte College and Enloe Hospital for over 30 years and his younger sister Alexis works as a preschool teacher in Chico.
Chico baseball fans should already know Reece well – for three seasons he was one of the anchors of the Chico Heat pitching staff, and for two years Borges was the pitching coach under Anthony Fello at Butte College. As a player, the Florida Marlins drafted Reece, a right-hander from Reno, Nevada into the major leagues in 1996 after starring at Lassen Junior College. Borges spent two seasons in the Miami Marlins system and another in the Houston Astros organization.
In 2000, Reece came to Chico and immediately became the workhorse of the Heat pitching staff and was a key member of Chico’s 2002 WBL championship team. Reece retired following the ’02 season with the third most career victories (19) in Heat franchise history, and ranked second all-time among Heat pitchers in innings pitched (275), third in complete games (4) and fourth in strikeouts (174). Reece is married to Allison and has two boys, Dominic and Brayden that currently play little league baseball at Chico Central.
Kurt Laver is a Chico local who graduated from Pleasant Valley High in 2010. From there he played two years at Mendocino Community college earning All-Bay Valley Conference honors in both seasons and making the All-NorCal team as a sophomore. He transferred to Youngstown State University, a Division One school in Ohio, where he helped the Penguins storm through the Horizon Conference tournament and into the Bloomington Regional where they faced Indiana, Indiana State and Stanford. Laver came back to Chico State for his senior year where he proved himself to be the go to guy out of the bullpen and led the Wildcats with the most innings pitched of any reliever on the staff in 2015.
In 2017, Kurt graduated from MLB Scout School that is sanctioned by the MLB Scouting Bureau and is looking towards becoming a major league scout.