Exclusive Program Staff:
Dan Mooney – Executive Director of College Recruiting
One of the most sought-after, well-connected college experts in the country, Dan has helped lead Baseball Factory to place more kids in college baseball than anyone else in America. Dan’s knowledge and background with college programs and knowing what it takes to get the attention of a coach is truly unparalleled.
After being drafted by the Chicago Cubs following his senior year at Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River, NJ, Dan decided to begin his collegiate career as a catcher at Brevard Junior College. He later transferred to the University of Florida where he redshirted for a season, before moving on to NC State University where he was a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer. Dan also played for the Harwich Mariners, in the highly-touted Cape Cod Collegiate Baseball League. After college, Dan played professionally in the Boston Red Sox organization for three seasons, where he reached Double-A with the organization. Dan has assisted hundreds of players in reaching their goal of playing collegiate baseball and has developed relationships with college coaches across the nation through his career as a player and during his time here at Baseball Factory.
Bernadette Bechta – College Admissions Specialist
Bernadette serves as the main academic contact for all players and parents in the Exclusive Program. With over 20 years of experience as a teacher and advisor at the high school level, Bernadette will provide families with guidance on topics ranging from application essays to financial aid. In addition, Bernadette’s two sons have both gone through the Exclusive Program so she knows the ins and outs of the process from a parent’s perspective.
Mitch Calandra – Director of Underclassmen
Mitch Calandra is from Long Island, New York, and while in High School, attended many Baseball Factory events including Dodgertown, Pirate City, and the Arizona Fall Classic twice. Mitch fully believes his experiences at those events helped him to reach what eventually was a professional baseball career. Mitch was also a part of the exclusive program which played a huge role in finding a college for himself. Eventually, Mitch committed to Eckerd College in St Petersburg Florida where he played for four years. In 2016, Mitch was named Freshman of the Year for the conference. In 2019, Eckerd won their first conference championship in over 30 years. After being an All-Conference player in 2019, Mitch was drafted to the Atlanta Braves. He spent 3 years with them, even making it to AA. He recently asked for his release and he is now ready to start a new chapter in his life. Mitch is super excited to start working with the team and also helping kids reach their full potential.
Steven Hardesty – Recruiting Coordinator
Coach Hardesty comes with an extensive background in college coaching having spent the last 14+ years working at the 4-year College, Junior College and College Development/Scout baseball levels. Hardesty brings with him a high energy, passionate approach to evaluating, scouting, and working with athletes in the college recruiting process. Having built a reputation during his time at the Junior College level and College Development/Scout coaching for advising student-athletes through the college placement/commitment process ranging from the Junior College level to the Power 5 Division 1 level. His network, work ethic, knowledge, and passion creates opportunities for student-athletes to pursue their college goals and has an extensive track record of success.
Hardesty graduated from Ventura High School in Ventura, Ca. After graduation he was a 1-year starter at Ventura College at the California Community College level. He received a scholarship to play at Trinity International University where he was a starter. After an ankle injury during his junior year. Hardesty elected to transfer to Westmont College where he was a 2-year starter and team captain.
Following the completion of his college playing career, Hardesty set out on an extensive career in baseball. Spending one summer coaching in the New York Collegiate League he went on to spend 2 years as the Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator at Westmont College. He was then offered the opportunity to return to Ventura College and join the staff there. For the next 9 years he served as an Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator/Associate Head Coach for the Pirates baseball program. He then moved on to serve as the Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator for Santa Barbara City College and a year as the Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator for Moorpark College. As well, during his 14+ years in college coaching he served as the Head Coach for the Coastal Cubs College Development/Scout team under the direction of the Chicago Cubs area scout and recently transitioned to the Coastal Dodgers program under the same scout. While also assisting as an Associate Scout for the Chicago Cubs and currently Los Angeles Dodgers.
Hardesty earned his B.A. from Westmont College in Political Science in 2006. After graduation, Steven preceded to earn his M.S.S. degree in Sports Studies (emphasis in Strength and Conditioning) from the United States Sports Academy in 2009. In 2012, he completed his M.S. in Physical Education from Azusa Pacific University. Hardesty earned NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification in 2010.