North Florida announced today that longtime coach Dusty Rhodes will retire at the end of the 2010 season, and he will be replaced by former Louisiana State and Louisiana-Monroe coach Raymond "Smoke" Laval.
Rhodes has coached the Ospreys for all 23 years the program has existed, and he has shepherded their successful transition to Division I, which will conclude this season when they become a full-fledged D-I member for the first time. North Florida went 66-54 in Atlantic Sun Conference play over the last four seasons as a provisional member.
"Retiring’s kind of tough, because I really don’t know how it’s going to be, but i’ll find out about it," Rhodes said in a press conference, which was streamed live on the web. "But I’m 63 years old, and I’ve done a lot, and I really couldn’t have done it without the people here."
Laval, 53, has spent the last few years as a scouting adviser with the Blue Jays, but he made his reputation as a college baseball coach. [...] Continue Reading »
Former Long Beach State pitching coach Troy Buckley is returning to the Dirtbags after a two-year stint as the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league pitching coordinator. Buckley replaces pitching coach Jon Strauss, who left for Pepperdine at the end of July.
"Obviously, we’re thrilled to have Troy back with the program. He’s our best recruit of the year,” LBSU coach Mike Weathers said. “I know this was a difficult decision for him, because he was really enjoying his position with the Pirates. However, I think for his family’s sake and for his future that Long Beach State was the right fit for him."
Buckley was a big part of Long Beach’s success during his seven years with the program prior to leaving in 2007. In those seven seasons, the Dirtbags never had a team ERA higher than 3.75, and their staff ERA ranked among the five lowest in the nation in four of those seasons. Buckley also showed an ability to develop talent on the mound, as he coached six pitchers who were drafted in the first three rounds, including Big West pitchers of the year Abe Alvarez and Jered Weaver. [...] Continue Reading »
The assistant coach shuffle continues on the West Coast. San Francisco coach Nino Giarratano confirmed moments ago to Baseball America that the Dons have hired Matt Hobbs to be their pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, replacing Greg Moore, who left for the same position at Washington. Hobbs has spent the last three seasons as the pitching coach for Division II power UC San Diego, and before that he spent three years at Santa Barbara CC. Hobbs spent his playing days at Missouri, where he set the Big 12 record for most consecutive strikeouts in 2002.
The assistant coaching merry-go-round on the West Coast continued to spin this week, as San Diego State hired Eric Valenzuela away from rival San Diego, sources confirmed. Valenzuela replaces Rusty Filter as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, after Filter left last week for Stanford.
Valenzuela’s hire is still subject to official approval from the state college system, but no roadblocks are expected. The earliest the hire can be officially announced is Aug. 29. In the meantime, Valenzuela did confirm today that he has resigned his position at San Diego.
One of the top recruiters and pitching coaches on the West Coast, the 31-year-old Valenzuela is a rising star in coaching circles, and he has played a key role in building USD into an annual West Coast Conference power. But as a private school with a hefty pricetag and tough academic standards, USD cannot match San Diego State’s resources. The Aztecs have perhaps the best facility on the West Coast in Tony Gwynn Stadium, while San Diego’s Cunningham Stadium is in need of serious upgrades. Valenzuela is a natural fit for the Aztecs, as he is already a proven recruiter in the baseball hotbed of San Diego, and he’s a tireless worker with a track record of developing prime pitching talents like Brian Matusz, the No. 4 overall pick in last year’s draft.
SAN DIEGO—Rusty Filter has worn a San Diego State uniform virtually his entire adult life, so it is difficult to imagine him wearing anything else.
With that in mind, Filter will likely be as shocked as anyone the first time he pulls on a jersey with Stanford printed across the front.
Filter, the longtime SDSU pitching coach, accepted an offer Tuesday to be the pitching coach for the Cardinal, ending an association with SDSU that dates back nearly a quarter century.
Filter was a pitcher and catcher for the Aztecs during a four-year career from 1987-90. He began coaching at SDSU in 1991 with the Aztecs junior varsity and joined the varsity coaching staff two years later.
“It was an extremely hard decision for me and my family,” said Filter, who is married and has three children. “I felt like it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”
[...] Continue Reading »
Washington officially hired Greg Moore away from San Francisco on Monday. Moore will assume the role of pitching coach for the Huskies, joining Dave Nakama on new coach Lindsay Meggs’ staff. Nakama was hired away from Stanford earlier this month.
Moore spent eight seasons as an assistant at San Francisco, where he developed a reputation as one of the top up-and-coming pitching coaches and recruiters on the West Coast.
"I’m excited to join Coach Meggs’ staff," Moore said. "He’s a builder in the truest sense. Along with his leadership, the school’s tradition, the area and the vision for the program make this an exciting time for Husky baseball." [...] Continue Reading »
Lost amidst the hustle and bustle of Friday’s major league trading deadline, Pepperdine announced two additions to its coaching staff. The Waves replaced pitching coach Sean Kenney (who left for Maryland earlier in July) with Long Beach State’s Jon Strauss, and they added former Ohio State catcher Joe Wilkins as a volunteer assistant.
Strauss recently completed his third coaching stint with the Dirtbags this spring. He previously served as an assistant on Dave Snow’s staff from 1995-2000 and then again as a volunteer under Mike Weathers in 2006. During his time at LBSU as a coach, the Dirtbags went 313-227, won three Big West titles, advanced to six regionals and finished third at the 1998 College World Series.
“The Pepperdine and Long Beach State baseball programs both have a great history and winning traditions, so I’m confident the transition will be an easy one for Jon and that he’ll help us get deeper into the postseason,” Pepperdine coach Steve Rodriguez said. “I’ve gotten to know Jon pretty well on the recruiting trail and I’m excited that he and his family are coming to Malibu to join the Pepperdine family.”
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