Longtime Jacksonville University coach Terry Alexander announced Wednesday that the 2013 season will be his last at the school. JU athletic director Brad Edwards also said the school will name pitching coach Tim Montez head coach-in-waiting at the end of the year, the Florida Times-Union reported.
The changes come on the heels of an immensely disappointing 2012 campaign. The Dolphins entered the season as favorites to win the Atlantic Sun Conference and were regarded as a legitimate contender to win a regional. But they finished in last place in the A-Sun and 18-38 overall—the worst season in Alexander's 23 years as head coach.
Alexander's tenure has been overwhelmingly successful. He has been a member of the JU coaching staff since 1980, and since taking over as head coach in 1991 he has led the Dolphins 10 regionals a 713-590-2 record, making him easily the winningest coach in school history. Jacksonville has made four trips to regionals in the last seven years, but 2012 was trying. Even so, the 57-year-old Alexander told reporters that was not the reason for his departure.
"The wheels kind of fell off last year with a lot of injuries and other things that were happening," he said. "I just couldn't walk away then. I had to come back another year and try to go out a winner. I wanted the seniors to go out a winner."
Alexander also indicated he isn't ready for retirement yet. [...] Continue Reading »
Vanderbilt has had plenty of success bringing Northeasterners to Nasvhille—from coach Tim Corbin to players like Pedro Alvarez, Ryan Flaherty and Mike Yastrzemski. Now the Commodores have tapped into their Northeast pipeline again, hiring Scott Brown away from St. John's to be their new pitching coach.
Brown replaces Derek Johnson, who left to become the Cubs' minor league pitching coordinator last month. Like Johnson, Brown has a great baseball mind and has earned the respect of his peers and professional scouts alike.
"Being from the northeast, Scott is someone that I have followed for quite some time," Corbin said. "When you ask about young pitching coaches that have made a difference, Scott's name is widely mentioned . . . He is one of the most respected young coaches in our profession."
Brown spent the last nine seasons as an assistant under Red Storm coach Ed Blankmeyer, helping to lead St. John's to seven regionals and five Big East championships. The Red Storm reached super regionals for the first time this year, losing to eventual national champion Arizona. Before that, Brown coached at Division III power Cortland (N.Y.) State. He also has experience coaching in the New York Collegiate Baseball League and the New England Collegiate Baseball League, where he won the 2004 manager of the year award after guiding the Sanford Mainers to the NECBL title.
There was never any doubt that Vanderbilt would make a strong hire to replace Johnson, and that's just what it did.
Buddy Bolding, who shepherded Longwood from Division III to D-II to D-I during the course of his 35-year tenure, will retire after the 2013 season, the school announced Tuesday.
Bolding coached the Lancers to 26 consecutive winning seasons from 1979-2004, a stretch that included six trips to the D-II NCAA tournament and two appearances in the D-II College World Series. The Lancers completed the transition to D-I in 2008 and have posted four straight winning seasons since then. They have found a home in the Big South Conference, after starting as a D-I independent.
Since taking over as head coach in the fall of 1978, Bolding has led Longwood to a 927-516-4 mark. Nine of his players have been drafted since 1988, most notably Michael Tucker, who spent 12 years in the big leagues as an outfielder.
"We now stand at the threshold of a new day for Longwood's rich athletic history and for Longwood's well-conceived ambitions for a bright future," Bolding said in an uncommonly colorful statement. "The prudent time for me to pass the baseball torch along to another is at hand, and I joyously extend that torch forward while it yet burns bright. Countless professional scouts, opponent coaches, and others have over the years said that Buddy Bolding possessed the greatest batting practice arm known to man; and even I might agree with that assertion; but as that arm is now seven-plus million pitches well-worn, it cannot continue to develop great Lancer batsmen for a successful future in the Big South Conference, as will be needed.
"In short, I cannot be Buddy Bolding forever, and my standard, and the pride I have had in throwing that BP, is such that I cannot suffer to offer my hitters less than they deserve. I, therefore, walk away from the ball yard having given my best and having left nothing on the diamond for the crows to pick over. In scriptural terms, I have fought the good fight."
For the second time this offseason, a Division I baseball coach has died. Virginia Commonwealth announced that coach Paul Keyes, 50, lost his battle with cancer Saturday.
Keyes was diagnosed in April with stage 4 melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. He had worked at VCU since 1985 as an assistant and was head coach for the last 18 seasons, compiling a 603-428-1 record (.585 winning percentage). The Rams had 12 straight winning seasons from 1996-2007, including 46 victories in 1998 (with a team led by Brandon Inge) and 2003 (led by future big league pitchers Sean Marshall and Cla Meredith as well as 2004 first-rounder Justin Orenduff). Virginia Commonwealth made eight regional trips and won five Colonial Athletic Association titles in his tenure. [...] Continue Reading »
It looks like Arizona State won't be sharing the Cubs' new spring training facility after all.
After more than a year of negotiations with the Cubs and the city of Mesa, ASU announced Thursday that it is officially ending conversations and "moving forward with pursing other options for our baseball program," according to a release.
"ASU negotiated the original agreement in good faith," the school's release said. "However, the changes the Cubs demanded shows that they do not value the partnership with ASU, thus making a deal impossible."
Arizona State had previously entered a letter of agreement to play in the new Mesa ballpark, and it was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents. But that was not the same as reaching a formal partnership deal.
"The university approached the talks enthusiastically and readily accepted the deal as originally outlined," the school said in its statement. "But as the new Cubs management changed the original deal points and added new issues to the negotiation, the new terms became far too costly to the university, imposed too many restrictions on ASU's use of the facility and exposed the university to too great a level of financial liability for the entire complex."
So, assuming this isn't just posturing (and the Sun Devils certainly sound as though they've moved on), Arizona State will explore other stadium options, but the school reportedly lacks the funds to replace or renovate aging Packard Stadium. The Phoenix Business Journal reported a month ago that Phoenix Municipal Stadium could be an option of the Mesa deal fell apart. The stadium is currently the spring training home of the Athletics, who could move into Hohokam Stadium when the Cubs vacate that facility to move into their new $99 million ballpark.
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