Miami Coach Gino DiMare Joins The Baseball America College Podcast
This week on the Baseball America College Podcast, Miami coach Gino DiMare joins Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy to talk about the Hurricanes’ return to the NCAA Tournament in 2019 and to look ahead to the 2020 season, when they are expected to be College World Series contenders.
Last year, Miami was coming off of missing the regionals in back-to-back years, snapping a 44-year NCAA Tournament streak. But in DiMare’s first season as head coach after taking over following Jim Morris’ retirement, the Hurricanes went 41-20 and returned to the NCAA Tournament. Though they were in the mix to host a regional, they got sent to the Starkville Regional, where they had the tough task of facing Mississippi State.
Miami went 2-2 in the regional, losing in the final to Mississippi State. Having taken that step last season and returning much of the team this year, both offensively and on the mound, the Hurricanes understand they will be expected to do more than just make a regional in 2020.
“This year, the expectations are certainly going to be different – I think everyone would agree with that,” DiMare said. “We don’t want to think it’s just going to happen, just because we have a lot of guys back that all of a sudden, we’re going to go to Omaha. It doesn’t work that way. So, I want our guys to know that.
“We do have the talent; we do have the experience. I would say we have as much talent as we’ve had here in quite some time. But the team has to learn to finish games. We’re going to have to learn to finish games better than we did last year. If we can do that, I think we can be one of the best teams at the end of the year.”
The preparation for that 2020 season has already begun for the Hurricanes, who are already doing individual skill instruction. They will start full team practice on Oct. 8.
Miami will be especially deep on the mound, even after losing righthander Evan McKendry in the ninth round of the draft. Righthander Chris McMahon pitched for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team this summer and is a potential top-three rounds draft pick. Righthander Slade Cecconi is also a well-regarded prospect, and righthanders Daniel Federman, Tyler Keysor and Brian Van Belle bring plenty of experience to the staff.
DiMare is looking forward to having Van Belle back for his senior season after he went 10-2, 3.30 to lead the staff in 2019.
“He doesn’t jump out on everybody’s radar because he’s not 95 mph like McMahon and Cecconi, but he was far and away our best pitcher, bar none,” DiMare said. “He did it all year long and he can flat out pitch. We’re very fortunate to have him back as a senior.”
DiMare is now entering his second year as the Hurricanes head coach but has been around the program much of his life. He played at Miami under Ron Fraser and spent 19 years as an assistant coach under Morris.
DiMare said while Fraser and Morris both taught him a lot about the game and coaching, he knows he has to have his own style and can’t copy either legend.
“You can’t be those guys,” DiMare said. “I see coaches like that sometimes that try to mimic, they’re clones of guys they coached under or played for. That doesn’t work with players. You cannot do that. You’ve got to be yourself.
“But part of yourself is all of your experiences and what you learned, whether it be from my parents and my high school coach or my college coach that I played for and of course coach Morris. You’ve got to learn from all those people and hopefully never think that you have it figured out – ever – and understand that you’ve got to continue learning as long as you’re on this planet.”