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Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field - There's No Place like It

Renovations to Alex Rodriguez Park are thanks in large part to a $3.9 million contribution by New York Yankees third baseman and 11-time MLB All-Star Alex Rodriguez. The gift - the largest ever to the University of Miami baseball program - has assisted the program in continuing to develop first-class facilities.

Continued.....

Jim Morris

 

Head Coach

It doesn't matter if his roster is full of rookies or veterans, University of Miami Head Coach Jim Morris continues to produce some of college baseball's most consistent and dominant teams heading into his 21st season in Coral Gables. With a talented staff around him, Morris' Hurricanes are continually the class of collegiate baseball, winning national titles in 1999 and 2001.

In his 20-season tenure at Miami, no other program, nor head coach, has qualified for the College World Series as much as Morris and his Hurricanes. Miami, which has qualified for the NCAA Tournament a NCAA-record 41 consecutive years, has made it to Omaha in 11 of Morris' 20 seasons in Coral Gables. Morris set an NCAA record for guiding a program to the CWS in each of his first six years at UM. In addition, Morris has won a 15 of 20 NCAA Regional appearances at UM, including a 13-straight to start his tenure in Coral Gables. His teams have qualified for NCAA Regionals for the last 29 years - 20 at Miami and nine at Georgia Tech.

A three-time national coach of the year and 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year, Morris has directed the Hurricanes to a 887-361-3 mark since arriving in 1994. Including his 12 seasons at Georgia Tech (1982-93), Morris has forged a 1,354-583-4 Division I record in 32 years as a head coach.

Overall, Morris has been the head coach at the collegiate level for 35 seasons, spending the first four at DeKalb (Ga.) C.C. from 1976-79, and has recorded a 1,521-652-4 mark.

In addition to carrying on Miami's great baseball reputation in the last 20-plus years, Morris has personally led the charge in the construction of Alex Rodriguez Park, and has logged hundreds of hours raising funds for the new stadium project.

J.D. Arteaga

 

Assistant Coach

J.D. Arteaga begins his 12th year as a member of the Miami coaching staff. His main responsibilities with the Hurricanes include the management and development of the pitching staff and assisting in recruiting and scheduling.

Arteaga has tutored two of Miami's three pitchers drafted in the first round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft since 1987, including Chris Perez in 2006 and Cesar Carrillo in 2005. Perez, who came to Miami as a starting prospect was aided by Arteaga in his transition to becoming one of the country's top closers. His 2006 staff, composed almost entirely of first-time starters, recorded five shutouts, the most by a UM staff since the 1998 season. UM also recorded Miami's first postseason shutout on the road since 1976 with a 7-0 win against Ole Miss in the 2006 Oxford Super Regional.

Four pitchers from Arteaga's 2005 pitching staff signed pro contracts following the season, including the school's first pitcher drafted in the first round since the 1991 season, Carrillo. Arteaga also played a major role in Carrillo's career development and run at the NCAA record books. Carrillo, who was the 18th overall pick in the 2005 draft, ended with a career record of 25-3, was an All-American and a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and the Roger Clemens Award as college baseball's best pitcher in 2005.

Gino DiMare

 

Assistant Coach

Gino DiMare serves as assistant coach in charge of hitting, as well as assisting with recruiting. Overall, this will be the 15th year for DiMare as a member of the Hurricanes baseball staff.

Prior to his exit in 2008, DiMare served as the Canes recruiting coordinator and hitting coach over his final nine seasons. He held the title of assistant head coach during the 2008 season - a year the Canes won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship before advancing to the College World Series.

DiMare serves as the assistant coach in charge of hitters and share responsibilities with pitching coach J.D. Arteaga in recruiting efforts.

Previously, DiMare helped recruit and coach players such as Yonder Alonso, Ryan Braun, Jon Jay, Gaby Sanchez, Danny Valencia and Jemile Weeks - all of whom have reached the big leagues in recent years.

DiMare's accomplishments on the recruiting scene during his nine years in the capacity of recruiting coordinator are as impressive as the Hurricanes' annual postseason results. His 2001 class was rated among the top five nationally and his 2003 class was ranked among the top 15 nationally. UM's 2008 recruiting class, which was targeted primarily by DiMare, was ranked second by Collegiate Baseball and fifth by Baseball America prior to the 2007 season. That includes Braun, the 2005 ACC Player of the Year and Cesar Carrillo, the ACC's Pitcher of the Year that same season. Braun and Carrillo were also Miami's two first-round draft picks in 2005. DiMare has also kept Florida's top talent home, including 2006 first-round pick Chris Perez (Holmes Beach) and second-round pick Jay (Miami).

DiMare's offensive teams also proved to be some of the best in the history of the Hurricanes program. UMiami's offense ranked among the top 10 in school history in eight of DiMare's nine seasons as the club's hitting instructor. The 2005 team hit .321, the seventh-best team batting average in school history and the 2004 squad finished the season with a .330 batting average, which ranks fourth in school history. UM's .310 average in 2006 was only bested by five teams that were not under the guidance of DiMare, dating back 62 years. The 1999 Hurricanes posted the third-best batting average in school history with a .333 mark, while the 2000 team finished with a .323 batting average that ranks sixth all time. Miami batted .315 in 2003 and .314 in 2002 (10th).

The 2008 team that advanced to the College World Series and spent much of the season atop the national collegiate baseball polls finished the year hitting at a school eighth-best .320 average, while also ranking tied for second in home runs (106), fourth in slugging percentage (.541), eighth in total bases (1,202) and RBI (517), tied for ninth in doubles (135) and 10th in hits (711). DiMare has long been associated with the Miami baseball program. First, he was a fan as a kid growing up in South Florida. Then, DiMare was a player for the Hurricanes following a stellar career at Miami Westminster Christian.

He was a standout outfielder for the Canes from 1989-92, with a career batting average of .290. He currently ranks among UM's leaders in career games played (243), career stolen bases (93) and total sacrifices (36). In 1991, DiMare led the Hurricanes with a .353 batting average. Following his career in Coral Gables, he was signed as a free agent by the Boston Red Sox. He played the 1992-93 seasons in the Red Sox minor league system in Winter Haven and Ft. Lauderdale.

Upon returning to Miami, DiMare spent the 1996 season as an assistant coach at Westminster - the 1996 High School National Champions. DiMare then returned to UM in 1997 and was a volunteer coach for three seasons, in charge of outfielders and base running

Rich Witten

 

Assistant Coach

Rich Witten is entering his first season on the University of Miami baseball staff as volunteer assistant coach. He will work primarily with the team's catchers.

Witten, served as director of baseball operations for one season at the University of Central Florida before arriving in Coral Gables, enjoyed a stellar five-year playing career with Coastal Carolina University from 2007-12.

The Danville, Ky., native, who registered a career .316 batting average during his time with the Chanticleers, was named to the All-Big South first team in 2012. The two-year team captain earned his bachelors of science in exercise and sport science, and minored in psychology.

Witten went to five NCAA Regionals and two Super Regionals with the Chanticleers, and was named to the All-Regional team twice. He graduated among the program's all-time leaders in career doubles (50, seventh) and runs batted in (158, sixth), and finished ninth in the NCAA in RBI in his final season (66).

Robert "G.M." McDaniel

 

Director of Baseball Operations/Camp Director

Robert McDaniel is in his 14th season on UM's staff. He is responsible for clubhouse operations. McDaniel, better known around the ballpark as "G.M.", returned during the 2001 offseason as the Hurricanes' Coordinator of Baseball Operations, a position he held from fall 1998 through spring 1999. He is also Director of Jim Morris Baseball Camps.

A graduate of Miami's Christopher Columbus High School, G.M. left the Hurricanes following the 1999 National Championship to complete his studies and returned in 2002. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management from Florida International University in the summer of 2003.

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