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FAU ... 2013 Sun Belt Conference Champions

The Florida Atlantic University Owls won the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Championship by defeating Louisiana-Lafayette 16-8 to advance to the Chapel Hill Regional. The Owls finished the 2013 season at 42-22 and earned a spot in four post-season top 25 polls. Baseball America and Perfect game had FAU ranked in the #20 spot while ESPN and Collegiate Baseball slotted the Owls in the #22 and #24 spots respectively.

John McCormack

 

Head Coach: Florida Atlantic University

John McCormack enters his fifth season as head baseball coach at Florida Atlantic after serving 11 years as associate head coach.

It didn't take long for McCormack to get the Owls back to national prominence, guiding FAU to its first Sun Belt Conference regular-season championship in his second season as head coach in 2010. This is an achievement that earned McCormack the league's Coach of the Year Award. The team culminated that season by advancing to the championship game of the NCAA Gainesville Regional.

The Owls captured their second Sun Belt Conference title in a three-year span in 2012, winning 19 league games. The team led wire-to-wire for the conference championship in 2012.

McCormack's teams have always featured strong bullpens, including first-team All-Sun Belt Conference selections Andy Mee (2010), Hugh Adams (2011) and R.J. Alvarez (2012). Starting pitchers Mike Gipson (2010), Paul Davis (2011) and Ryan Garton (2012) all were drafted after earning postseason all-conference honors.

Continued.....

Rich Billings

 

Assistant Coach: Florida Atlantic University

Rich Billings joined the Florida Atlantic University baseball coaching staff in August 2012 after a successful coaching stint at Lake-Sumter Community College in Clermont, Fla. When Billings was hired as its head coach in 2007 he became one of the youngest college head coaches in the country at 23 years old. He served two seasons as an assistant coach at the college.

Billings is a 2005 graduate of East Tennessee State University with a bachelor's degree in history.

Billings coached former Owls standout Nick DelGuidice in 2008, a season in which the infielder earned Florida State Defensive Player of the Year honors. DelGuidice set a FAU record for career doubles, earned National Player of the Week honors and is now playing professionally within the Kansas City Royals' minor league organization. Over 40 Billings-coached players advanced to play at four-year collegiate programs.

Billings' teams set school marks in for fielding percentage (.955 in 2008), team batting average (.300 in 2009) and earned run average (3.78 in 2012). Lake-Sumter made its first appearance in the Florida College System Activities Association state tournament in 2011.

Jason Jackson

 

Assistant Coach: Florida Atlantic University

Through his coaching and recruiting efforts, Jason Jackson has helped Florida Atlantic remain one of the top baseball programs in the Sun Belt Conference and NCAA South-Central region. He joined the coaching staff in the summer of 2008.

During Jackson's four seasons the program has captured two Sun Belt Conference titles and had an appearance in the 2010 Gainesville Regional, advancing to the championship game.

Jackson's role as pitching coach was evident in 2010 as he guided the Owls to their first Sun Belt Conference regular-season championship. The pitching staff compiled the fourth-best earned run average in the conference, but most importantly lowered the ERA by an entire run from the 2009 squad.

In 2012, the Owls went wire-to-wire to capture their second Sun Belt Conference title in a three-year span. Reliever R.J. Alvarez and starting pitcher Ryan Garton received first-team all-conference honors, marking the third-consecutive season that FAU has had the first-team all-Sun Belt reliever.

Continued.....

Dickie Hart

 

Assistant Coach: Florida Atlantic University

Dickie Hart joined the Florida Atlantic University baseball coaching staff in August and will serve as the program's hitting and infield coach.

Hart was a middle infielder during one of the most successful periods in the program's proud history, recording a .641 winning percentage (154-86). He ranks second in school history with 74 runs scored during the 1999 season, when he earned first-team All-Atlantic Sun Conference honors and was an honorable mention All-American selection by the American Baseball Coaches Association. That senior season, Hart helped FAU tie a NCAA record with 34 consecutive victories. He played professionally with the Anaheim Angels for the 1999 and 2000 seasons.

Hart's coaching career included a successful three-year coaching stint at Tarpon Springs High School near Tampa. He earned 5A Pinellas Coach of the Year honors in 2011 and was named the 2012 Pinellas County Coach of the Year after compiling a 24-5 record. His teams made two regional appearances and won district championships. He has also been an associate scout within the Tampa Bay Rays organization. Overall he had a .620 winning percentage (54-33 record) in the three seasons as head coach.

This is Hart's second stint on the FAU baseball coaching staff, serving as a volunteer coach in 2003 while earning a master's degree in business, with a concentration in sports administration. He also worked in the Owls' athletic marketing department

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