Ospreys hire Pitt’s Joe Mercadante as new head baseball coach

Riley Platt, Sports Editor

The University of North Florida baseball team has found its new leader, announcing University of Pittsburgh assistant Joe Mercadante as head coach on Friday, according to UNF athletics.

The coaching search began in late May when UNF announced that previous head coach Tim Parenton would be transitioning into an administrative role. In less than just one month, the search has come to an end with the announcement of Mercadante’s hire.

While contract details are unknown, a posting on UNF’s job portal listed the position’s salary as “$125,000 to negotiable.” UNF Director of Athletics Nick Morrow stated earlier this month that he believed this figure would “make sure [UNF] can be as competitive as we can while staying within the budget we’ve got.”

Mercadante spent the last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Panthers, who posted a 53-58 in that span. The team’s 29 wins in 2022 matched their program-best since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014. He also boasts more ACC experience from his time at the University of Miami, where he was a part of two runs to the College World Series.

He has also spent time in the ASUN Conference with the Stetson Hatters, who broke the ASUN record for most wins in a season en route to a NCAA regional win. Mercadante will now find himself steering the ship of the Hatters’ rivals to the north, with the Ospreys taking the 2023 season series two games to one.

Morrow pointed to Mercadante’s time in the Sunshine State and the resulting connections as a major influence in the decision.

“He has a positive reputation throughout the baseball community for his relentless recruiting efforts, the development of his student-athletes and being a coach of high character,” Morrow said. “Joe is a Florida native and is well connected throughout the state, allowing him to step in and make an immediate impact on the program.”

Mercadante will take over an Ospreys squad that, despite impressive wins over notable foes such as Florida State, struggled in ASUN play. He will look to make use of his experience and lead UNF back to postseason play once taking over.


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