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UNF Spinnaker

BREAKING NEWS: UNF baseball coach Dusty Rhodes retires

As a new era in UNF sports begins this fall another one ended on Aug. 21.

UNF Athletic Director Lee Moon announced a press conference for August 24 to disclose the retirement of UNF head baseball coach Dusty Rhodes after the 2010 season, as well as the identity of his successor.  Rhodes, who has been coaching for 34 years, has been UNF baseball’s head coach throughout its 22 year history.

In his time as head coach Rhodes guided the Ospreys to an 827-363 record through their transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II to Division I the last four years.  Rhodes has compiled a long resume during his career, which earlier this year resulted in him being inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Throughout his career, Rhodes has consistently found different ways to excel above expectations.  In his first season as head coach at UNF, Rhodes led his team to a 40-win season, and in his second year, a trip to the NAIA National Championship.

Since then, Rhodes has continued to help UNF baseball grow and become competitive on higher levels without sacrificing winning for progress.

During the 2004 Olympics, Rhodes served as the head coach of the Greek baseball team.  Rhodes led a team comprised of only two local Greek players on the 24-man team to Greece’s first-ever win in Olympic baseball.  However, Rhodes said he believes all his triumphs can be accredited to one action.

However, Rhodes is most proud about his life is the consistency UNF has been able to obtain throughout the years, he said. Rhodes has led UNF to 16 postseason appearances including five trips to the College World Series – two in NAIA and three in Division II. He has also pushed the Ospreys to six conference championships and has coached 22 All-Americans while compiling an 856-389 record.

Rhodes departure will leave several questions to be answered for UNF baseball for the upcoming 2010 season.

“Everything I have done is because of UNF,” Rhodes said in an interview this January. “Because the university decided to take a chance on me and give me a job, I have been able to have several other great opportunities in my life.  UNF is such a great and unique place for baseball, and it has so much to offer as a university.”

The Ospreys, and the rest of the UNF community, will have become adjusted to UNF’s second ever baseball coach as they prepare for their first year as a full Division I member.

It has not been decided whether or not the Rhodes’ designed logo will remain at UNF after his departure.

But one thing is for sure, he will be missed at UNF.

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