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Welcome FIU HC Mervyl Melendez

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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:19 pm   
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It looks like the hire has been made and there will be a 4 p.m. news conference to introduce Head Coach Melendez to the FIU Community. Of all the candidates that were thrown out, Melvyn was my favorite. The things he has accomplished at schools with far less resources should bode well for the future of the baseball program, heck, he has overcome far more than an incompetent AD at BCC and ASU. All in all, a great hire. Go F I U!

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Melendez leaving Alabama State for FIU

Alabama State confirmed Melendez's resignation this morning.

"We thank Coach Melendez for all he has contributed and achieved at Alabama State University,” ASU athletic director Melvin Hines said in a news release. “He made Hornets’ baseball a household name in Montgomery, expanded the reach of ASU in the region, made the program the best in the SWAC, and put the Hornets’ baseball brand on the map nationally. We wish him and his family all the best in their future endeavors.”


http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/sports/college/rankinfile/2016/06/27/mervyl-melendez-leaving-alabama-state-baseball-for-florida-international/86455192/


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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:31 pm   
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What they're tweeting....











Seen a lot of Alabama HS Baseball Coaches tweeting congratulations as well. Go F I U!


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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:05 pm   
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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:16 pm   
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My favorite since day 1 precisely for the same reasons you espoused....and the fact he's a fellow Puerto Rican... :D At any rate, based on all accounts it seems like a solid, solid hire at this point. Guy is fairly young, a great recruiter, and a proven record at (then) less than desirable schools for baseball, turning BCU and ASU into winners right away. FIU has a lot more going on for us that at either of his previous stops, notwithstanding the much tougher conference we play in.

Bienvenido a FIU, Coach Melendez!

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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:20 pm   
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Very good hire, welcome Coach Melendez!

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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:21 pm   
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His son is a senior in high school and all accounts is that he is a great player. Perfect Game rates him a 10 out of 10 and 1st Team Preseason All American in high school. He had been committed to Alabama State, and I wonder if it was just committed or signed. If signed, I wonder if he can get a waiver because of his father moving to Miami.

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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:08 pm   
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LOL, need to target locally and make sure that the players don't go to the other side of Miami. Love it.


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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:40 pm   
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FIUPantherFan wrote:
LOL, need to target locally and make sure that the players don't go to the other side of Miami. Love it.

There is so much talent in the South Florida area and FIU needs to tap into this talent. Too many kids going away or "across the street", as Coach Melendez put it. I am so happy with this hire and I have full faith he will begin to land top recruits in the next few draft classes.

I'm also happy he mentioned about having an alumni game. Yes, we don't have a tremendous history of top alumni, but I think we can get a nice group of 13-15 alumni to come out and play the current team in a scrimmage. Anyone have Mike Lowell's number?


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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:55 pm   
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Liked his demeanor, his excitement, and what he said. Bringing back the alumni and getting kids not to go to the other side of Miami. Loved it.

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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:00 pm   
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yandro wrote:
Anyone have Mike Lowell's number?


No, I think it was retired :mrgreen:

Seriously, it would be great to have guys like Lowell actively supporting the program.
Coach said all the right things and had a lot of energy. Looking forward to the upcoming season.

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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:44 pm   
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Great hire ! Seems like he knows how to win baseball games. Knows the importance of playing solid defense.


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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:57 pm   
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FIU Fanatic wrote:
His son is a senior in high school and all accounts is that he is a great player. Perfect Game rates him a 10 out of 10 and 1st Team Preseason All American in high school. He had been committed to Alabama State, and I wonder if it was just committed or signed. If signed, I wonder if he can get a waiver because of his father moving to Miami.



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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:55 pm   
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chiaPanther wrote:
FIU Fanatic wrote:
His son is a senior in high school and all accounts is that he is a great player. Perfect Game rates him a 10 out of 10 and 1st Team Preseason All American in high school. He had been committed to Alabama State, and I wonder if it was just committed or signed. If signed, I wonder if he can get a waiver because of his father moving to Miami.




Cherry on top of a pretty good sundae.

I don't like this hire. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this hire.

Melendez, in my mind, fits the profile of what FIU needs to get over the top. Namely...

1. A history of winning with less.

Take it from someone who lived in Daytona Beach the past 4 years and saw my fair share of BCU baseball. It's a miracle to me those guys are the class of the MEAC year in and year out with all the obstacles they face. Melendez is THE big reason why they have that legacy.

Everyone here knows FIU has to beat Miami regularly for people here to respect them. They're not Miami, but Stetson pretty much plays the same role as far as BCU's concerned. The Hatters get the cream players in that area. Oh, and BCU also has to battle Embry-Riddle in the city. They're not NCAA yet (will be soon), but they are one of the best NAIA baseball programs around and they also snag a lot of good players because their academics whip BCU's (and Stetson's, depending on the subject).

I had to cover Melendez's BCU teams on the regular when calling FIU games for WRGP. They were a fixture on the Price schedules. BCU always had a fair amount of Miami guys on their roster. South Florida is a hot recruiting area for them. I don't doubt for a second Melendez kept that up at Alabama State and it's going to serve him in good stead while in charge of FIU. You NEED someone who knows the South Florida high school baseball world well in order to succeed at FIU.

Also... if you think FIU's facilities are a problem for him... go to the Jack in downtown Daytona if you get the chance. It'll change your mind, guaranteed. One of the worst stadiums I've ever been in, period, no matter the sport. It's called Historic Jackie Robinson Ballpark for a reason... and it's because, in that case, "historic" really means it's a flaming pile of poo no one wants to sink money into.

BCU has to share that craphole with the Daytona Tortugas because they have no on-campus baseball stadium. At all. To be fair, the Jack is only a few minutes away from the main campus. But because the Tortugas are a Single A team, BCU can really only play home games until the minor league season begins. They regularly spend the final 2 months or so of the season on the road, even in conference, and they STILL manage to be NCAA regional participants on the regular.

If you can win like that, you can win at FIU. I feel pretty confident in saying that.

2. Latino roots.

I can't speak for Turtle, but I know for a fact that was one of the biggest problems Price had in recruiting when he was at FIU. A good ol' boy from Rocky Mount, North Carolina is going to have a hard time relating to and understanding Cubans, Puerto Ricans and all the other Latino cultures you have to navigate through in South Florida.

To be fair to Price, his being a former FIU player and assistant coach under Wonderling helped mitigate that somewhat. You can't live in SoFla that long and not learn to adapt culturally. But I know when I was covering his teams that there were lots of parents of prospective players who were turned off because Price wasn't Latino. It hurt him more than people realize, I think. It never hurt Fraser and Morris the same way because they were at Miami and everyone in SoFla considers Miami to be a big upgrade over FIU.

Being able to speak to a player's parents in Spanish is a tremendous advantage. Recruiting is, in many ways, getting parents to believe you'll take care of their baby. That's especially true for Latinos because of the culture's strong family ties. It's one of the biggest reasons, in my opinion, why Coach Casanova was such a good fit at FIU as an assistant. He could play that role and Price couldn't. Those parents could go to him and speak in a way they couldn't with Price.

I don't think it's a coincidence that Price's tenure started going downhill when Cas left. Even though Price hired other Spanish-speaking assistants - he always had at least one, I think - it was never really the same after Cas left. I know people like to think Calvi was a bigger loss at the time and he was a big loss, but to me, Cas was way bigger for that reason alone.

Again, can't speak for Turtle, but I suspect he had to battle a similar problem.

3. Prior head coaching experience.

To me, what really sunk Turtle was that he's not a good head coach. Maybe if he had gone to a smaller program, gotten some experience and learned from his mistakes there, he'd have been all right, but he clearly kept running into the same issues here and he couldn't figure out a way around them. The situation was similar with Price when he took over, but FIU was a much smaller program then and Price was gangbusters out of the gate.

Having someone who's battle-tested matters, I think. And Melendez is definitely battle-tested.

4. No University of Miami ties

Sounds weird, I know, but I'm convinced that's a problem as far as baseball's concerned.

Price always had pretty good relationships with the UM coaches. There was a respect factor there even if they were competitors. I suppose one can argue it's because UM never saw Price as a threat. Fair enough. But I don't think UM went after him as hard as they did for Turtle and I think it's because Turtle was part of the UM family. There's no doubt Miami did all they could to trash him on the recruiting trail.

Something tells me Melendez won't get the same treatment, at least initially. I'm sure that will help.

And don't be surprised to see Miami back on the schedule again moving forward. There's no doubt Turtle was the biggest reason that never went forward. I'm sure PG doesn't help, but AD's aren't the same as coaches in that sense.

Thank God we didn't get Lovelady or Arteaga or someone like that. I feel that wouldn't have helped at all.

5. Someone who knows the Miami area well.

Already covered.

6. Alumni/fan engagement.

This is the biggest question mark, in my eyes, but short of hiring Mike Lowell, there's no real way to fix that other than winning. Even then... still gotta win. I can live with this question mark as far as Melendez is concerned.

7. Fundraising

Stadium needs upgrades for sure. Price was instrumental in getting the current stadium built. You need a coach who can get money. Another question mark there, but again... winning will help.

8. Developing players.

A key of making do with less is getting the most out of your players. I think Melendez will do exactly that because of his past history. Turtle may have had great recruiting classes on paper but he couldn't develop them or he couldn't get them to come here because of the pro dollars. I'll take worse recruiting rankings if it means those guys develop into good players. Any day of the week.

9. Someone who will stay for the long haul.

This might be unrealistic, but if Coastal Carolina can get to the CWS finals, why can't FIU? I think Melendez is the kind of guy who will stick around if he can build a winner here.

Feel free to crap all over PG if you wish, but I think he nailed this hire. Big time. I'm excited.


Last edited by Clawing Cancer on Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:01 pm   
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