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Head Baseball Coach Jim Morris Enters Eighth Season With New Contract

Head Baseball Coach Jim Morris Enters Eighth Season With New Contract

Oct. 29, 2000

CORAL GABLES, FL ( – University of Miami AthleticDirector Paul Dee announced today that Head Baseball Coach Jim Morris hassigned a new six-year contract, which runs through the 2006 season. Terms ofthe contract were not disclosed.

“The University of Miami is extremely pleased to announce this extensionwith Coach Morris,” said Dee. “Coach Morris has been highly successful inall aspects of this program, for which is the reason the University hasentered this extension.”

“I would like to thank Mr. Dee and the University of Miami for giving me thegreatest opportunity of my coaching career,” said Morris. “This Universityand this baseball program has meant a great deal to me and my family sincemy arrival in 1994. Along with be surrounded by outstanding coaches,players and fans, it is an honor and privilege to continue the greatesttradition in college baseball.”

In his seven previous seasons at Miami, Morris has guided his Hurricaneteams to seven postseason berths and six trips to the College World Seriesin Omaha, NE. Additionally, Morris’ 1999 club won the coveted NationalChampionship with a 6-5 victory over Florida State in the title game.

Aside from winning UM’s third-ever National Championship in 1999, CollegiateBaseball and American Baseball Coaches’ Association named Morris theNational Coach of the Year that season.

In addition, Morris had established a new NCAA record for guiding a team tothe College World Series in each of his first six years with Miami(1994-99). Morris actually set the record in 1998 with his fifth straighttrip to Omaha.

Morris’ 1999 Coach of the Year honor from Collegiate Baseball and the ABCAmarked his second and third such national awards as Baseball America namedhim the 1994 Coach of the Year following his first season with theHurricanes.

The Hurricanes will begin preparation for the 2001 season with fall practiceat Mark Light Stadium, October 30 through November 17. Practices, whichbegin at 3 p.m. each day, are open to the public. Miami returns 21lettermen from last year’s squad that finished 41-19-1 and ranked as high as13th by Baseball America and the USA Today/Baseball Weekly Coaches’ Poll.

Among the 21 lettermen returning for the Hurricanes are 12 position playerswith double-digit starts, two starting pitchers and nearly the entirebullpen from last year’s squad. Miami also starts fall practice with 16 newplayers on its roster.

Highlighting the 2001 Hurricanes’ roster are sophomores Kevin Howard andDanny Matienzo, along with senior Kevin Brown. Howard was named BaseballAmerica’s 2000 Freshman of the Year, while Matienzo was honored as the 2000Coral Gables NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player. Brown, regarded as oneof the nation’s best power hitters according to Baseball Weekly’s 2000preseason edition, was hobbled most of last season with a deep shin bruise.

Returning to the mound for the Hurricanes in 2001 are junior Brian Walkerand sophomore Kiki Bengochea, along with top relievers Tom Farmer and LukeDeBold. Walker led the Hurricanes pitching staff in 2000 with a 12-2 recordas UM’s No. 2 pitcher, behind Cincinnati Reds draft pick David Gil.Bengochea, who was UM’s No. 3 pitcher in 2000, was USA Baseball’s topreliever during the 2000 USWest Red, White and Blue Summer Tour. Farmer andDeBold, who each held the closer and long-reliever role during the 2000season, each enjoyed successful summers in the Virginia Valley and Cape CodLeagues, respectively.

The Hurricanes 2001 recruiting class, ranked 7th nationally by CollegiateBaseball, is highlighted by Boston Red Sox 18th round draft pick Haas Pratt(OF), Minnesota Twins 20th round pick T.J. Prunty (RHP), Cincinnati Reds31st round draft pick Daniel Touchet (RHP) and Sacramento City JuniorCollege’s Jeff Reboin (LHP).

The 2001 schedule for the Hurricanes begins on January 25th with FloridaAtlantic at Mark Light Stadium. Miami will face seven teams thatparticipated in the 2000 NCAA Division I Tournament, highlighted by annualgames against state rivals Florida State, Florida, FIU, FAU, Jacksonvilleand South Florida. Among the teams travelling to Coral Gables in 2001 areOklahoma State, Rutgers, East Carolina, Cal-State Fullerton and Virginia.

The File On Jim Morris
National Honors

1999 Collegiate Baseball National Coach of the Year
1999 ABCA National Coach of the Year
1999 Inducted into Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame
1998 ABCA Atlantic Region Coach of the Year
1997 ABCA Atlantic Region Coach of the Year
1996 ABCA Atlantic Region Coach of the Year
1994 Baseball America National Coach of the Year
1993 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year
1987 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year
ABCA District Coach of the Year
Metro Atlanta Dugout Club Coach of the Year
1983 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year

Coaching Record

Overall Record as a Head Coach 975-392-2 .713
Overall Division I Record 844-351-2 .706
Record at Miami (7 years) 340-107-1 .760
Record at Georgia Tech (12 years) 504-244-1 .674
Record at DeKalb CC (4 years) 131-41 .762