Longtime MDC Baseball Coach Set to Retire After 26 Seasons
Miami native Steve Hertz will step down in June 2010
Steve Hertz, Miami Dade College baseball coach, in 1979 (left) and now.
Miami, January 28, 2010 - Miami Dade College (MDC) baseball coach Steve Hertz has been carrying the torch for MDC’s storied baseball program for 26 years. He has continued the rich tradition of baseball excellence that was started in 1961 with legendary MDC coaches Demie Mainieri and Charlie Greene. In June 2010, Hertz will retire and pass the torch to his successor.
MDC’s baseball program has a winning tradition of not only conference, state and national championships, but also of preparing its players to continue their education at top four-year colleges and universities and/or at the professional level. Coach Hertz has been a major force in creating this success.
"The tradition and success of MDC baseball is unmatched by any other college in the country," Director of athletics Jim Cox noted. "Our alumni have gone on to continue their academic pursuits and play baseball at the finest university programs in the nation, as well as the professional leagues, and have also become successful in business, education, and many other professional career fields. We owe Coach Hertz a great deal of gratitude for these accomplishments."
MDC baseball alumni include current Major Leaguers Placido Polanco, Raul Ibanez, Orlando Palmeiro, Kiko Calero and Alex Sanchez. In addition, former Major League players who have played baseball at MDC over the past five decades include Mickey Rivers, Bucky Dent, Alex Fernandez, Mike Piazza, Jaime Navarro, Oddibe McDowell, Warren Cromartie, Steve Carlton, Gil Patterson and Kurt Bevacqua.
Moreover, many other MDC players have enjoyed great success as players in other professional leagues in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia while others have made strides in the coaching ranks of high schools, colleges and professional teams.
Coach Hertz currently leads all community college coaches in Florida with a winning percentage of 74%. His teams have qualified for the state tournament 18 of the last 24 years. At the College, the Sharks were state finalists in 1993, 1996 and 1998. His teams have been ranked in the top 10 nationally on ten occasions (1986, ’87, ’88, ’92, ’96, ’98, ’01, ’07, ’08, and 2009). In 2001, the Sharks won the State and Gulf District Championship and came in fifth at JUCO World Series.
With 41 years of experience, Coach Hertz has seen more than 150 of his players sign professional baseball contracts with many others playing at four-year universities. A Miami native, Hertz starred as an All-City and All-State infielder at Miami Senior High batting .456 his senior year and leading his team to the state tournament. After signing a professional contract with the Houston (Colt 45’s) Astros in 1963, he became the youngest player at the time (19) to break into spring training and stay with the major league team.
During his minor league career he played for Highpoint N.C. under manager Jack McKeon (former Florida Marlins manager), where they won the Carolina League Pennant. Coach Hertz was selected to the All-Star Team twice: 1965 Western Carolina League and 1966 Florida State League. He finished his professional baseball career as a member of the New York Mets Tidewater squad (International League AAA) that won the International League Pennant.
Hertz made time to return to Miami in the offseason to pursue a bachelor’s degree in education form the University of Miami. He would later earn a master’s degree in administration and supervision from NOVA Southeastern in 1978.
Coach Hertz began his coaching career in 1970 at Coral Park High School. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Hertz was a full-time professor in MDC’s Health and Wellness SLS program for 23 years.
Coach Hertz resides in Kendall with his wife Fran, who also teaches at Miami Dade College. They have two adult sons and two grandchildren.
“It has been a privilege to teach and coach for 40 years with the last 26 at MDC,” said Hertz. “The outstanding people, players and assistant coaches who I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with have made this journey so very rich and rewarding. We can only hope that as coaches, we have been able to make a positive impact on the lives of our student athletes. My heartfelt thanks to all of you at the college, who in many ways have been so supportive through the years.”
For more information, please contact MDC athletics director Jim Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, email@example.com, MDC communications director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, firstname.lastname@example.org, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, email@example.com, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, firstname.lastname@example.org