Former Bishop McLaughlin baseball coach Nick Rodriguez, who created the Hurricanes program from scratch and guided it to five consecutive playoff appearances, has been hired for the same job at Carrollwood Day.
"I'm excited," said Rodriguez, a Tampa Prep alumnus who spent last spring as pitching coach of his alma mater, which reached the Class 3A state tournament. "We're young and we actually have some talent."
A married father of two, Rodriguez compiled a 96-54 mark at Bishop McLaughlin, but grew weary of the lengthy commutes from his Hillsborough County home to the small private school near the Pasco-Hernando County border. He stepped down in 2011 and worked at Independent Day School in Tampa last year.
He's now CDS' director of advancement. "I have two little ones under the age of 5, and a 45-minute drive to work early in the morning was not where I needed to be," Rodriguez said.
CDS also announced the hiring of longtime local club coach Chuck Fest as Patriots softball coach. Fest, who runs the Tampa Bay Raiders Baseball and Softball complex, has more than 20 years' coaching experience.
"We are excited to add these two high-caliber coaches to our staff," CDS athletic director Baker Mabry said. "They both bring championship expectations to their respective programs."