After six seasons as the head baseball coach at Bishop McLaughlin, Nick Rodriguez has decided to leave his spot on the Hurricanes' bench.
Rodriguez is stepping down as the Hurricanes' coach to accept a position as Assistant Head of School at Independent Day School, a K-8 private institution in Tampa. Rodriguez said he is also starting a Master's program in the fall and is expecting a baby with his wife Melanie. The couple already have a three-year-old son Xavier.
"I have been blessed by the opportunities and friends that I have made here at Bishop and would like to thank everyone for all of their help," Rodriguez said in an e-mail. "I wish there was more hours in the day but looking ahead I simply will not have the time needed to be a head coach."
Rodriguez, the only varsity baseball coach Bishop McLaughlin has ever had, compiled a 95-64 record in his six-year tenure and won three district championships. The Hurricanes have made five-straight regional appearances under Rodriguez and won two district titles (2A-10) in a row. Bishop McLaughlin advanced to the regional semifinals this past season before falling to Brooks-DeBartolo 4-3.
"I am a strong believer that what we have started together on the field will continue to grow and the school still has its best years coming," Rodriguez said. "I have met with the returning players and will assist (Bishop McLaughlin Head of School Sarah) Regan as much as requested in finding a great coach to continue the tradition."
Rodriguez said he won't be coaching baseball this upcoming season but will continue giving lessons and staying active in the baseball community. He also said a return to coaching in a couple of years wouldn't be out of the question.
"Mr. Rodriguez has served our community with loyalty and dedication, and we wish him happiness and success as he pursues this wonderful opportunity," Regan said in an e-mailed statement. "Mr. Rodriguez will hold a very special place in our history and our hearts. Although he will be greatly missed, we congratulate him on this wonderful new opportunity."
Regan said the school will begin searching for a new baseball coach as soon as possible and would like to have somebody in place before July.