A month after long-time Dunedin baseball coach Tom Hilbert resigned, the Falcons have a new coach.
Ron Sexton, an assistant softball coach at Dunedin for the past two seasons under Roy Silver, was tapped to take over the program Tuesday.
“I never thought I would ever coach at Dunedin because I thought Tom Hilbert would be here for another 20 or 30 years,’’ said Sexton, 42, who moved to Florida from Indianapolis.
Hilbert stepped down Sept. 4 to take a volunteer coaching position at St. Petersburg College. Sexton, who also works with Silver at the Winning Inning Baseball Academy in Clearwater, will be only the third baseball coach at the school in 42 years.
Sexton does not teach at Dunedin. He is a writer and producer for Clear Channel Communications and works from his home. He said he decided to move his family to Dunedin mostly because of the baseball program.
“(Clear Channel) always told me that I didn’t have to come into the office to work. I could work from home,’’ he said. “So I asked them if home could be in Florida. They gave me their blessing and it was full speed ahead to get down here.
“(Baseball) is what attracted me here. Our old high school went through about four coaches in six years. As my kids were getting older, I thought we needed to change. I read up on this program and all that Coach Hilbert has done and it was the premier program in this area.’’
Sexton has four children. Eric, 17, is a senior on the Dunedin baseball team. Abbie, 16, is a junior on the softball team. Alex, 13, is a freshman who will try out for the baseball team, and Aliah is 8.
Sexton has 20-plus years of experience coaching travel baseball in Indiana. This will be his first high school coaching stint.
“We believe his coaching experience and communications skills will serve him well as our baseball coach,’’ Dunedin assistant principal Eric Allen said.
The Falcons were 18-10 last season and advanced to the Class 5A region semifinals. Under Hilbert, Dunedin won 13 district championships and a state title in 2008.
“I have the utmost respect for what he has built,’’ Sexton said. “If I can be half the coach that Tom Hilbert was then I’ll be thrilled.’’