Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach Chuck Hernandez joins USF's staff

Chuck Hernandez was the pitching coach for the Rays in addition to two other MLB teams before agreeing to join the USF staff and coach Lelo Prado. Hernandez and Prado have known each other since their childhood days in Tampa.

Times (2005)

Chuck Hernandez was the pitching coach for the Rays in addition to two other MLB teams before agreeing to join the USF staff and coach Lelo Prado. Hernandez and Prado have known each other since their childhood days in Tampa.

TAMPA — For the second time this summer, USF baseball coach Lelo Prado is filling a spot on his staff with a familiar name with major-league experience. Prado announced Tuesday that former Rays, Angels and Tigers pitching coach Chuck Hernandez has been hired to coach the Bulls' pitchers.

"(Hernandez is) the final piece of the puzzle that I believe is going to help to where we want to go. … You know it as well as I do that in this game, pitching decides everything," Prado said. "I've known (him) my whole life, and I think he brings something to the program that a lot of the people around the country don't have, a professional guy who has developed pitchers his whole life."

Hernandez, 49, a Tampa native, has 31 years of experience as a player and coach and has known Prado since they were kids growing up in Tampa. He said Prado has tried to hire him for years, and finally convinced him this summer. He joins the Bulls after working with the Phillies' team in the Gulf Coast League this season.

"I used to strike him out in Little League all the time," said Hernandez, a Tampa Catholic grad who was the Rays' pitching coach in 2004-05 and spent the next three seasons with the Tigers. "We've probably joked about this, he and I, for the last 25 years of our professional careers. Finally this year, he hit me for the 20th time probably, I said, 'Let's sit down and talk about it.' It's a new frontier for me."

Prado also hired former USF standout and major-league catcher Chris Heintz, who was managing the Twins' team in the GCL, as hitting coach this summer. Hernandez has two of the Big East's top returning pitchers in Randy Fontanez and Andrew Barbosa, who both were drafted but returned for their senior year.

NICE RAISE: Ever since the long-awaited USF-Florida football game was announced in 2002, the "guarantee" figure to be paid to the Bulls has been reported as $500,000. But with the game being rescheduled from its original date and the market changing for such games, Florida agreed to renegotiate the payout, and the total was upgraded last month to $700,000.

That's the biggest check the Bulls have gotten for a football game.

ALMOST A GATOR: Junior S Jerrell Young is a rare Bull who has attended a Gators game in Gainesville — he took an official visit to Florida in September 2005 during his senior year at Gibbs, catching a Gators win over Tennessee.

"It was loud," Young said. "It's going to be rockin' there. I'm looking forward to it."

Young was recruited by then-UF assistant Charlie Strong, now Louisville's coach, but he said he didn't strongly consider the Gators because they wanted him to play running back and he had his heart set on safety.

THIS AND THAT: USF picked up four points in this week's USA Today football coaches poll, making the Bulls an unofficial No. 47. … Former USF signee Mike Hayes, a running back who was released and signed with Houston, had two touchdowns in the Cougars' opening win against Texas State. Another former USF signee, Adaris Bellamy of Dunedin, rushed for a team-high 38 yards for Youngstown State in Saturday's loss to Penn State.

Greg Auman can be reached at and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at and follow him at auman.

Former Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach Chuck Hernandez joins USF's staff 09/07/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 7:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  2. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule


    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]
  3. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans


    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  4. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?


    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  5. Rays at Twins, 2:10 p.m. Saturday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Today: at Twins

    2:10, Target Field, Minneapolis

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)