FIU announced the hiring of Mervyl Melendez as its fourth head baseball coach on June 28, 2016. He returns to the state of Florida after building the Alabama State program in the past five seasons to a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) power and respected mid-major program on a national level. This followed 12 years as the head coach at Bethune-Cookman, where he won 30-or-more games in nine of his seasons as the mentor. He has compiled 537 wins (100 games above .500 for his career) in 17 seasons as a head coach at the two programs. In total, teams under Melendez have also earned a dozen NCAA Tournament appearances
Melendez compiled 158 wins in five years with the Hornets, the highest win total in a five-year span in program history. Three times, the Hornets achieved a school-record win total under Melendez. Alabama State's 38 victories this spring toppled the 37 wins tallied in 2014. That followed setting the mark his first time in 2013 with 32 victories. Never before had the Hornets won 30-or-more wins in four-straight seasons before the tutelage of Melendez.
The Hornets won three-straight SWAC Eastern Division titles, capturing the tournament championship in 2016, and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The 2015 Alabama State team was named the Black College National Champions by blackcollegenines.com, an honor repeated this past season. The Hornets registered wins over No. 4 Miami and No. 17 Cal-State Fullerton, as well as victories over Tennessee and Auburn in his time in Montgomery.
Dax Norris begins his first season as FIU's pitching coach after a successful nine seasons at Alabama.
Norris began his coaching career at Alabama as the hitting instructor from 2008-10, before transitioning to work with the pitching staff and tutoring the catchers beginning in the 2011 season.
Under Norris's guidance, Alabama's pitching staff carried the team throughout the 2016 campaign. Crimson Tide pitchers finished with a 3.46 ERA and 452 strikeouts.
Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Jered Goodwin begins his first season as an FIU assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
Goodwin had previously been the head baseball coach at Hagerty High in Oviedo, Florida, from 2008-16, leading his team to a state runner-up finish last season. Goodwin's teams made two regional finals, appeared in six regionals and won four district championships.
Goodwin coached 37 players that went on to play college baseball, 22 of those players played at Division I schools. In addition, eight of his players were drafted in the Major League Baseball first year player draft, including two first round selections.
Volunteer Assistant Coach