THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012
Baseball welcomes back Talmadge Nunnari as assistant coach
Former JU baseball player Talmadge Nunnari returns to familiar territory as an assistant coach on the Dolphins staff for the 2012 season.

Nunnari, an All-America and All-conference player for the Dolphins in 1996-97, comes to JU following a nine-year stint as an administrator and coach for the Pensacola Baseball Club. He replaces Tommy Murphy who moved back home with his family.

"We are excited to have Talmadge joining our staff," JU head coach Terry Alexander said. "He was an exceptional player for us which allowed him an opportunity to continue his career at the professional level. Talmadge has a great baseball mind and I know our guys will benefit from his knowledge."

While in the panhandle, Nunnari managed the Pensacola Pelicans of American Association in 2009 and 2010, helping capture the South Division title both times. He also served as the team’s general manager from 2006-09 after previously working as the corporate sales executive and hitting coach (2003-05).

Nunnari also worked with the Baseball Factory player development service during his time in Pensacola. He traveled to several cities throughout the nation to help with talent evaluation for high school athletes at selected events.

"I am happy to back with my alma mater," Nunnari said. "The JU baseball program has always had a good tradition and success. We have high exceptions in 2012 and I am excited to be a part of the process."

During his collegiate career, Nunnari was a two-time all-conference section while racking up 65 wins at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia, Ala. before coming to JU in 1996.

Nunnari batted better than .330 each season for the Dolphins, including a school-record .450 clip in 1997 to be named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year. He also earned All-America honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Collegiate Baseball as well as all-region by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) for his efforts.

Following his two standout seasons, Nunnari was taken in the ninth round of the 1997 MLB draft by the Montreal Expos. He worked his way through the minors became the fifth person in school history when he made his Major League debut for the Expos on September 7, 2000 against the St. Louis Cardinals. He played 18 games for the Expos, including getting his first hit against AJ Burnett. In all, Nunnari finished with nine seasons at the professional level (Majors, Minors, Independent).

Nunnari graduated from JU in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in sports management. He and his wife Meredith Reeves-Nunnari, will reside in Jacksonville.