The Jacksonville University baseball team welcomed home Mark Guerra in the 2016-17 offseason. Guerra, who played for the 1994 Dolphin team that went to the NCAA Regionals, enters his second season on the coaching staff as the pitching coach.
"We are extremely excited to have Mark back in a Dolphin uniform," said Head Coach Chris Hayes of his former teammate. "He brings a great deal of knowledge, experience and familiarity to our staff."
Guerra joined the Dolphins in 1994 after playing at Okaloosa Walton College (now Northwest Florida State College) in 1992 and 1993. He and teammate Hayes helped lead the team to a 40-24 season and an NCAA Regional in Tallahassee. The Dolphins finished 24th in the nation, and Guerra was named an ABCA All-American while leading the nation in wins with 14, a Dolphin record.
"Mark was one of the fiercest competitors I have ever played with," continued Hayes. "He elevated everyone around him. When he was on the mound, we knew we were going to win. I am so thankful that our student-athletes are going to get a chance to learn from him."
After the 1994 season, Guerra was drafted in the 40th round by the New York Mets. The Pensacola, Fla., native played for the Mets, Houston Astros, and Milwaukee Brewers, logging over 1400 innings pitched during his 10-year career. Guerra was also invited to play in the Venezuelan Winter League several times, pitching for Caracas and Magallanes in the months of October, November, and December. He also played in the Dominican in one offseason stint.
"He knows what it takes to win at this University, in our dugout," said Hayes. "He is one of the most dominant pitchers that has ever toed the rubber at John Sessions stadium. He has beaten the best in the game at every level. His ability to share that knowledge and practical experience with our student-athletes will benefit them on so many levels."