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DiMare steps down

The first member of UM's baseball team to announce he's leaving after the season isn't a player. In a bit of a surprising move, longtime assistant Gino DiMare told coach Jim Morris Friday he's stepping down.

DiMare just completed his 12th year on the Hurricane coaching staff where he served as the assistant head baseball coach, recruiting coordinator and coached the hitters and outfielders.

Gino_dimare“Gino has been a very important part of our Hurricane baseball program going back to his playing days,” Morris said in a statement released by the school. “He’s played a big part in our winning national titles during my time and our advancing to the College World Series. I can’t thank him enough for his tireless work on the recruiting trail in keeping Miami as one of the top programs. I was very saddened to hear that he wanted to step down. Family is important to Gino, and he wanted to spend more time with them. He will always be a Hurricane.”

DiMare said in the statement he's leaving the program to spend more time with his family.

“I have really enjoyed my 12 years on the Miami coaching staff,” DiMare said. “It’s been a tremendous opportunity being able to coach at my alma mater. I have a wonderful wife as well as young daughters, and I wanted to spend more time with them. College baseball is a great sport, but we as coaches have to make some sacrifices when it comes to traveling and being away from our loved ones. I felt like this was the right time to be more accessible to my family. Miami has a great baseball tradition. I have been honored to work with some of the best college baseball players in the country. I wish nothing but the best for the program and can’t wait to follow its success in the future.”

Miami has had some of the best offensive teams under DiMare’s direction. UM's offense has ranked among the top 10 in school history in seven of DiMare's nine seasons as the club's hitting instructor. His 2008 squad hit .320 and finished with the second-most home runs (106) in school history. The 711 hits were 10th all-time while the 2008 squad also ranked ninth in doubles (135), eighth in RBI (517), eighth in total bases (1,202) and fourth in slugging percentage (.541). It also featured first round selections Yonder Alonso, the seventh overall pick in the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft by the Cincinnati Reds, and Jemile Weeks, the 12th overall pick to the Oakland A’s. Alonso’s 24 homers fell just one shy of tying the school record. Three other Hurricane hitters went in the first four rounds of the 2008 MLB draft as Dennis Raben (second round to Seattle Mariners), Blake Tekotte (third round to the San Diego Padres) and Mark Sobolewski (fourth round to the Toronto Blue Jays) were selected.

DiMare’s accomplishments on the recruiting scene over the last eight seasons are as impressive as the Hurricanes’ annual postseason results. His 2001 class was rated among the top five nationally and his 2003 class was ranked among the top 15 nationally. DiMare’s 2007 class was ranked second by Collegiate Baseball and fifth by Baseball America. His 2008 class earned a No. 20 ranking by Collegiate Baseball.

His classes featured the 2005 ACC Player of the Year and ACC Pitcher of the Year, Ryan Braun (California) and Cesar Carrillo (Illinois). Braun and Carrillo were also Miami’s two first-round draft picks in 2005. Chris Hernandez was named the 2008 ACC Freshman of the Year while a total of eight Hurricanes were named to All-ACC teams in 2008. DiMare has also kept Florida’s top talent home, including 2006 first-round pick Chris Perez (Holmes Beach) and second-round pick, Jon Jay (Miami). He was instrumental in helping Miami to 12 NCAA postseason appearances, two national titles, eight College World Series appearances, 11 NCAA Regional championships and nine Super Regionals.

So how do you feel about the Canes losing DiMare?