|Stetson University baseball coach Pete Dunn has earned college baseball’s highest honor, election to the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Dunn will be inducted with the Class of 2014. The full class of inductees for 2014 will be announced later this year.
“It is tremendous honor for me to be inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame,” Dunn said. “To even be mentioned in the same breath as some of the men who are in the ABCA Hall of Fame is truly humbling. But this is not a recognition of Pete Dunn, it is a recognition of the accomplishments of all the young men I have had the extreme pleasure to coach and mentor over the years as well as my assistant coaches whose loyalty and expertise make my job so rewarding.
“There’s not a single coach in the Hall of Fame who got there by himself. It takes the outstanding efforts of the players and assistant coaches, and the sacrifices they make to have a successful program. It takes the support and hard work of the athletics staff and administration as well as the great leadership of the university administrators. I have been blessed to call Stetson University home for more than half my life, and this accomplishment would not have been possible without the contributions of many others.”
The Hatters coach enters the 2013 season with a career record of 1,202-762-3 in 33 season at his alma mater. In his 39 overall seasons at Stetson, Dunn has been a part of 1,355 victories – 71.7 percent of the all-time total for the Hatters – in 2,203 total games – 66.7 percent of Stetson games all-time.
Dunn has led the Hatters to 13 NCAA Regional Tournament appearances in his career and has captured eight Atlantic Sun Conference titles. He has been named the league’s coach of the year six times.
“It has been a real pleasure for me and my husband, Richard, to get to know Pete Dunn and to have the joy of watching him coach at Stetson,” Stetson University President, Dr. Wendy Libby, said. “As I travel across the United States, it is remarkable how many people know about our university because of the success of Coach Dunn and his team. I am thrilled that he has been recognized by the ABCA for his lifelong contributions to the game of baseball.”
“This is an honor to be shared with Stetson University, which has given me the opportunity to spend virtually my entire career as a head coach at my alma mater,” Dunn said.
The Hatters’ coach stands eighth in career wins among all active Division I coaches. He will be joined in the class of 2014 by two other members of the active top 10 list – Clemson’s Jack Leggett and LSU’s Paul Mainieri. That trio will join just four other active coaches in the Hall of Fame – Mike Martin of Florida State, Mark Marquess of Stanford, Mike Gillespie of UC Irvine and John Anderson of Minnesota.
“I cannot think of a greater honor for Pete than to be elected into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame,” Stetson University Director of Athletics Jeff Altier said. “Ultimately, these are his peers and they are acknowledging and recognizing him as one of the most outstanding college baseball coaches ever. His election to the Hall of Fame certainly comes as no surprise to me.
“Pete has not only had success on the field, but has trained scores of student/athletes and coaches on what it takes to succeed. As a coach, he has had tremendous success with the teams he has managed, and the players he has coached have achieved national recognition for their athletic and academic achievements. Many students have been able to fulfill their goal of playing professional baseball, leaving Stetson as high draft picks.”
The ABCA Hall of Fame currently includes 260 members. That group includes one of Dunn’s mentors in college baseball, former Georgia Southern, Mississippi State and Georgia coach Ron Polk, who was inducted in 1995. Dunn spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach for Polk at Georgia Southern, a tenure that included a trip to the College World Series.
“I was blessed to have a chance to play for and work for two of the best college baseball coaches the sport has ever known,” Dunn said. “I played for coach Jim Ward here at Stetson and later worked for him for three years. He is one of the best baseball minds I have ever known. He gave me the chance to come back to Stetson to coach and I will forever be grateful for that.
“Coach Polk gave me the opportunity to get into college coaching when he brought me to Georgia Southern in 1972. I am proud to say that I had the privilege to work under one of the greatest college coaches of all-time.”
Dunn will take his rightful place in the Hall of Fame on January 3, 2014 at the annual ABCA Convention in Dallas, Texas. In addition to the ABCA Hall of Fame, Dunn is a member of the Stetson University Athletics Hall of Fame as well as the Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame.
“None of my success as a college baseball coach could have been possible without my family supporting me as well as making tremendous sacrifices during my coaching career,” Dunn said. “Debbie has been the foundation of the family during this time. I could never express in words my gratitude to her. Taylor, Emily, Rayni and Mark have been there for me during the wins and losses and have been understanding of the many days and weeks throughout a season that I have been away from home.”
The Class of 2013, which was inducted at the Chicago convention earlier this month, included Bill Aker of Northern Kentucky, Dan Gallagher of Fordham, Woody Hunt of Cumberland, Ralph Rago of UC Davis, Kent Shelley of Johnson County and Joe Roberts of Armstrong Atlantic.
There are 19 voting members on the ABCA Hall of Fame Committee and a candidate must be named on 75 percent of the ballots to gain induction.
Dunn will lead the Hatters into his 34th season as head coach the weekend of February 15-17 when Stetson hosts Saint Joseph’s at Melching Field. The Hatters will open with 19 of their first 20 games at home this spring.