Panther Baseball Coach’s Corner

Rick Hitt
Head Baseball Coach
863-784-7036
hittr@southflorida.edu

Rick Hitt began his 20th year at SFSC in August and will usher in his 19th team in January as the 2018  baseball season gets underway.  Hitt who is in his 30th year overall in coaching has had the great fortune of coaching many talented players and outstanding young men. 

Hitt’s expectations of the players are simple: “Dedicate yourself to being an outstanding young man and representative of SFSC daily, commit to academic accountability and graduation, and play the greatest game in the world as hard as you can play it each day you get the chance. The growth that occurs within this process has the opportunity to stay with you as you venture on in life.”

Hitt and wife Jayma recently celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary together.  They have two daughters–both SFSC graduates—Sydney, age 22, and Cassady, age 20. 

As a pitcher at Santa Fe Community College, Hitt helped the Saints to a third place finish in the 1985 NJCAA Word Series playing for NJCAA and ABCA Hall of fame coach Harry Tholen. Hitt completed his baseball playing career at St. Thomas University where he played for current LSU and 2014 ABCA Hall of Fame inductee Paul Mainieri. 

“I was blessed to have played for two highly respected coaches and outstanding people during my collegiate career,” Hitt said. “It is not often one can say they played for two coaches who are Hall of Famers. I am very grateful for the opportunity they provided me.” 

Hitt is in his second full term as the NJCAA Coaches Association President and in his 14th year as a member of the FCSAA State Baseball Committee. He just completed his third year as a member of the prestigious ABCA Board of Directors and serves on the ABCA Executive Committee. Hitt is also a member of the Standing Committee of the ABCA.

In November 2016, Hitt was inducted into the FCSAA Hall of fame. In June 2017 at the ABCA National meetings in Omaha, Hitt was selected as the incoming fourth vice president of the ABCA, an extremely prestigious honor as Hitt becomes only the third NJCAA coach in the two-year system to be selected to join the ABCA presidency. 

When not at the ballpark, Hitt enjoys simply being at home spending time with his family, the occasional round of golf, and morning walks with the family dog Willy.

Hitt and his players look forward to the ride in 2017. “It is a great game, and one of the reasons why is the enjoyment of taking the ride with a great group of people around you,” Hitt said. “My hope is our players will embrace that and enjoy the opportunities this season presents.”