FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Nova Southeastern first-year head coach Laz Gutierrez has announced the hiring of Nick Rodriguez as the Sharks’ volunteer assistant coach. Rodriguez brings a wealth of baseball knowledge from his previous coaching stops and as a player at Tusculum – he will work with the Sharks infielders.
“We’re very fortunate to have Nick join our coaching staff,” Gutierrez said. “He’s a byproduct of the South Florida baseball community. He played and coached at Tusculum University. He worked for USA Baseball in their data analysis program. Thus, his experience coaching infielders and his comprehensive understanding of biomechanical technology makes him a perfect fit for the NSU baseball program. I look forward to Nick working with our infielders and expanding our biometrics analysis approach. “
Rodriguez comes to the NSU program off a stint as the assistant director for prospect development pipeline at USA Baseball in Cary, N.C., where he worked in a collaboration between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball to build a data bridge for identifying and developing prospects between amateur players and the professional level.
Prior to that, he spent three years on the staff at his alma mater, Tusculum, in Greeneville, Tenn., starting his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Pioneers during the 2016 season. The 2016 team boasted five All-Conference performers and two All-Region standouts. Rodriguez also mentored seven players who garnered South Atlantic Conference All-Tournament Team recognition. That season, Rodriguez helped TU to a 38-18 record while capturing a share of the South Atlantic Conference Tournament title and a berth to the NCAA Division II Tournament. Prior to the 2017 season, Rodriguez was elevated to a full time assistant coach with the program, leading the infielders and he was also heavily involved in recruiting and was the assistant hitting coach. The 2017 squad earned 30 wins with four of Rodriguez’ hitters named to the All-SAC teams. Four more All-SAC hitters on the 2018 team were highlighted by consensus All-American second baseman Daulton Martin.
“I would like to thank Laz Gutierrez for granting me the opportunity to be a part of this university and the Nova Southeastern baseball program,” Rodriguez said. “I am very excited to contribute to the winning tradition that has been built over the years. Growing up in South Florida, I have followed the success of Nova Southeastern Baseball, its coaches and its student-athletes, and now to be a part of it is something very special.”
In addition, since 2018 Rodriguez has developed and implemented a strategic plan for players to transition to the next level through his work as founder and coach for kids 9-14 at Rawlings Southeast Baseball Academy in Miami, Fla.
Rodriguez wrapped his playing career at second base for Tusculum in 2015 as a Sports Management graduate, and earned his Master’s Degree from Tusculum in December 2016. He played in 113 games for the Pioneers, who boasted a 145-68 (.681) overall record, including 74-39 in the South Atlantic Conference during his playing tenure.
A native of Miami, Rodriguez played his prep career at American High School, where he garnered All-Dade County Team accolades on two occasions and batted over .425 in his junior and senior seasons.