FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A new era of Nova Southeastern Baseball has begun, as Adrian Morales has been named the fifth NSU Baseball coach in program history. Morales succeeds Laz Gutierrez, who led the Sharks since the 2020 season.
“I am proud to announce Adrian Morales as the new Head Coach of the Sharks Baseball program. Amongst many other championship characteristics, Adrian possesses the passion, the winning pedigree, and the right skill set to lead our tradition rich program”, said Athletics Director and Associate Vice President for Advancement, Michael Mominey. “With Coach Morales as our leader, I am confident Sharks Baseball will continue to be recognized as a nationally preeminent program on and off the field.”
Morales comes to Nova Southeastern after four seasons as the Head Coach at Miami-Dade College, where he accumulated a record of 126-60-2 (67.78 winning percentage). During the 2023 season, Morales guided MDC to a 34-16-1 record, winning the South Regional Championship and finished third in the FCSAA Tournament. Morales led Miami-Dade to three consecutive FCSAA Regional Southern Conference Championships from 2021-2023. Additionally, Morales also earned was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year in three straight seasons from 2021 to 2023 and was recognized as the 2021 FCSAA and Diamond Club Coach of the Year.
“Being named the Head Coach of the Nova Southeastern Baseball program is such an honor to me and my family,” stated Morales. “I take tremendous pride in leading a program and being added to the list of great head coaches to lead the Sharks throughout its history, including our Athletic Director, Michael Mominey, Greg Brown, Laz Gutierrez, and Coach Sonny Hansley.”
Morales continued, “my vision for the Sharks Baseball program is to change the lives of our student-athletes through the opportunity that higher education creates. We will be a beacon in the community and create champions on, but most importantly, off the field.”
Prior to being named the Head Coach at Miami-Dade, Morales served for three seasons as an assistant coach, focusing on infield instruction, batting and was the lead recruiter. During those three years, 40 Miami-Dade student-athletes earned scholarships to other institutions, furthering their collegiate baseball careers.
Morales has been a staple in South Florida Baseball throughout his coaching career, having worked with Coral Gables Senior High School, Miami Springs Senior High School, and as an ELITE Squad Summer League Head Coach.
Morales began his collegiate playing career at Miami-Dade College, where he played under Steve Hertz. During his time as a player, Morales led the Sharks in home runs (7) and RBIs (45), as a freshman and was named a First-Team All-State member in 2008. After two seasons at MDC, Morales continued his playing career at the University of South Carolina, where he was major part of two NCAA Division I National Championship teams (2010-11). Morales was named the 2010 Regional Most Valuable Player as well as being named to the All-Tournament team in both 2010 and 2011. Following his career at South Carolina, Morales played for three seasons in the Kansas City Royals organization before beginning his coaching career.
Morales then returned to USC as a student-assistant coach and earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from South Carolina in 2014.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT ADRIAN MORALES
Ray Tanner, University of South Carolina Athletics Director, and Former two-time National Champion Baseball Coach
Congratulations to Athletics Director Mike Mominey and Nova Southeastern University on the hiring of Adrian Morales as the head baseball coach for the Sharks. Coach Morales is truly one of the bright young minds in all of college baseball. He will build upon the success that Nova Southeastern has enjoyed for many years. He will develop players and instill competitiveness at the highest level while emphasizing academic success in his student-athletes. As a former player at South Carolina, Adrian was a talented, impactful teammate and leader that led our team to back-to-back national championships. Coach Morales is a great hire, and the future is bright and exciting for Nova Southeastern Baseball.
Greg Brown, Special Assistant to the President & General Manager, Hitting Chicago Cubs & Former Head Baseball Coach Nova Southeastern University
The hiring of Adrian Morales to lead our proud baseball program reaffirms NSU’s commitment to winning as he is a winner in every sense of the word. Adrian won back-to-back national championships as a player and has continued to win as a coach at the University of South Carolina and at Miami-Dade College. He makes everyone around him better and sets a high standard for others to follow. I cannot wait to see all the great accomplishments on and off the field that will take place as he takes our baseball program to new heights.
Mark Calvi, Head Baseball Coach, University of South Alabama, Nova Southeastern Alumnus, Class of 1991
Adrian is one of the bright young rising stars in the college coaching industry. I recruited Adrian to the University of South Carolina not only because of the player he was, but also the person. He has incredible fire, toughness and off the chart leadership qualities. His presence was a driving factor in winning back-to-back national championships at South Carolina. Flat out, Adrian is a winner. He’s brought the characteristics that made him such a great player to the coaching profession. His players at Miami Dade would run through a wall for him. His new players at Nova Southeastern will do the same. I’m so excited that my alma Mater hired Adrian to be its next head baseball coach. He will do great things in the community and on the field. The sky is the limit for coach Morales and the Sharks!
Yasmani Grandal, Catcher, Chicago White Sox
Adrian is a true born leader. He will challenge you to be the best player you could be on a daily basis and his players love him for it. I am excited to see him take Nova Southeastern baseball to the highest level of competition. Congratulations, Adrian!