DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Longtime Bethune-Cookman Baseball Coach Mervyl Melendez has resigned to accept the head coaching position at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala., B-CU Director of Athletics Lynn W. Thompson announced late Thursday afternoon.
“Mervyl is pound-for-pound one of the best coaches I have ever been around,” said Thompson, “but he is a far greater husband, father, and teacher than that. It has truly been an honor to watch him bloom into a legend, and I wish him well in his search for life’s next challenge. We truly hate to see him leave the campus, but he can never leave our family.”
Melendez has been part of the Bethune-Cookman program for 19 years, first playing for the Wildcats and earning Black College All-American honors then serving as an assistant for three seasons and finally as head coach for the last 12 seasons, during which time he has taken the B-CU program to legendary heights.
“I’m proud of every player that has played for me and every coach that has coached for me. They have paved the way for me to move on and get closer to the dream of getting to Omaha,” Melendez said. “This leap here is about taking another step in my career in hopes to take it to a new level.”
Taking the reins of the program as a young coach, Melendez raised the Wildcats’ standard of excellence to a new level, opening his career as a head coach with five consecutive MEAC titles. Presently, B-CU is on a different run of six consecutive MEAC Championships, leaving just one year without a title in his 379-win B-CU tenure.
“I need to thank all of the people that gave me the opportunity here,” said Melendez. “Lynn Thompson took a chance on me when I was 25, and I owe him a lot for that. Much of my success is because of the leadership in the athletic department. ”
The Wildcats are coming off a 36-25 season that ended in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional. B-CU wrapped up its second straight 18-0 perfect season in MEAC play, while extending its win streak over conference opponents to 46 games. Melendez set the bar high, and the B-CU administration will waste no time in putting the right coach into the position.
“With the amount of success that we have enjoyed, the history of championships, and the resources in place to support our program, we have already launched our search for the baseball coach who will be able to continue leading our program towards our goal of the College World Series,” Thompson said.