JU: Pope Joins Baseball Staff as Pitching Coach

JACKSONVILLE (www.sportsdayjax.com) - Jacksonville University baseball announced Justin Pope as the program's new pitching coach on Thursday.

Pope, a former first round draft pick who pitched professionally for nine seasons, brings a wealth of experience as a player and a coach to JU, after having worked in a variety of roles in the minor leagues for over a decade."We are so excited to have Justin Pope join our program," said Head Coach Chris Hayes. "Justin has been either playing or coaching at the highest level for the last 22 years."His knowledge, experience and positive energy will elevate everyone in our program. He is a tremendous communicator and possesses an expertise in the latest technology that continues to grow within college baseball."The Florida native joins the Dolphins after most recently working in the Miami Marlins organization for the last three-and-a-half years. He has served as both an analyst with the big-league club and a player development pitching coach at the team's facility in Jupiter since 2021.Prior to his return to his home state, he spent 10 years with the New York Yankees organization, serving in multiple capacities amongst its minor league system, including as the manager of the Staten Island Yankees (Class A). He joined the Yankees coaching tree after concluding his professional playing career, which included stints in the Yankees system, as well as the Phillies and the Cardinals, where he was drafted 28th overall in the 2001 MLB Draft.Pope was a standout pitcher at UCF from 1999-2001, and was a First Team All-American in 2001. That season he was also the ASUN Player of the Year and an All-Tournament Team selection after breaking Roger Clemens' NCAA record of 38.1 consecutive scoreless innings. He left as the Knights' career leader in wins and strikeouts and was top-five in three other statistical categories.Born in West Palm Beach and raised in Lake Worth, Pope was a standout at both Palm Beach Lakes Community and Wellington High School. His love of baseball was in part cultivated by his father, who built a baseball field on the family's five-acre farm when he was seven years old, and his little league team routinely practiced on it when he was growing up."Justin was a dominant, fierce competitor when he played and carries that same passion in the dugout today," said Hayes. "We welcome Justin, his wife Kim and daughter Kennedy to the Dolphin family!"

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