Pitt baseball assistant coach Joe Mercadante will serve as the head coach of North Florida, the program announced on Friday.
𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝘂𝗻𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲 ☀️
Joe Mercadante is announced as the 4th head coach in our program's history ❕
— UNF Baseball (@OspreyBSB) June 23, 2023
He served as assistant coach for the Panthers the past two seasons under head coach Mike Bell. Mercadante saw Pitt win 54 wins over the past two seasons, including back-t0-back ACC Tournament appearances and an appearance in the Semifinals in 2022.
He worked with mainly with outfielders and also extensively on recruiting, along with helping assistant coach Ty Megahee.
“We are extremely excited for Coach Mercadante and his family as they embark on their new journey,” Bell said in a statement. “Joe has proven to be a dynamic recruiter, developer of talent, and no doubt will show that he can lead UNF to a championship brand of baseball on the field & excellence off the field. We are grateful for their time here at Pitt, and look forward to following their success.”
Mercadante has plenty of experience in his home state of Florida. He started out at Miami, first as a volunteer assistant then to assistant, working there for seven years (2005-11). He assisted catchers with their defensive game and offensive efforts for all batters, as well as recruiting.
He then spent one season at UCF in a similar role, before serving as head coach for the travel team, the Central Florida Gators, in the Perfect Game from 2013-17. Mercadante worked at Stetson as an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator from 2017-21 before coming to Pitt.
The Panthers are rebuilding after more than 10 players transferred out of the program. Three players have transferred into the program, including Penn State left-handed pitcher Ryan Partridge, Fairleigh Dickinson first baseman Luke Cantwell and New Orleans shortstop Tyler Bischke.
Bell will now have to add focus his attention on hiring a new assistant coach to bring this program to success it hasn’t seen before.