Head Coach Pete Dunn Dunn’s vision and hard work helped Stetson build a stadium which quickly garnered acclaim as one of the nation’s finest collegiate facilities. Melching Field at Conrad Park, a $4.5 million stadium jointly built by Stetson University and the City of DeLand, opened on Feb. 12, 1999. The facility will once again host the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament this spring, the 10th time the event will be in DeLand in the facilities’ 15 years in existence. “It is not just the university, it is the entire community,” Dunn said of his continued passion for the game. “When we brought the stadium before the citizens of DeLand and told them this was what we wanted to do, the city put in 2.5 million and their land and we put in 1.5 million. “There were very few people who voiced opposition to the project. It was supported because the baseball program was good and it was something the community had bought into. It is a great baseball community.” The challenges that come with coaching have also changed over the years, but Dunn said he still relishes the opportunities he has to have an impact on young players. “One of the things that’s remained constant is that the guys who play on this level still love the game,” Dunn said. “Most of them want to play at the next level, but obviously most don’t get that opportunity. The nice thing is that the players we get here at Stetson are academically oriented, which means their parents have pushed them to be good students as well as good baseball players. You have to be disciplined in order to be a good enough student to get into Stetson and do well. “I think we get a higher-caliber kid. I’ve always believed we have higher-caliber kids here at Stetson because of the academics.” Entering his 34th year as head coach, and his 37th year overall at Stetson, Dunn said he is asked often about how much longer he wants to coach. He has a passion outside of baseball, but his commitment to the Hatters’ baseball
program prevents him from spending as much time as he would like on his boat. “I love to fish,” Dunn said. “I have always said that baseball is my profession and fishing is my passion. One of these days I look forward to my only worry being where I am I going to fish today. “My kids are still in school. Taylor is at Stetson now, playing football, and Emily is a senior. I don’t feel like I am ready to retire. I still enjoy it and feel young enough. I have been very fortunate to have had good health.” Dunn’s long and distinguished career as a coach has opened the door to a number of awards and tributes. He was inducted into the Stetson University Sports Hall of Fame in January 1992. He also received the 1996 Volusian Sportsperson of the Year award presented by the Daytona Beach News-Journal. In honor of his 1,000th win, the City of DeLand proclaimed February 9, 2007 (opening day) as “Pete Dunn Day.” Later in that same year he was inducted, along with his God-son Chipper Jones, into the Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame. Dunn is actively involved in a variety of community service activities. He is a regular speaker at many regional and national coaching clinics. At the baseball coaches’ convention in 1997, Dunn was awarded a 25-year service award by the American Baseball Coaches’ Association. He authored a chapter on catching in The Baseball Drill Book. The book was commissioned by the ABCA, edited by former Fresno State head coach Bob Bennett, and released in January, 2004. He also recently authored another chapter in a new ABCA book on the subject of “Evaluating Practice Sessions”. Dunn and his wife, Debbie, have four children -- Rayni, Marc, Taylor and Emily -- and two grandsons, Micah and Jonah.
2013 Media Guide & Record Book