After conducting a large-scale search for a new head coach, the University of Miami decided to use the coaching talent it has developed for decades by hiring J.D. Arteaga to lead Miami’s baseball program.
In 2021, Miami hired former offensive tackle Mario Cristobal, who helped the Hurricanes win national titles in 1989 and 1991 as a player, to coach the football program. In a similar fashion, Arteaga, a former star pitcher and pitching coach for the ‘Canes, was named UM baseball’s head coach.
“His weaving into the community, with the alumni baseball players [and] with the city of Miami really helped set him apart,” Miami Athletic Director Dan Radakovich said to reporters about what made Arteaga stand out from the other candidates for the position.
Arteaga was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. He is one of the most accomplished UM baseball players ever, as he reached four straight College World Series with the program from 1994 to 1997. Arteaga has the most starts, the second-most innings pitched and the fifth-most strikeouts in program history.
Arteaga has also cemented himself as a coaching legend. As a UM assistant coach for the last 21 years, Arteaga has coached and mentored 46 pitchers who have been selected in the MLB draft. Under his supervision, Miami has had a streak of 19 seasons in which at least one pitcher has been drafted to the major leagues. He’s coached 19 All-ACC Honorees, 12 All-Americans and 12 Freshman All-Americans.
Head coaching for his alma mater is a “dream come true” for Arteaga. He also stated that he is “beyond privileged to lead one of the most historic programs in college baseball and add to our storied tradition.”
After witnessing the ‘Canes get upset in the regional round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, the new head coach has made it clear what must be done to bring a fifth national title to the program.
“Every decision we make on a player, every decision we make on even what analytics system we’re going to use, we have to have an end game and we’re going to take a path it is going to lead us to that,” Arteaga said. “We’ve got to take some chances, but just understand, every decision we make is with one goal in mind and that’s to get us back to where we belong.”
The Miami native has been coined and categorized as a “player’s coach” by alumni and current MLB players. He’s asserted that the program must “pick up the slack and get [NIL and financial aid opportunities] going … The game has changed and that is going to be priority number one right now.”
NIL opportunities have made recruiting and keeping star players more competitive in every college sport.
Arteaga recognizes that college baseball has changed, and to succeed, Miami baseball must change with it.
“I want them to understand their best interest is my interest,” Arteaga said. “That’s all very important to me, the human element. So, we can talk analytics, and it’s absolutely going to be a part of our program and the science behind it and how to improve and develop physically, but emotionally, mentally, it’s still a very, very big component to me. Fostering a player-healthy environment is not only a priority but an ingredient necessary to reach a national title for the new head coach.”
Change and tradition seem to be the driving forces for this upcoming season. Changes in strategy in a constantly evolving sport in the pursuit of reestablishing national superiority are necessary for Miami, as it has failed to advance past the first round of the NCAA tournament in every season since 2016.