A three-time Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year, head coach Dave Tollett enters his 12th season at the helm of the three-time A-Sun champion Florida Gulf Coast baseball program. He was named the program’s first-ever head coach in August of 2001.
Under Tollett’s guidance, the Eagles have made the transition into the Division I ranks by winning three straight A-Sun regular season titles and posting 112 wins in their first three years. En route to the conference championships, FGCU went 73-20 in the A-Sun – the most conference wins by any team in the country over that span.
Tollett’s blue collar coaching style has helped quickly build FGCU into one of the rising programs in the country. Over his 10 seasons as head coach, Tollett has accumulated a record of 394-216-2 with at least 25 wins in all 10 seasons and three conference titles. The Eagles have won 44 of the 59 A-Sun three-game series since joining the league in 2008, including all 10 in 2010.
Player development has also been prominent in the program’s history, as 20 players have gone on to be drafted in the MLB Draft. In the summer of 2010, Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year Chris Sale and Casey Coleman became the first Eagles in the Major League – separated by just two days. Sale’s accent into the majors began when he was selected by the Chicago White Sox with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. Coleman, a 15th round selection by the Cubs in 2008, became the first FGCU player in the MLB on August 2, when he was called up from Triple-A Iowa.
The 2013 Eagles posted a 37-20 overall record with a 19-8 mark against A-Sun competition. Ricky Knapp earned First Team Honors along with teammates Brandon Bednar (unanimous) and Sean Dwyer. Michael Suchy would receive Second Team Honors while Michael Murray and Nick Rivera were selected to the All-Freshman Team. FGCU would go 0-2 in the A-Sun Tournament. Following the season, the Green and Blue would see seven players chosen in the 2013 Major League Baseball draft.
The 2012 season saw coach Tollett produce his third A-Sun Pitcher of the Year in the last five years as Ricky Knapp took home the honor. The Eagles finished the season with a 26-31 (15-12 A-Sun) record, and won five of their last six A-Sun games to make the A-Sun Tournament. FGCU advanced to Day Four of the tournament before falling to Kennesaw State. The Eagles had three members on the A-Sun All-Freshmen team including Brady Anderson, Zach Tillery and Kirby Retzer.
In the 2011 season, Tollett led FGCU to a 27-28 (16-14 A-Sun) record. The Eagles had two players honored in 2011 as Mikel Alvarez was named to the All-Atlantic Sun Second Team and Ricky Knapp earned All-Freshman team honors.
Coach Tollett earned his third-straight Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year award as guided the Eagles to their third consecutive conference championship during the 2010 season with an A-Sun record of 25-5. Chris Sale was named the A-Sun Pitcher of the Year as he helped FGCU lead the A-Sun in team ERA at 5.33. The Eagles had four players earn All-Atlantic Sun First Team honors including Chris Sale, Pete Woodworth, Mikel Alvarez and Stephen Wickens.
During the 2009 season, Tollett was named the Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year after leading the Eagles to their second consecutive conference championship with an A-Sun record of 23-7. The Eagles were honored as four players earned All-Atlantic Sun First Team recognition including Chris Sale, Tim Roberson, Zach Maxfield, and Josh Upchurch. Sophomore Stephen Wickens was named to the All-Atlantic Sun Second Team while Jason Forjet earned a spot on the Atlantic Sun All-Freshman Team.
During the the Eagles first season as a Division I program (2008), Tollett, who was named 2008 Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year, led the Eagles to their first ever conference championship in the Atlantic Sun with a conference record of 25-8 (38-15) overall. Senior Jason Peacock received the A-Sun Player of the year while junior Richard Bleier earned A-Sun Pitcher of the year. The Eagles were honored as four players earned 1st team A-Sun recognition including Jason Peacock, Ozzie Borrell, JJ Crumbley, and Richard Bleier. Two Eagles including Pete Woodworth and Mikel Alvarez were named with 2nd team A-Sun honors while Chris Sale and Richie Erath earned freshman A-Sun selections. FGCU saw three players drafted, including a pair of pitchers, in the Major League Baseball draft as Richard Bleier was picked in the sixth round by the Texas Rangers, becoming the highest player drafted from FGCU.
A 1988 graduate of Tusculum College, Tollett made his mark as one of the top high school coaches in the state of Florida. During his 10-year stint as head coach at Charlotte High in Punta Gorda, he posted a 175-96 record to become the winningest coach in school history. In six of his last seven seasons with the Tarpons, his peers selected him as the FHSAA District 16 Coach of the Year. His teams won one district championship and made five appearances in the Florida High School Athletic Association state playoffs in a district that included perennial state powers Sarasota and Venice. In addition to developing numerous players drafted by professional teams, Tollett’s teams have averaged over a 3.50 grade point average in the classroom over his last five seasons.
Tollett also spent five years as the Director of Coaching for the Southwest Florida Eagles, a developmental program that has turned out 24 Division I athletes and eight professional players. He served as the coach of the Southwest Florida All-Star team on nine occasions and served as the Florida Athletic Coaches Regional Chairman in 2002.
An active member of the American Baseball Coaches Association, he is the proud parent of twins Cal and McKenna and resides in Fort Myers.