WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Palm Beach Gardens resident and baseball Hall-of-Fame catcher Gary Carter was named head baseball coach on Tuesday for the NCAA Division II Palm Beach Atlantic University Sailfish.
Carter played for the Montreal Expos from 1974 – 1984 and the New York Mets from 1985 – 1989, where he was a member of the 1986 Mets team that won the World Series. Carter spent a season each with the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers before finishing out his 19-year playing career with a final season in Montreal. He was named to the All-Star Team 11 times, twice selected as Most Valuable Player. A winner of three Golden Glove Awards and five Silver Slugger Awards, he is a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and the New York Mets Hall of Fame.
In 2003, Carter began a second successful career in baseball as a manager. He was named Gulf Coast League and Florida State League Manager of the Year in 2005 and 2006 respectively, and won the Florida State League championship in 2006 with the St. Lucie Mets. In 2008, Carter led the Orange County (Calif.) Flyers to a championship in the Golden Baseball League and was honored as that league’s Manager of the Year. He managed the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League for the 2009 season.
Rob Avila, the present Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish coach, will assist Carter during this transition through June 1.
Carter has lived in Palm Beach County since 1982. Carter has been married to wife, Sandy, for 34 years. They are members of Christ Fellowship. The couple have three children − Christy, Kimmy and D.J. − and three grandchildren. Daughter Kimmy Bloemers is the head softball coach at Palm Beach Atlantic where her husband, Kyle, serves as the athletics compliance officer.
“The Palm Beach Atlantic University community is excited to have Hall of Famer Gary Carter coaching our young men,” University President Lu Hardin said. “Gary Carter is not only a great ball player, but also a fine Christian man and will be a tremendous influence on our players.”
“I am looking forward to becoming a Sailfish,” Carter said. “My goal is to make Palm Beach Atlantic’s baseball program the strongest Division II program in the country. But my primary goal is to help these young athletes become better Christians and prepare them for life, not just baseball.”
Palm Beach Atlantic University is a Christian university with a total enrollment of 3,200 students offering undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Located in West Palm Beach, Florida, the University is an NCAA independent competing in 11 varsity sports.
(Press Release written By: Becky Peeling, Assistant Vice President for University Relations and Marketing)