Coach Gonzalez has been coaching Baseball throughout the South Florida community the last 15 years. A graduate of La Salle High School, he played Basketball for Coach Rick Cruz and also Baseball for Coach Oscar Benitez. He won Athlete of the Year his Senior Year of High School, and immediately began coaching youth baseball in Miami, while attending Florida International University after his playing career concluded in high school. He has a degree in Physical Education/Sports Management from FIU and recently obtained his Master’s Degree from Barry University in Educational Leadership.Ernie developed and managed the South Florida Snappers Baseball Academy, and had much success in the Travel Baseball circuit. Many high level players joined the Snappers, whom would later go on to be excellent high school and even college baseball players, including Chicago Cubs Outfielder Albert Almora. For about 3-4 years, in the mid 2000’s, the Snappers were one of the top Travel Teams in South Florida, qualifying for many top national championship tournaments. “I was blessed with instant success when Travel Ball began taking off, due to a great and talented group of players that stayed loyal to me and our mission of development while competing against the best; we had great support from all the parents and our group stayed together just about until they entered high school.”
While maintaining his Academy and Travel Teams, Coach Gonzalez then began his high school coaching career in 2007 at Gulliver Prep where he assisted with the hitters and outfielders, as well as coaching the middle school team. That year Gulliver reached the State Championship Final 4, under Head Coach Jorge Perez. He stayed at Gulliver for 3 years learning the ropes from other great coaches included Coach Perez and current Gulliver Coach Manny Crespo, who played at UM and professionally for the San Diego Padres. “I learned so much in 3 years while at Gulliver, as I was always surrounded by great baseball coaches and players.”
After a great 3 years at Gulliver, Gonzalez was hired as a teacher and Head Baseball Coach at Doral Academy in 2010. He ran the program there and once again had immediate success, bringing the Baseball rich community of Doral, and also Doral Academy the School together. In 2012, the Baseball team won the school’s first ever district championship in any Sport during its’ short 15 year existence. Seven out of nine graduating seniors went on to play College Baseball, including four players to NCAA Division 1 schools. From 2010-2013, Doral played one of the toughest schedules in the county, as Gonzalez’s teams never backed down from the top opponent. The 3 years he was head coach, his teams finished above .500 and his hitters with an average of over .325 collectively as a unit. After the 2013 high school season, Alejandro Juvier was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, whom Gonzalez mentored while at Doral Academy for 3 years. “I pride myself in giving confidence to each of my players, making sure they never doubt themselves and their abilities. We prioritized the finer details and fundamentals of the game routinely in practice, which made the games much easier and fun to be a part of. Winning came through preparation and perseverance.”
In 2013, Gonzalez decided to move north closer to home and his new family. He moved on to Mater Lakes Academy, where he has been working as a PE Teacher, Assistant Baseball Coach, and also Assistant Athletic Director for the school. He has been at Mater Lakes now for almost 6 years, and also with Baseline Baseball with Coach Jorge Perez out of St. Thomas University. “Being an assistant coach in high school has allowed me to balance everything in my life more efficient; Travel Ball, High School Ball, and my family.” He is always looking to do what’s best both for Mater Lakes Academy and the Baseline Baseball program with Coach Perez. And now for Coach Rikeman and the prestigious Scorpions Baseball Club!
Ernie resides in Miami Lakes with his wife Laurie, son Julian, and daughter Aly. He loves spending time with his family, and coaching Baseball.