Coach Perez is the Head Baseball Coach at St. Thomas University. When Perez was hired in the fall of 2008 as STU’s baseball coach, he expressed a clear vision for the future of the Bobcat Baseball Program. The goal was to assemble an excellent coaching staff, recruit quality student-athletes, and prepare the team to perform at their highest level. The baseball program prepares each season with its sights set on winning The Sun Conference Title and competing in the postseason at the NAIA College World Series.
In 2018 Perez was selected as an Assistant Coach for the USA Collegiate National Team. Coach Perez was part of a coaching staff that included, Manager Paul Mainieri (LSU Head Coach), Jim Hendry (Assistant to Brian Cashman, New York Yankees), Brian O’Connor (Head Coach, University of Virginia), and Cliff Godwin (Head Coach, East Carolina University). During the summer tour, the USA Collegiate National Team went 12-3 with series wins over Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Cuba.
Through hard work and determination, the STU baseball program has qualified for the NAIA Opening Round of the World Series in the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 2017, and 2018 seasons. In 2015, Perez led the Bobcats to an even higher level as STU finished runner up at the NAIA World Series for the first time in school history.
In 2017, St. Thomas University made an appearance in The Sun Conference Tournament for the ninth consecutive season. Along with making the conference postseason, the Bobcats were selected for the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round for the third consecutive season, the sixth time in program history. In 2018 the St. Thomas Baseball Team made history once again. The 2018 Bobcats finished with a record of 56 wins and 9 losses which was the best overall record the university baseball program has ever had. They made the NAIA College World Series for the 5th time and broke the all-time regular season record with a 49-5 record as well as the highest regular season winning percentage ever. The Bobcats have placed 12 players in professional baseball in the last six seasons.
Under the guidance of Perez, the Bobcats defeated host Georgia Gwinnett in the 2015 NAIA Opening Round to qualify for the NAIA World Series for the fifth time in school history. At the NAIA World Series, the Bobcats staved off elimination four times in the ten-team double elimination tournament to earn a spot in the NAIA World Series Championship Game for the first time. The Bobcats fell to host Lewis-Clark State 10-7 in the championship and finished the year ranked no. 2 in the nation in the final NAIA Coaches Poll. Five Bobcats were named to the All-World Series team and outfielder Jerry Downs, the highest selected NAIA position player in the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft, was drafted in the 15th round by the Boston Red Sox.
In the 2017 season, Perez earned his 300th career win as the head coach at St. Thomas when the team traveled to USCB for a three-game weekend series. The Bobcats lost the first game of the series but swept the double-header, which eclipsed Perez to his 301st win. Overall, his record at STU after the 2017 season closed out at 313-213 (.595 winning percentage).
In 2012 the baseball program had a breakout season. The team won 45 games and had a .763 winning percentage. That ranks as the fourth highest winning percentage in school history. The program also finished ranked 15th in the nation and won The Sun Conference Tournament for the first time in school history.
Before coming to St. Thomas, Perez was the
head coach at Gulliver Prep and South Dade
Senior for three seasons each. During his high
school coaching career, Perez accumulated a
record of 80-54. He led his teams to two
Regional Final appearances and in 2007,
participated in the 3A Final Four State
Tournament with the Gulliver Prep Raiders.
Perez has been around baseball his entire life. As a player he was fortunate to be involved in both collegiate and professional baseball. Perez graduated from Rollins College in 1993 where he was a four-year letter winner. At Rollins, he participated in two regional tournaments, played on the only team in school history to be ranked #1 in the country, and was part of the squad that beat both the University of Miami and University of Florida in the same season. After college, Perez began his professional playing career by signing as a free agent with the St. Paul Saints of the Northern League. From there, he played another couple of seasons with two other professional organizations.
Perez began his coaching career in 1996 as an assistant at Kean University (a nationally ranked Division III school in New Jersey). His main responsibilities included developing the catchers and hitters. In 1998, the program participated in their first regional appearance in 25 years. In 1999, Perez was hired as an Assistant Coach by Manny Mantrana at St. Thomas University. In the year 2000, St. Thomas compiled a 51-16 record, won the Florida Sun Conference Championship and participated in the NAIA College World Series.