Baseball: UNLV comes to town for big series with 0-6 Nevada
For the Nevada Appeal
RENO – Stan Stolte isn’t so sure he’ll know which dugout to go to this weekend when his UNLV Rebels come to Peccole Park for a three-game series starting today.
“Maybe I’ll just go to the one in the sun where it’s warm,” joked Stolte, who was Nevada head coach Gary Powers’ top assistant with the Wolf Pack for 14 seasons through last year.
Stolte, though, admitted that today will be a little strange.
“Absolutely,” he said. “It’s going to be weird coming back. I think I recruited 90 percent of those kids at Nevada.”
This is a season of change in college baseball at both ends of the state. And all of those changes will be on display this weekend at Peccole Park.
UNLV is now led by former College of Southern Nevada head coach Tim Chambers. The first move Chambers made last spring after getting the Rebels’ top job was grabbing Stolte out of Northern Nevada.
“I’ve known Tim a long time through recruiting,” said Stolte, who came to Nevada from Pacific in 1997 and helped the Pack earn three NCAA Regional appearances (1997, 1999, 2000) in his first four seasons.
“Everything kind of lined up and fell into place for me. Financially, it was a great situation for me. I stayed in the state of Nevada with the same retirement and everything. I just thought, ‘If I’m ever going to do it, now is the time.”
The Rebels, who play at Texas Tech on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to Reno, are 7-1 this year. The Wolf Pack, at 0-6, is still winless in 2011.
“The athletic department is very committed to baseball here and Tim (Chambers) has created a lot of interest,” Stolte said. “He (Chambers) is a ball of fire. The kids love him. The community loves him. It’s exciting to be a part of this.”
Stolte has the same job title at UNLV that he had at Nevada (pitching coach and recruiting coordinator) but that’s where the similarity ends.
“Recruiting is a lot easier here,” Stolte said. “You can drive a lot of the places and be back at home the same day. There are some real good kids in northern Nevada, too. But there’s just more of them down here. The population is just a lot bigger. The weather is a little different here, too. A lot of kids don’t want to play in the cold.”
Stolte won’t be the only one who might walk into the wrong dugout on Friday. Wearing Wolf Pack blue this weekend will be former UNLV head coach Buddy Gouldsmith. Gouldsmith won 202 games in seven years at UNLV before being replaced by Chambers after a 29-29 season in 2010.