The Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball program is adding a second All-Star to its coaching roster. Joining All-Star and Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer Gary Carter is Kent Bottenfield, who will fill the role of associate head coach.
A 10-year major league veteran who spent a total of 16 years pitching in professional baseball with the likes of the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Anaheim Angels, Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros, Bottenfield now becomes the top assistant to Carter and the Sailfish baseball program.
"In our search for an associate head baseball coach we were looking for a man who had a passion to win, was an expert in pitching, and someone who would have the ability to help build men of character through his personal commitment to Jesus Christ. Kent Bottenfield is that man," said Athletic Director Bob White, who announced Bottenfield’s appointment Friday.
"We believe that Coach Carter and Coach Bottenfield will be two of the most dynamic and Christ-centered coaches in all of NCAA baseball and with these two men our team will win on and off the field. It is a new and special day for PBA Athletics," White said.
Having recently completed his second season as skipper of the Sailfish and having taken the program from seven regular-season wins the season before his arrival to a 27-win campaign in 2011, Carter knew that he needed a top-notch pitching coach and recruiter to help take the program to the next level.
"I am absolutely thrilled to have Kent as a part of the staff moving forward. His knowledge of the game, especially with pitchers, is going to be a tremendous asset to our guys," said Carter.
"Kent has been a great friend and I have kept in contact with him since our days as teammates and I know he will be a great Christian example for our players and will help maximize their abilities. He is a pleasure to be around and I am so excited to welcome him and his wife Pam to PBA," concluded Carter.
Carter and Bottenfield’s relationship dates back to 1992, which was the right-handed pitcher’s rookie season with the Montreal Expos. Although he would make only four starts in his first campaign at the major league level, Bottenfield would have the unique privilege of being the last starting pitcher to throw to Carter in a major league game. On his way to the MLB Hall-of-Fame as a catcher, Carter concluded his 19-year baseball career back with the Expos for one final season, the team he would eventually don the cap of in Cooperstown.
An All-Star with the Cardinals during the 1999 season on his way to winning a career-high 18 games, Bottenfield would close out his playing career in 2001 while pitching for the Houston Astros. A shoulder injury signaled the end of his major league journey as a player.
With hopes of passing along some of the lessons he learned on the way to becoming a big league player, Bottenfield is excited for the new experience he will be embarking on as a collegiate coach.
"I’m thrilled to be reunited with a good friend like Gary and assist in the great work he’s done with the program the last couple of years," said Bottenfield.
"To be able to coach at a university that encourages me to use my life in Christ to help teach the game of baseball is very exciting. It is important for our players to know that being a highly competitive athlete and having a solid faith in Christ are not mutually exclusive; both can be accomplished. It's something that Coach Carter has been working on with the players the last couple of years and he’ll get nothing but the greatest support from me in continuing with that philosophy," said Bottenfield.
Following his playing career Bottenfield found success as a singer/songwriter in the genre of contemporary Christian music. He would go on to release two albums titled Take Me Back (2004) and Back in the Game (2007) that brought him and his family to Nashville, Tenn., to pursue his musical aspirations.
Kent’s wife, Pamela Bottenfield, is a native of Palm Beach Gardens and graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic in 1991. The couple met and were later married at First Baptist Church, just a few short steps from PBA’s downtown West Palm Beach campus. They have three children: Emma (16), Eli (13) and Lucy (8).
For more information about Sailfish baseball, please visit www.pbasailfish.com.