DURHAM, N.C. – Head coach Chris Pollard and the Duke baseball program are pleased to welcome Dusty Blake as the Blue Devils’ pitching coach. Blake joins the Blue Devils after five seasons as the Head Baseball Coach and Senior Associate Athletic Director at Pfeiffer University.
“I am thrilled to announce that Dusty Blake will be joining the Duke baseball staff as our new pitching coach,” said Pollard. “Over the past 14 years, I have had the privilege to coach Dusty as a player, and also watch him grow as a pitching coach and head coach at the collegiate level. Dusty brings close to a decade of experience as a player and pitching coach at the Division I level. Additionally, he brings five and half years of experience successfully leading a college baseball program. While leading the Pfeiffer program to historic sustained success, Dusty also personally trained and developed dozens of professional pitchers in their off-season programs, including former major leaguer John Cornely. His reputation for pitching development is outstanding both in the collegiate and major league circles.”
As the team’s pitching coach, Blake will handle the day-to-day operations for Duke pitchers in addition to managing scouting reports and organizing the program’s community service projects.
“I would like to thank Duke University, Coach Pollard and the baseball program for allowing me the opportunity to join the coaching staff,” said Blake. “I’m looking forward to working hard alongside an already exceptional coaching staff to help the program continue their forward progress.”
As the head coach at Pfeiffer, an NCAA Division II program competing in Conference Carolinas, Blake led the Falcons to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2003-04 while also leading the team to consecutive appearances in the conference tournament championship game. He was also responsible for the fundraising campaign that resulted in a new covered batting cage, digitally designed windscreen and padded backstop, practice infield, field lights, and outdoor weight training station. As associate athletic director, Blake was responsible for the oversight of all the Falcons’ athletic facilities including daily maintenance, upgrades and improvements.
Prior to his time with the Falcons, Blake spent the 2012 season at USC Upstate, managing the Spartans’ pitching staff while also responsible for recruiting, practice planning, and strength and conditioning. Under Blake’s guidance, USC Upstate won 33 games as well as decreased its walk total and increased its strikeout total. He mentored left hander Scott DeCecco, a 21st round MLB Draft pick by the Seattle Mariners.
From 2008-11, Blake served as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Wofford College. In addition to helping develop John Cornely, a 15th round draft pick by the Atlanta Braves, Blake led the Terriers pitching staff to its lowest batting average against since 2000 and its best team ERA since 1985.
Blake’s coaching career began at Pfeiffer in 2005 when he served as the Falcons’ pitching coach and outfield instructor. He then spent two seasons as the pitching coach at Catawba College as well as coaching the Asheboro Copperheads of the Coastal Plain League during the summer of 2007.
Since 2012, Blake has served on the advisory board for Baseball for Life, a non-profit organization that hosts free clinics, repairs fields, provides equipment and offers mentorship opportunities within the Charlotte community.
Blake graduated from Appalachian State University in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education while also playing baseball for the Mountaineers from 1999-2003. He received his master’s degree in organizational business and leadership from Pfeiffer in 2006.
What They’re Saying...
Right-Handed Pitcher | Atlanta Braves | Wofford College
“Duke University made a terrific decision in hiring Coach Blake. Coach Blake played a pivotal role in my development at Wofford and more importantly, at the professional level he became a resource I relied on constantly. No one works harder to stay on top of the advancements in baseball while also turning his players into productive men.”
Pitching Coach | Milwaukee Brewers
“I’ve known Dusty for several years and it’s no surprise he is the new pitching coach at Duke. He has a very high pitching IQ and has a thirst for new information. He will greatly impact the Duke culture, and will no doubt positively influence the pitching staff.”
Senior Vice President for Athletics | Pfeiffer University
“We are very sad to see Dusty leave; he has done a great job here at Pfeiffer. We are delighted that Dusty is getting this opportunity though. We have great respect for Coach Pollard and he is getting an exceptional coach. Dusty will greatly enhance what is already an outstanding baseball program. Everyone in our athletic department is a now Duke baseball fan and we wish Dusty and Coach Pollard nothing but the very best in the future.”
Quality Control Coach | St. Louis Cardinals
"Duke has made an excellent decision in the hiring of Dusty Blake as their new pitching coach. Dusty's cutting edge, modern approach to pitching will help propel Duke baseball to the next level."
Pitching Coach | Coastal Carolina University
“Couldn’t be happier for Dusty! He’s waited patiently for the right opportunity and never stopped learning while doing so. Duke and Coach Pollard made a great choice in getting someone like him who can develop the whole pitcher.”