In the softball world, mention the name Robert Iamurri and there's instant recognition of a proven coach who consistently takes teams to state championships.
Starting July 16, Iamurri officially takes the helm as the head softball coach for the Florida SouthWestern State College Buccaneers.
"In our search for a head softball coach, we received over 130 applications from around the country. Robert's track record as a coach, a mentor and a contributor to this community really made an immediate and positive impression on us," said Buccaneers athletics director Carl McAloose. "He seemed to be a natural fit for what we want to establish as far as a solid program that produces not only well-rounded students, but also solid athletes."
Iamurri has a long-standing connection in Southwest Florida, which includes earning his Associate in Arts degree from Edison Community College. He was head softball coach at Naples High School from 1986-2014, winning 10 state titles.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to not only stay in Southwest Florida, but also to take on the challenge of college level competition," Iamurri said. "For me this is truly a dream come true."
"He is a great coach and taught me a lot. I know he'll do wonderful things for the (FSW) program," said Jaclyn Traina, who pitched for him at Naples and just played in the championship game of the Women's College World Series for the University of Alabama. "He has so much to give to the program and to the area."
Michelle Frew, the head softball coach at Rollins College and the former head softball coach for Edison Community College from 1992-1995, said the move to college competition was not unexpected.
"I think a lot of us were wondering when he would make the leap to the college level," she said. "He is a legend in high school competition and I know he won't have any trouble getting really good talent for his team. I'm glad I don't have to recruit against him. All I can say is that other colleges better look out, and I hope he'll send me some good players."
"He really is the perfect choice for (FSW) new program," said Pat Murphy, head softball coach a the University of Alabama. "He has won many, many championships; he can teach pitchers, hitters and defense. FSW really made a good choice in selecting him as their coach. I hope he'll send me some players."
Iamurri and his Buccaneers team will call the City of Palms Park home for their games, starting in the fall of 2015, followed by the start of the regular season in the spring of 2016.