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Merritt Island Mustangs Name Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Member Jason Arnold Head Baseball Coach

13th baseball coach in school’s 59-year history

Merritt Island Mustangs Name Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Member Jason Arnold Head Baseball Coach
Merritt Island High School Principal Debbie Lubbers and Athletic Director Tom Finney announced the appointment of Jason Arnold as the next head coach of the Mustang baseball program.

BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Merritt Island High School Principal Debbie Lubbers and Athletic Director Tom Finney announced Jason Arnold as the next head coach of the Mustang baseball program.

Coach Arnold becomes the 13th baseball coach in the school’s 59-year history.

“We are excited to announce the hiring of Jason Arnold as the head coach of our baseball program,” said Head of School Debbie Lubbers.

“After completing the recruiting process with our search committee, it was clear that Arnold was our choice. Jason is a native of the Space Coast area and has played and coached at the high school, college and professional levels. We are excited about the upcoming school year and Mustang baseball season.”

Coach Arnold grew up in the Melbourne area. Arnold graduated from Melbourne High School in 1997 and played college basketball at the University of Central Florida. Arnold was a two-time All-American at UCF. He was drafted in the second round of the 2001 MLB draft by the New York Yankees.

Arnold played six seasons of minor league baseball. He played for the New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays, spending most of his career at the AA and AAA levels. Arnold was elected to the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.

“We are excited to welcome Jason to the Mustang athletics family,” said Athletic Director Tom Finney.

“Jason is a coach with deep ties to the Space Coast and our baseball community. He has dedicated his life to mentoring youth and working to create environments that foster growth and positivity. His character and values ​​align with who we are at MIHS, and we look forward to developing successful and competitive student-athletes both on and off the field.”

After his playing days, Arnold began working as a high school teacher and coach. He has been coaching baseball for the last 16+ years. Arnold began his coaching career as an assistant at Melbourne High School.

He was hired as the head coach at Cocoa High School in 2006. Arnold moved to the college ranks when he was hired as the pitching coach at Bethune Cookman University in 2008. He was the pitching coach at Georgia State University in 2010 and then returned to the Space Coast area in 2012 to take over the head baseball position at Satellite High School.

Arnold returned to his college coaching career in 2018 when he accepted the head baseball job at Eastern Florida State College, where he coached until 2021. Arnold currently serves as the youth pastor at Georgianna Church on Merritt Island.

He also serves as a mentor and coach for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is the Baseball Director for the Brevard County FCA travel baseball program.

The Mustangs baseball team is coming off a great 2024 season where they made it all the way to the FHSAA 4A State Semifinals. The 2024 team graduated 11 seniors, so Merritt Island will look to rebuild and reload as Coach Arnold works to continue the pride and tradition of Mustang athletics in the 2025 baseball season.



SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Mel-High graduate Jason Arnold helped lead UCF to a record-breaking 53-win season. He was a four-time first-team All-Atlantic Sun player, earned freshman All-America honors in 1998 and was named an All-American in 2001. Arnold will be inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame on May 12.

Arnold, who had a successful high school career at Melbourne High School, was part of the Bulldogs baseball tradition that saw him win more than 400 games under head coach Pete Donovan.

Following his success in Melbourne, Arnold went to the University of Central Florida (UCF), where over four years from 1998–2001, the Knights won 173 games, their most successful streak in program history.

He was named to the first team All-Atlantic Sun four times, earned All-America honors as a freshman in 1998 and was named an All-American in 2001.

During his time at UCF, Arnold helped the Knights win two consecutive regular season conference championships and make it to two consecutive NCAA Regional Championship appearances in 2000 and 2001.

He is UCF’s all-time leading scorer, all-time leading save and all-time leading reliever and is second all-time in wins, strikeouts and ERA.

He is the school single-season record holder for strikeouts per nine innings pitched and ranks second in season strikeouts, wins and saves. He ranks in the top 10 in eight career pitching categories at UCF and in the top 10 in 16 single-season categories.

After his third season, MLB scouts took notice of him and the Cincinnati Reds took him in the 16th round of the 2000 amateur draft. However, he did not sign and instead opted to return to UCF.

The decision not to go to the majors was one of the best decisions Jason Arnold ever made. Returning for his senior season, Arnold led UCF to a record-breaking 53-win season. Over his four years, he was part of a team that selected 29 players in the MLB draft, five of them in the first four rounds, including Arnold himself.

LEADING UCF TO RECORD SEASON OF 53 WINS

The decision not to go to the big leagues was one of the best decisions Arnold made in his life.

Returning for his senior season, Arnold helped lead UCF to a record-breaking 51-win season. He was part of a team that had 29 players selected in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft over his four years, five of whom went in the first four rounds, including Arnold himself.

What a difference a year makes.

In 2001, his draft status moved up 14 rounds, and the New York Yankees made Arnold the 63rd player overall selected in the 2001 MLB Draft.

A few weeks later, he made his professional debut against the Staten Island Yankees, posting 7 appearances with 2 wins and a 1.50 ERA. Later that summer, he threw a no-hitter against the Vermont Expos, the only no-hitter in the league that year.

He began the season in the Yankees system in 2002.

Arnold performed well, but as the Yankees often did with top prospects at the time, they sent Arnold to the Oakland A’s on the final day of the MLB trade deadline.

Arnold was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003, where he was promoted to Triple A Syracuse and made two appearances in the major leagues in 2004 and 2005.

Due to injuries, he was only able to play in the starting 11 in 14 games for the Toronto organization in 2004.

He moved to the bullpen in 2005 but was unable to fully recover from his injuries and retired from baseball after the 2006 season.

THE ROAD TO HOME: BASEBALL COACH FOR SATELLITE

Arnold returned to Brevard County in 2007, where he worked as an English teacher and head baseball coach at Cocoa High School for two years.

Not far off, Arnold spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons as the pitching coach at Bethune-Cookman, and in 2009 the Wildcats led the conference in every major pitching statistical category and had two senior pitchers drafted.

Arnold joined his former assistant coach at UCF, Greg Frady, as the pitching coach at Georgia State in 2011, where he remained until he returned home once again to accept a teaching position at Satellite. Arnold remains the head baseball coach for the Scorpions.

Being the wife of a professional baseball player is no easy task, and sometimes being the wife of a coach is even more difficult.

“Jennifer has been there for me through the wins and losses and has given me great support and encouragement,” Jason said of his wife of nearly 14 years. The couple have three beautiful children, Sydney, nine, Grant, seven, and Rhett, four.

Perhaps no other selection this year better represents the adage that “Home is where the heart is,” because for Jason Arnold, Central Florida and the Space Coast will be where he feels most comfortable in life and on the field.

Mel-High graduate Jason Arnold helped lead UCF to a record-breaking 53-win season. He was a four-time first-team All-Atlantic Sun player, earned freshman All-America honors in 1998 and was named an All-American in 2001.

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