Sindone seizes golden opportunity

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photo by Peyton Sutch

Sindone coaching baserunners during a mound visit in the game against Jefferson. They beat the 2018 state champions 2-1.

Five years ago, assistant coach Michael Sindone left Hagerty to take over as head coach at Treasure Coast High School but knew what he was leaving behind.

“I told my wife that if this job ever opens, you have to make me apply,” Sindone said. “There’s something about Hagerty.”

While at Treasure Coast, Sindone watched the head coach position at Hagerty open twice, both when Goodwin left for Florida International University and when Matt Cleveland left to coach at the University of Miami.

When Goodwin left to FIU, Sindone would not apply so soon after taking over a developing a Treasure Coast team and did not want to suddenly leave that behind.

Sindone brought Treasure Coast to face Hagerty in 2019 to see the college and pro talent that Hagerty has been producing in years past, including current pro players Riley Greene, Vaughn Grissom and Ryan Mountcastle.

On the two-hour drive home from Oviedo, he told his wife again, “If this job comes open you have to make me apply.”

Three months later, Cleveland left for Miami and the door was open. This time, Sindone applied and was selected through an intensive interview process.

Principal Robert Frasca put a committee together with administration and athletic director Jay Getty and they interviewed five people for the position.

“We are interviewing to see if someone is a good fit for us, but they are interviewing us to see if we are a good fit for them, and I think with Sindone we knocked it out of the park,” Frasca said.

Prior to his high school coaching, Sindone and a classmate at the University of Central Florida coached their own Little League team. After Little League, another friend told him to try and start a travel team. Through networking and planning, Sindone helped to start Team Mizuno, now called Florida Travel Ball.

Coaching at FTB built his reputation and led to his first high school coaching job as an assistant JV coach at Timber Creek.

He bounced around the area in coaching jobs, and eventually went to Trinity Christian and Jacksonville University to get a master’s degree.

“While I was there, I was at Jacksonville University as a Division I volunteer assistant and had an opportunity where a coach left mid-season. I got to jump in and get college experience under my belt.”

Now back in Oviedo, Sindone is ready to develop this young team into something special. With four sophomore starters and only two returners from last year’s college-caliber lineup, the inexperience will show.

“High school baseball goes in waves. Hagerty has been on top for the last four years and other schools have been playing the younger guys,” Sindone said.

The program is used to 20-plus win seasons and district titles, and even though Sindone is determined to keep it going, the winning reputation of Hagerty is not the only thing that brought him back to Oviedo.

“I have gotten to coach some of them before, and to see these kids grow up and want to come back to Hagerty it makes you realize that you are in the right place,” Sindone said.

Even though he wants to win as much as anyone else, coaching at Hagerty is bigger than baseball.

“If we fall short of 20 wins this season, I wouldn’t say it’s a failure,” Sindone said. “We focus on being better sons, better fathers, and better husbands. We are developing young men.”

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