VIDEO: Jason Arnold UCF’s Most Prolific Pitcher Ever, College All-American Played Pro Baseball
By Alan Zlotorzynski, Assistant Editor // April 22, 2017
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Mel-High grad Jason Arnold helped lead UCF to a record setting 53-win season. He was a four-time first-team All-Atlantic Sun performer, earned freshman All-America honors in 1998 and was named All-American in 2001. Arnold will be inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame on May 12.
2017 COLLEGE INDUCTEE
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – From pitching for the West Melbourne Reds in little league to coaching the Satellite Scorpions baseball team, coming full circle successfully is indeed the early life mission statement of Jason Arnold.
As a high school standout for Melbourne High School, Arnold was a part of the Bulldogs’ baseball tradition in which head coach Pete Donovan won 400 plus games.
Following his success at Melbourne, Arnold attended the University of Central Florida (UCF), where during his four years – 1998-2001– the Knights won 173 games and experienced their most successful run in program history.
He was a four-time first-team All-Atlantic Sun performer, earned freshman All-America honors in 1998 and was named All-American in 2001.
While at UCF, Arnold helped the Knights win back-to-back regular season conference titles and make back-to-back NCAA Regional appearances in 2000 and 2001.
He is UCF’s all-time leader in appearances, relief appearances and saves, and is second all-time in wins, strikeouts and ERA.
He is the school single-season record holder in strikeouts per nine innings and is second in season strikeouts, wins and saves. He is ranked in the top 10 at UCF in eight career pitching categories and in the top 10 in 16 single-season categories.
Following his junior season, MLB scouts took notice and the Cincinnati Reds took him in the 16th round of the 2000 amateur draft. However, he did not sign, instead opting to return to UCF.
LEAD UCF TO RECORD-SETTING 53-WIN SEASON
The decision not to bolt for the majors turned out to be one of the best decisions Arnold made in his life.
Returning for his senior season, Arnold helped lead UCF to a record setting 51-win season. He was part of a team that over the span of four years saw 29 players selected in the Major League Baseball Amateur draft, five of them in the top four rounds, including Arnold himself.
What a difference a year makes.
In 2001, his draft status climbed 14 rounds, as the New York Yankees made Arnold the 63rd overall player taken in the 2001 MLB Draft.
A few weeks later he reported for his pro debut to the Staten Island Yankees where he went 7-2 with a 1.50 ERA and later in the summer tossed a no-hitter vs. the Vermont Expos, the league’s lone no-hitter that year.
In 2002, he started the season in the Yankees system.
Arnold pitched well but as the Yankees did so often back then with top prospects, dealt Arnold at the MLB trade deadline to the Oakland A’s.
Arnold eventually landed with the Toronto Blue Jays organization in 2003 where he would rise through triple A Syracuse and even the major leagues twice in 2004 and 2005.
Injuries limited him to only 14 starts in 2004 playing in Toronto’s organization.
In 2005, he was moved to the bullpen but never seemed to rebound completely from his injuries and retired from baseball after the 2006 season.
ABOVE VIDEO: Jason Arnold is the only Knights pitcher ever inducted into UCF Athletics Hall of Fame.
BACK HOME: BASEBALL COACH FOR SATELLITE
Arnold returned to Brevard County in 2007 where he spent two years as an English teacher and head baseball coach at Cocoa High School.
Not drifting far, Arnold spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons at Bethune-Cookman as the pitching coach where in 2009 the Wildcats led the conference in every major pitching statistical category and had a pair of senior pitchers drafted.
In 2011 Arnold joined his former assistant coach at UCF, Greg Frady at Georgia State to become pitching coach where he would remain until, once again, returning home to accept a teaching position at Satellite where Arnold is still the Scorpions head baseball coach.
Being the wife of a professional baseball player is no easy task and sometimes it’s even tougher being a coach’s wife.
Of his wife of almost 14 years, Jason said, “Jennifer has been by my side providing crucial support and encouragement through the wins and the losses.” The couple have three beautiful children Sydney, nine, Grant, seven and Rhett four years old.
Perhaps no other inductee this year better personifies the old saying, “Home is where the heart is”, because for Jason Arnold, Central Florida and the Space Coast will always be the place he feels most comfortable in life and on the diamond.
THE 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 12.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com
CLICK HERE to see all the members of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Announced, Induction Ceremony Set May 12
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame selection committee announced Thursday an impressive array of outstanding individuals to be inducted into the 2017 Class of the Hall of Fame.
Dozens of nominees were considered for the 2017 class in four categories including professional sports, college sports, high school sports and amateur sports.
Special honorary recognition will also be bestowed upon individuals and teams that have made significant contributions to sports on the Space Coast.
Space Coast Daily created the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2012, and has so far inducted more than 100 of Brevard County’s most outstanding athletes, coaches and sports personalities.
Serving on the committee are Space Coast Daily President & Publisher Tom Palermo, Vice President Giles Malone, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo, Managing Editor Zach Clark, Assistant Editor Alan Zlotorzynski, local youth sports advocate and promoter Mike Cadore, Friday Night Locker Room Founders Steve Wilson and Orville Susong, former Health First COO Larry Garrison, Cocoa Beach City Manager Jim McKnight and AAU Vice President Rusty Buchanan.
“The list of inductees for 2017 induction include athletes and coaches everybody knows – and some that may have been forgotten with the passing of time,” said Tom Palermo.
INDUCTION GALA & SPORTS AWARDS SET FOR MAY 12
The 2017 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Sports Awards will be held Friday, May 12 at the Cocoa Beach County Club.
The festivities include a meet and greet with the area’s sports royalty, dinner and the induction proceeding which includes compelling video tributes of each of the inductees.
The 2017 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame induction event, and the 2017 High School Breakfast of Champions recognition awards, are sponsored by Community Credit Union, First Choice Medical Group, SOAR, Clear Choice Health Care, BioCellular Therapies, Savings Safari, Spectrum Sports, Friday Night Locker Room, Dr. Sangiv Patel, Dr. Mark Pinsky and Rock Paper Simple..
FOR INFORMATION about the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, or to make a reservation, e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com or call 321-615-8111.
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Tim Wakefield talks about his induction into the first class of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2017
• PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Joe Kohlbrand, Football; and Cory Philpot, Football
• COLLEGE CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Jason Arnold, Baseball; Michael Coffey, Bowling; Reggie Hannah, Basketball; Paige Kearns, Swimming; and Charles Wilson, Football.
• PREP CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Kristen Gordon, Softball; Ray Herring, Jr. Football; Katie Jackson, Soccer; and Hunter Pingston, Football.
• AMATEUR/REC CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Richard Chapman, Little League; Todd Erickson, Softball; Al Genchi, Youth Soccer; and David Kilgore, Running.
• COACHING CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Skip Arrich, Soccer; Tom Dooley, Baseball; Chuck Keener, Tennis; Steve Lamontagne, Golf; and Mike Soliven, Basketball.
• SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INDUCTEES: Jeff Carr, Eastern Florida State College; and Steve Englehart, Florida Tech.
• LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT INDUCTEES: Linda Anderson, Athletic Director; and Les Stafford, Volunteer
• SPORTS OFFICIALS INDUCTEES: Neely Dunn and Bob Walton.
• SPORTS JOURNALISM INDUCTEES: Hillard Grossman.
• SPORTS AMBASSADOR AWARD INDUCTEE : Gary Gregory, PAL Boxing.
• CHALLENGER AWARDS INDUCTEES: Brevard Special Olympics – Coach Cindy Dropeski, Athlete Chuck Conway and Volunteer Kathi Madden.
• TEAM OF THE YEAR: Cocoa High School 2016 Football State Champions.
• SPECIAL TRIBUTE: Jim Grimes, Basketball, Eastern Florida State College
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME