Rhyne Hughes is back at PRCC as an assistant after a circuitous path that included a brief stint in the major leagues.
Hughes was named as assistant coach not long after new head coach Michael Avalon was hired.
Hughes, 32, was a standout first baseman at Picayune High School before his stellar career at PRCC in 2003 and 2004, earning NJCAA All-America honors as a sophomore. In 2004, he led the Wildcats to the MACJC State Tournament championship and a berth in the NJCAA Division 2 World Series.
He signed a scholarship offer with Ole Miss, but never played for the Rebels after the Tampa Bay Rays selected him in the eighth round of the MLB Amateur Draft.
Hughes spent five seasons in the Rays organization before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles in August, 2009.That was the year his career took a big step, as he spent much of that season in Class AAA, with Durham and Norfolk in the International League.
He batted a combined .279 with 25 home runs and 79 RBIs.
The Orioles liked what they saw enough that they promoted him to the majors on April 24, 2010, where he debuted against the Boston Red Sox.
Hughes appeared in 14 games for the Orioles, making 51 plate appearances and batting .213 before being sent back to Triple-A, where he spent the remainder of the 2010 season.He spent three more seasons in pro baseball, finishing his career with Binghamton in the New York Mets organization. Altogether, in nine minor-league seasons, Hughes batted .272 with 107 homers and 451 RBIs.
After finishing his professional career, Hughes still needed two more years of college to obtain his bachelor’s degree, so he enrolled at Southeastern Louisiana, graduating with the Class of 2016.While at SLU, he spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons as a student assistant under longtime friend Matt Riser, with whom he played both at Picayune and PRCC, as well as former Wildcat coach Jay Artigues, now the athletic director at SLU.
Anthony Izzio comes to PRCC after two seasons as an assistant coach at East Mississippi Community College.
Izzio was a four-year letter winner at Vancleave High School, where he was 20-4 as a pitcher his junior and senior seasons.
He played two seasons for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, posting an 11-7 record with 128 strikeouts and 39 walks. As a sophomore in 2011, Izzio was 7-4 to earn All-MACJC first-team honors.
From Gulf Coast, Izzio transferred to the University of South Alabama, where he was a stellar 8-1 with a career 3.41 earned-run average in his two seasons with the Jaguars. In 20 appearances at USA, he had 67 strikeouts and 23 walks.
As a senior in 2013, Izzio helped South Alabama to a 43-20 mark, its best season in 12 years and a berth in the NCAA Starkville Regional.
After graduating from USA in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in business, Izzio spent one season as pitching coach at Spanish Fort (Ala.) High School, helping the 39-6 Toros win the Alabama Class 5A state title and finish No. 11 nationally in the MaxPreps Xcellent 50 rankings.
In his first season at EMCC in 2015, Izzio helped the Lions post a 29-18 record and a third-place finish in the MACJC State Tournament.
Dolan enters his second season as an assistant coach with the Wildcats following his career at Pearl River. The Hattiesburg native prepped at Forrest County AHS before signing with Pearl River to extend his baseball career. Dolan's duties include assisting with position players, strength and conditioning training, and recruiting.
While at PRCC, Dolan played a vital role in two seasons collecting 68 wins while in the maroon and gold. He helped the Wildcats earn a MACJC South Conference Championship along with a NJCAA Regional Runner Up. Dolan was selected as MACJC and NJCAA Player of the Week during his career.
Dolan is a graduate of PRCC and plans to major in History.