Syracuse has plenty of legends within its rich history of baseball. Dick Rockwell, long time Dolphins coach, left his mark on LeMoyne College and the city.
“He can coach in any way,” said Michael Rockwell, Dick’s grandson. “He can coach my grandma on how to cook. He can coach my mom on how to do laundry. When it comes to coaching, he’s just he’s just one of the best.”
What made the former Ithaca College player a good coach at LeMoyne was his persistence and will to win.
“He would have been a good coach no matter where he was or matter what kind of players he had. I mean, a coach is a coach,” said former umpire and Syracuse University professor, Herm Card.
With over seven-hundred and 50 wins and the field already named in his honor, Dick Rockwell can now add this to his incredible contribution to the baseball world. From conference championships and coach of the year awards, to the Chairman of the NCAA Division I baseball committee, all of it becomes more special every day.
“The older you get it now becomes to mean something to you because you’re in a select group. You talk about the top college baseball coaches in the country. it becomes more meaningful,” said coach Rockwell.
Encouragement is part of what makes a good coach. A good coach part of what made Dick Rockwell. A lot of his former players and people he worked with will tell you that he was a good coach. But more importantly, they will tell you he was a good person.
“And I think too that part of being at LeMoyne was that you had to come in as a good person and maintain that,” said Card. “He wasn’t taking people of less than good character of the streets and trying to turn them into baseball players.”
Rock developed a program full of talent and surrounded by expectations that exceeded most programs in the country. Current Dolphins manager, Scott Cassidy, says the standard created all those years ago still reigns true today.
“I try to do my best in taking the way he coached us, to coach our guys now,” said Cassidy. “I hope I’m doing a good enough job to make him happy because this is his program, he built it and it is what it is today because of what he’s done.”
The foundations Dick built starting back in 1969 have stood strong all the way through his retirement in in the late 1990’s. Now, his legacy will forever be engrained in the Dolphin way.
“Everyday people are learning and they just stop by the field and read his little plaque outside,” said Dick’s grandson, Michael. “It’s just really cool to see everybody kind of appreciating the greatness and what’s going on throughout the years.”
Rock’s hard work has certainly not gone unnoticed and he wants people to know that he could not have done it alone.
“And in all the years I coached and all the players that came through here, the best compliment I can give them is just tip my hat and say thank you for a job well done,” said coach Rockwell. “You players have set the foundation for a very solid program and hopefully LeMoyne will continue in that winning tradition.”