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Cocoa High baseball hires rival coach to spark Tigers

Former Space Coast head coach made three Regional playoff appearances in seven years
New Cocoa head baseball coach Eusebio Sollis.

New Cocoa head baseball coach Eusebio Sollis.

COCOA, FLORIDA – The Cocoa High Tigers wanted to claw their way back to prominence in baseball, so they turned to a rival coach to get them there.

Cocoa High athletic director Mark Carstens announced last week that the school has hired former Space Coast coach Eusebio Solis, who led the Vipers to three regional playoff appearances in seven years as head coach. Space Coast, which is just 11 miles from Cocoa High, won a district title in 2014 during a four-year playoff run (2012-15).

“I am very excited to take over the Cocoa Tigers baseball program,” Solis said in a statement from Carstens. “Excited to get it back to the prominence it once was. We will work on the little things, the fundamentals, as I am a believer as to what John Wooden once preached ... ‘It is the perfection of the smallest details, that make the big things possible!’

“I also will challenge all the players and parents to commit to the Tiger Pride and we can build this together,” Solis said. “We are more powerful in numbers.”

Carstens is hoping Solis can right the ship at Cocoa, which has struggled mightily since the Tigers last had a winning season in 2015. Cocoa has won just three games the last three seasons, according to sports records. Solis will also teach at Cocoa High.

“Coach Solis brings a wealth of coaching baseball experience and athletic knowledge to the school and the baseball program,” Carstens said. “I have known Coach Solis for several years. He is a man with the utmost integrity, a great work ethic and love of the game. He will do a tremendous job for our school and community.”

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An 18-year employee in Brevard Public Schools, Solis has worked nine years as a Spanish teacher and athletic director and seven years as the head baseball coach – all at Space Coast. “He rebuilt Space Coast’s baseball program,” Carstens said. “All accomplishments were the first in school history. He stepped away to pursue the role of athletic director.”

At Cocoa, he will be able to focus on his teaching and coaching roles as Carstens remains as AD for the Tigers.

Originally from Madrid, Spain, Solis moved to Hampton, Virginia, as a youth and attended Kecoughtan High School, and then played college baseball at private school Ferrum College (Va.).

Solis later transferred to Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, where he graduated in 2004.

“I have been learning the game from the moment I stepped on the field and will continue to learn the game as it is forever evolving,” Solis said. “I also continue to play in the Orlando Baseball Association.

“I am very passionate about the sport and will continue to teach the youth to respect the game, and to play the game the right way,” Solis said.

Solis is currently coaching a 12-and-under travel baseball team for Club321Sportscast, based in Brevard.

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