Lee head baseball coach Mark Brew has had his Flames on the verge of a NAIA World Series championship three of the past four years. He’s quick to point out that his assistants played a key role in a pair of second-place finishes and one third-place accomplishment in the annual Lewiston, Idaho event.
When his search began for a new recruiting coordinator/hitting coach in June, Brew reviewed the resumes of several candidates before deciding on Justin W. Dedman, who served this past season as Director of Baseball Operations at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss).
"Our program expectations are very high and Justin will be a main force in helping us maintain that level,” said Brew, who has directed the Flames to 219 wins against just 52 defeats over the past four seasons. “His experiences at Ole Miss, Austin Peay, and Denison University will be a great asset to our program. Before going to Oxford and Ole Miss, Dedman served as a volunteer assistant coach for one year at Austin-Peay under coach Gary McClure. He was an assistant coach, interim head coach, and head coach at NCAA Division III Dennison (Granville, Ohio).
“Justin has a great work ethic, a bright young mind, and a high level of enthusiasm that will be well received by our players,” added Brew. “I am excited he and his wife (Brittany) joining the Cleveland and Lee University communities. We look forward to the future of Lee University baseball.”
Dedman says he has a great passion for recruiting and coaching. He sees the Lee position as “an opportunity to learn. I’m going to be working with some real good people. I’m excited about coach Brew’s coaching style. The Lee campus is beautiful and Brittany and I look forward to making our home in the Cleveland community.”
The new Lee assistant was born in Tennessee and lived in the Red Bank area until he was five. “I usually come back to visit at least once a year,” he noted. “My grandmother (Bobbeye Schroeder) still lives in the Red Bank.”
Dedman played baseball for four years at Denison. After receiving a BA in English Writing (2005) from the Ohio university, he served as an assistant for the Big Red until 2007. In that same year Dedman was named Denison’s interim head coach. He directed a team that included 19 freshmen and sophomores to a 27-18 record.
In August of 2008, Dedman was officially named the head coach of the Big Red. Faced with directing 20 freshmen and eight sophomores, his club posted a 21-19 mark and won five games against ranked opponents.
After a short stay as a volunteer assistant at Austin Peay, Dedman jumped at the opportunity to go to Ole Miss and take a close-up look at the powerful Southeastern Conference. He scheduled all the travel for the Rebels and managed a 1.2 million dollar budget. At the same time he worked with as the strength and conditioning/nutrition liaison for the baseball program.
“Overall, I enjoyed the experience, but I really missed coaching on the field and the off-campus recruiting,” he pointed out. In a written letter to coach Brew, Dedman said that he believed that his verbal and written communication skills, in combination with his work ethic passion, coaching experience, knowledge and desire to be the very best at what he does, prepared him well for the Lee position.
Dedman stressed that he had only heard good things about the Lee program. “I am excited about the opportunities for growth, development and success that can be found at Lee. I believe I have a great deal to offer the Flames as a recruiter, and I have helped improve the hitting success of each team I’ve coached.”
The new assistant is already on the job, helping Brew and pitching coach Michael Moody wrap up the recruiting for the 2011 season.