Don Norris is in his seventh season as a volunteer assistant coach with the University of Florida baseball program. After being an infielder on the University of Georgia team in 1990 that became the first Southeastern Conference school to win the NCAA College World Series, he has made four additional trips to the CWS (2004, 2010, 2011, 2012) and been a part of three SEC Championships (2004, 2010, 2011) during his coaching career.
Norris serves as the Gators' first base coach and also helps instruct all players, leading to a total of 39 chosen in the Major League Baseball Draft over the past five years. His efforts in 2012 helped the squad reach Omaha for the third-straight season after sweeping through the NCAA Gainesville Regional and Super Regional rounds held at McKethan Stadium.
Florida was ranked No. 1 for the majority of the campaign and has compiled a record of 147-56 (.724) over the past three seasons, with three-straight CWS appearances, three-straight NCAA Regional and Super Regional crowns, back-to-back SEC Championships in 2010 & 2011 and two SEC Eastern Division titles (2010 & 2011).
He was part of a historic Gator showing in 2011, when UF finished as the national runner-up with a school-best mark of 53-19. Along the way, the Orange and Blue grabbed a share of the SEC title for the second-straight year, captured the SEC Tournament for the first time since 1991, swept through the Gainesville Regional for the third-consecutive season and emerged victorious in the Gainesville Super Regional to reach Omaha in back-to-back years for the first time at Florida. In 2010, when the Gators claimed the SEC crown for the first time in five years, Norris played a key role in the development of a group that included a school-record five Freshman All-Americans.
He arrived in Gainesville during the fall of 2006 after working at George Washington University for one year with the Colonials' hitters and defense.
Norris is quite familiar with the SEC, having played at Georgia and later serving as an assistant on the Bulldog coaching staff for four seasons. His work with the hitters and infield defense helped the Red and Black to a third-place finish at the 2004 NCAA College World Series, a share of the SEC title and a final national ranking of fourth. During the Dawgs' run to Omaha, Norris also served as the club's third base coach. UGA's entire starting infield earned All-SEC honors while posting a .971 fielding percentage, the second-highest in school history. From 2001-03, Norris served as Georgia's director of baseball operations, where he handled alumni relations, camps and assisted in various other duties. He was elevated to assistant coach in July, 2003.
A native of Lakeland, Fla., Norris was a member of the staff at Division II Georgia College & State University from 1996-2001. He was in charge of hitting and the infielders, and also served as the recruiting coordinator for the Bobcats. In 2001, GC&SU posted a 41-18 record and a final national ranking of 10th in Collegiate Baseball's NCAA Division II poll.
From 1993-2001, Norris coached summer baseball, spending seven seasons in the elite Cape Cod Baseball League and two in the Northeast Collegiate League. He managed the Orleans (Mass.) Cardinals in the CCBL from 1997-2001. At the time, Norris was one of only 25 managers in the league's history with 100 victories. In 1999, he led Orleans to the playoffs with a 29-16 mark and had seven of his players named to the CCBL East All-Star team, including league MVP, and former member of the San Francisco Giants, Lance Niekro. Norris' 2000 squad saw 16 players drafted, including one player in each of the first 10 rounds. A total of 19 players from his three Orleans teams were drafted, which tied the most of any CCBL team during that span. He also coached current Major Leaguer Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees.
Norris earned his bachelor's degree in environmental health science from Georgia in 1992. He began his collegiate career at Polk Community College (Winter Haven, Fla.) before transferring to UGA in 1990. Norris was an infielder for the Bulldogs from 1990-91 and was a member of their 1990 squad that knocked off Oklahoma State to bring home the CWS hardware.
Following his collegiate playing career, Norris worked as a graduate assistant baseball coach at Valdosta State University and earned his master's degree in education in 1994. He spent the 1995 season as the head coach at Gordon College in Barnesville, Ga. In 1996, Norris was an assistant coach at Northwest Shoals Community College in Muscle Shoals, Ala., before heading to GC&SU.
The Don Norris File
- Birthdate: July 1, 1969
- Hometown: Lakeland, Fla.
- Education: Bachelor of Arts - Environmental Health Science, University of Georgia, 1992
Master of Arts - Education, Valdosta State, 1994
- Graduate Assistant Baseball Coach, Valdosta State, 1993-94
- Head Coach, Gordon College, 1995
- Assistant Coach, Northwest Shoals Community College, 1996
- Assistant Coach, Georgia College & State University, 1997-2001
- Assistant Coach, University of Georgia, 2003-05
- Assistant Coach, George Washington University, 2005-06
- Volunteer Assistant Coach, University of Florida, 2006-present
- Polk Community College, 1988-89
- University of Georgia, 1990-91