Baseball community mourns death John Mayotte | Sport

The impact of John Mayotte’s life and coaching career—actually the two were inseparable—can be felt in the tributes of the players and coaches whose lives were touched by a man they simply called “Coach.”

Mayotte, 79, died on January 14 at his home in St. Petersburg, Florida, after a long illness, but his love of baseball continues with the players he coached at the high school and college levels.

Born in Hudson Falls, Mayotte spent 10 summers coaching the Glens Falls Golden Eagles collegiate league team, from 2004 to 2013.

“He was always a man of values ​​— you play hard, but fair, with integrity. He taught that to players in life, not just baseball,” said former Golden Eagles owner Darin Williams. “He was a life teacher — you know that from people who knew him from coaching high school to college and the Cape Cod League. Former Golden Eagles players would stop by at games to see Coach.”

Many former players became coaches themselves, filled with life lessons from Mayotte.

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“He had a big impact on me,” said Jon Mueller, head baseball coach for the University at Albany, a Stillwater native who played for Mayotte at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. “He coached me until I was 40 when I was coaching. I was going to have a bad weekend in Albany and I would call Coach for advice.”

“No one on or off the field has worked as hard as he has,” said Bob Dobkowski, who played for Mayotte in Eckerd in the early 1980s and later went on to coach high school and American Legion Ball in Florida.

“We were always prepared because he made sure we were,” added Dobkowski. “At Eckerd, we played Miami, Purdue, Oklahoma, Michigan – we were a Division II school with no scholarships and we won. He taught us how to win because we were ready for any situation.”

Oakland A’s midfielder Ramon Laureano, who played for Mayotte at Glens Falls in 2013, said Mayotte’s preparation, competitive spirit and calm demeanor impressed him.

“The only thing that stayed with me is that he had a routine and he would do it better than anyone. He was ready to do any training,” said Laureano. “(Baseball) is a game of emotions. He taught me to control my emotions in a game. I remember a game at Glens Falls, I had a few strikeouts and during a rain delay he talked to me about controlling my emotions. That has always stuck with me.”

“He was quiet, he wasn’t very demonstrative, but he was tough,” Dobkowski said. “He demanded a lot – you either did it or you didn’t play. He’s done a fantastic job getting a small Division II liberal arts school to play at the highest level.”

Mayotte married his high school sweetheart – his wife, Amy – and the two spent a lifetime playing baseball together. The couple had no children, but Mayotte’s players became family.

“He and Amy both coached life lessons,” Williams said. “They traveled all over the world together.”

“He was a man of great character. He led a clean life,” said Mueller, calling his relationship with Mayotte a lifelong friendship. “He was never shy of a challenge – he was so competitive and he was such a worker. His track record speaks for itself.”

Mayotte has coached baseball for nearly 50 years after playing at Castleton State and the Albany Twilight League. After 10 years at the high school level at Coxsackie-Athens, he transitioned into a 24-year college career, at Eckerd College (1978-90) and Troy State in Alabama (1991-2002). He also spent several summers coaching collegiate baseball with the Chatham A’s of the Cape Cod League, which included future major leaguers Albert Belle and Jeff Bagwell.

Mayotte’s Glens Falls Golden Eagles teams won 263 games and four regular season titles in the New York Collegiate Baseball League. He was twice named NYCBL Coach of the Year.

Mayotte recorded 821 victories in his career as a coach, taking Troy State to the Division II World Series in 1993 and having many former players drafted by the major leagues. He is a member of several Halls of Fame, including the Glens Falls Area, Capital District, and New York State baseball halls.

“One time I tried to get the armed forces baseball team to play against the Golden Eagles,” Williams added. “Their coach asked me who our coach was, and I said, ‘John Mayotte’ and he said, ‘How did you get John Mayotte?’ He had coaches on his staff who were coached by John. He had a huge, huge network of players and coaches that he knew across the country.”

A memorial service for Mayotte is scheduled for June 4 at the Sandy Hill Arts Center in Hudson Falls.

“It’s great to see all these former players thanking him for what he’s done for them,” Williams said. “He touched their lives and he changed their lives.”

Follow Pete Tobey on Twitter @PTobeyPSVarsity.

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