Campus: CSU San Marcos -- October 11, 2005

Cal State San Marcos Athletics Names First Baseball and Softball Coaches

Last spring, students at California State University San Marcos voted to support the growth of collegiate athletics through a new student fee. Soon, students will see a tangible result of that decision with the hiring of two coaches who will build programs in softball and baseball.

Dennis Pugh, a seasoned coach with more than 30 years of experience, has been hired to direct the collegiate men's baseball team. Jennifer Milo, a young coach just beginning to build her career, will direct the new women's softball program.

Pugh joins the campus from Mission Bay High School, where he's coached for 26 years. His overall record at Mission Bay is 602 wins and 192 losses, with a playoff record of 44 wins and 12 losses. His teams have won 18 league championships, eight CIF titles, and a state championship, and they have been nationally ranked as high as second in USA Today. Under Pugh's guidance, more than 30 players have received scholarships from NCAA Division I schools, with two being drafted in the first-round.

In addition to his accomplishments on the diamond, Pugh has also coached two CIF championship football teams and has served as the high school's athletic director for 17 years. He is a member of several professional coaching organizations throughout the community.

Pugh earned a B.A. in physical education and a credential in secondary education from San Diego State University and a M.A. in physical education from Azusa Pacific University. He was awarded the Purple Heart after serving a tour of duty in Vietnam.

"This is the fulfillment of something I've always wanted to do," said Pugh of his move to Cal State San Marcos. "Building a program is not going to be an easy road, but it's a road that I'm ready to take."

Pugh will finish out the 2005-2006 school year at Mission Bay High School, but will begin working part-time this fall on initial planning, which includes recruiting and finding a facility at which to practice and compete. The Cougar baseball team will take the field in spring 2007.

"Dennis Pugh is a San Diego coaching legend," commented Steve Nichols, Cal State San Marcos director of athletics. "He built that program at Mission Bay High School from the ground up, and has produced several major league players and prospects. He understands the priority that academics must have here, and his character and integrity are unquestionable. We are delighted that he is joining our family in athletics."

Milo currently is the assistant softball coach for San Diego State University, a position she's held since August 2003. She oversees the team's academic progress and eligibility, summer camps and clinics, and recruitment of prospective student-athletes, and has on-the-field duties of being in charge of the outfielders and sharing the duty of hitting.

Prior to coaching, she spent two years as an academic counselor at SDSU and spent one year as the academic coach for the men's basketball team.

Milo earned a B.A. in diversified liberal arts, a multiple subject teaching credential and an M.A. in counseling, all from the University of San Diego. While a student, she competed on the university softball team for four years, playing every inning of every game. At the conclusion of her career as USD's first baseman, her No. 44 uniform number was retired. She has been featured in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd for her athletic achievements. From 1997 to 2001, she was the assistant coach for the Toreros.

Athletic ability runs in Milo's family. Her father, Robert Sr., played baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies, her brother Robert Jr. played baseball for Stanford University, and her youngest brother Tony played baseball for the Anaheim Angels.

"This is the job I have dreamed about since I was a young girl starting to play the game of softball," said Milo. "This is an extremely exciting time for me and for Cal State San Marcos softball as we begin our journey toward building a competitive program both in the classroom and on the field. My plan is to bring in student-athletes who will add a great deal to the Cal State San Marcos community through their excellent academic skills and their intense work ethic on the softball field."

Milo will join the San Marcos athletics team this fall to begin planning for her first season, also in spring 2007.

"Jennifer Milo is primed to become an outstanding head softball coach," remarked Nichols. "She enjoyed an outstanding playing career and has been equally outstanding as a coach at San Diego State. She also has a strong academic background. Jennifer will be a terrific asset to our athletics program."

Collegiate athletics first came to Cal State San Marcos in 1999, with the launching of men's and women's programs in golf and cross country. The following year, track and field was added. Currently, the Cougars compete in the National Association of Collegiate Athletics (NAIA).

In March 2005, Cal State San Marcos students voted to pay an additional $40 per semester to support collegiate athletics.

The university plans to launch soccer in fall 2006. A search is currently underway for a head coach for that program.

Paige Jennings at or 760-750-4048;

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