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Baseball field to be named after beloved coach and teacher

After a year of rumor, it's finally official, the Nye County School District School Board voted to approve the naming of the Pahrump Valley High School baseball field after Rod Poteete.

Poteete's wife, Jean Poteete was excited for her husband.

"It would have made him very happy," she said. "Pahrump was his second home and sometimes we thought it was his first. We will be there for the dedication in the spring. Hopefully, as soon as they get the schedule confirmed they will let us know. But we will be there to honor him."

Rod Poteete succumbed to stomach cancer last year on July 8.

He taught at the school from 1974 until 2009 and was the first baseball coach at the school. He once estimated that he drove 750,000 miles in various vehicles in his commute from Las Vegas.

As the head baseball coach, his teams went to the state finals in 1979, '81 and '83 and made the state semifinals in two other seasons. Rod Poteete was named the Southern Nevada Small Schools Coach of the Year six times and is a member of the PVHS Hall of Fame.

The coach even designed and helped build the first baseball field and back then they couldn't afford to get a scoreboard so Poteete used an old garage door from his house.

Rod Poteete loved the game of baseball and sharing his love for the sport. During his lifetime he amassed a collection of 500,000 baseball cards.

Of course he also played the sport, playing for Stanford University as a pitcher. His talented arm took them to the college world series. Upon graduation from college, Rod Poteete played for a Los Angeles Dodgers farm team for two years in the late 1960s, where he met and played with the likes of Steve Garvey and Bill Buckner. He even met Tommy Lasorda and the then skipper of the Dodgers, hall of famer Walter Alston.

When Rod Poteete was alive he had a memory that would not quit. He would often tell stories of the members of his teams. Some of the stories would be flattering and others would be outright hilarious, especially if you knew who he was talking about. The man remembered nearly all of his players that he coached.

Rod Poteete was the founder of the high school baseball team and one of the original teachers at the high school and is fondly remembered by one of his former players, Mike Floyd.

"Coach Poteete was a huge part of the history of PVHS from the time it opened until he finally retired," Floyd said. "He built a pretty successful baseball program for all of us to be a part of and I know that the group of guys who were on the teams in my day were pretty proud to have a former major leaguer as our coach. He was also a good friend after we all moved on with our lives. Naming the baseball field in his honor is a fitting tribute to a man that did so much for our school."

The dedication of the field will be in the springtime and the exact date will be announced when the baseball schedule comes out. In the meantime, the school would like to ask all former players and friends of the Poteete family to keep the calendars open to come to the dedication.

 

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