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Ducks manager Carter moves to college near home

Ducks' manager Gary Carter returns to the dugout

Ducks' manager Gary Carter returns to the dugout after looking after one of his players who was injured. (September 27, 2009) Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

For Ducks manager Gary Carter, the lure of being close to his family was too great to keep him on Long Island.

After one season with the Ducks, Carter will manage at the NCAA Division II level with the Palm Beach Atlantic University Sailfish next season. The move provides Carter, a Palm Beach, Fla., resident, the opportunity to work close to home.

In an interview during the Ducks' playoff push last month, Carter was noncommittal about returning and acknowledged the difficulty of being away from his family.

"The thing I miss most is my family," he said. "I've got three grandchildren now and I've received a lot of feedback from my family about wanting Dad and Pops to be around."

Carter led the Ducks to the postseason with a 74-66 record, where they nearly overcame an 0-2 deficit to beat Southern Maryland in a best-of-five series.

"We had an exciting year and we took a step forward with Gary," Ducks infielder Ray Navarrete said. "It's unfortunate that we can't take the next step forward with him."

Carter has been vocal about his qualifications to manage in the major leagues, saying that he didn't need additional seasoning in the lower levels of professional baseball.

The announcement that he will work at the collegiate level comes as somewhat of a surprise considering the potential major-league vacancies that may present themselves in the coming weeks.

"It became apparent that if Gary were not to get a major-league job, that his second choice would be to manage close to home," Ducks principal owner Frank Boulton said in a statement. "The managing job at Palm Beach Atlantic affords him this opportunity. We had an exciting 2009 10th anniversary season and Gary Carter played a major role in that. He will forever be a part of Ducks history."

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