LUBBOCK, Texas – The College Baseball Foundation is proud to announce Michigan head coach Erik Bakich as the 2019 Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year.
In 2019, Bakich led the Wolverines into the NCAA Tournament field of 64 as one of the last four teams in. They won the Corvallis Regional, then upset No. 1-ranked UCLA in the Super Regional to advance to the College World Series, where they finished as the National Runner-Up behind Vanderbilt University.
“Erik's ballclub was the talk of college baseball in June, from the regional win in Corvallis all the way to the College World Series finals,” said Mike Gustafson, President and CEO of the College Baseball Foundation and chair of the Bertman Award committee. “We are honored to present this award to him.”
The Bertman Award recognizes coaches at every level of college baseball. The award finalists and winner were selected by a national committee of active and retired coaches from all levels of college baseball. Jeff Willis, head coach of NJCAA Division II national champion LSU-Eunice, won the award in 2018.
In his seven-year tenure in Ann Arbor, Bakich has led Michigan to the NCAA tournament three times. His 2015 Wolverine team won the Big Ten Conference postseason tournament and finished as runner-up at the Louisville Regional.
Among the finalists for the 2019 award are six national champions, including Tim Corbin from Vanderbilt, who led the Commodores to a 59-12 record and their second national championship under his tenure. The finalists and their 2019 records are:
· Keith Gorman - Cumberland County (N.J.) College (NJCAA Division III) 47-5
· Raydon Leaton – Northern Oklahoma College-Enid (NJCAA Division II) 42-18
· Anthony Gilich – Central Arizona College (NJCAA Division I) 50-20
· Eric Lane – Lower Columbia (Wash.) (Northwestern Athletic Conference) 38-9
· John Altobelli - Orange Coast (Calif.) (California Community College Athletic Association) 39-9-1
· Billy Berry - Tennessee Wesleyan University (NAIA) 56-10
· Scott Laverty – Chapman University (Calif.) (NCAA Division III) 44-12
· Joe Urso – University of Tampa (NCAA Division II) 45-14
· Tim Corbin – Vanderbilt University (NCAA Division I) 59-12
The award is named for legendary LSU head coach and National College Baseball Hall of Famer Skip Bertman, who coached the Tigers from 1984 to 2001. In his time at LSU, Bertman won five national championships and was named National Coach of the Year six times. He coached 31 players who went on to play Major League Baseball and was part of the Hall of Fame’s inaugural class in 2006.
SKIP BERTMAN NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR – PAST WINNERS
2013: Mike Dickson, Gloucester County (N.J.) College
2014: Tim Tadlock, Texas Tech
2015: Paul Mainieri, LSU
2016: Tim Scannell, Trinity (Texas) University
2017: Kevin O'Sullivan, Florida
2018: Jeff Willis, LSU-Eunice