Baseball

ACC Baseball News & Notes: ND Has a New Head Baseball Coach

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It was quite a spring for the Notre Dame baseball program. They would finish 41-17 overall, and 16-11 in conference play. It would lead to an appearance in the NCAA baseball tournament and a stunning victory over then #1 Tennessee in the Super Regionals. It ended with a trip to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. With that kind of attention, change can sometimes be the direct result of that kind of success. Link Jarrett, who guided the Irish through all of this, has left the ACC program and become the new head coach at his alma mater Florida State. So the Irish began a national search for a new coach and found Shawn Stiffler who this past spring was the head man at VCU.

 

Stifler comes to South Bend after spending 10 years at VCU. He guided the Rams to three Atlantic-10 regular season titles, and three trips to the field of 64. The last of those trips was this past spring. A late-season winning streak of 17 games gave the Rams the resume necessary to make the field. In the Chapel Hill regional, VCU picked up a win over the host team North Carolina. Overall at VCU, Stifler finished with a record of 340-198 with a conference record of 146-71. He was Coach of the Year in 2019, four players made All-American, five were freshman All-American, 20 were named ABCA All-Region selections, and 48 were named A-10 selections.

 

Shawn earned ABCA East Region Coach of the Year honors for the 2015 season, in which VCU won the A-10 Championship and then made their first-ever Super Regional appearance. He also spent time as an assistant coach at Richmond and George Mason where he went to school. He would be at both places for five years helping Richmond to win a CAA title in his first year at the school with a 37-win season. With the Patriots, he worked mostly with the pitchers as their pitching coach. Under his watch, the staff ERA dropped from year-to-year. In 2004 Georgia Mason made the tournament.

 

Good things are happening in South Bend. Shawn Stiffler now has an opportunity to raise the bar even higher.

 

At the recent MLB draft, the Atlantic Coast Conference once again proved it’s a wise idea to play baseball in this league. A total of 58 players heard their names called over the three-day event. Georgia Tech led the way with eight players selected. For the Yellow Jackets, the eight picks were two short of the school record of 10 which has been done three other times. Miami had six taken in the draft, the most in the first 20-rounds since 2016. Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech had five apiece. The first league player taken was Hokies outfielder Gabe Gross who was picked ninth by the Kansas City Royals. Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada was taken at #11 by the New York Mets. All 14 teams had at least one player selected.

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