|Born||April 12, 1936|
|Died||April 6, 2019 82)(aged|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Tournaments||NCAA D1: 14-20|
Big East: 22-26
|Accomplishments and honors|
|NCAA Regional: 1974, 1975|
Big East: 1990
Big East South Division: 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989
Big East Tournament: 1987
|Big East Coach of the Year: 1985, 1987, 1989|
Mike "Shep" Sheppard Sr. (April 12, 1936 – April 6, 2019) was an American college baseball coach, mainly as the head coach at Seton Hall from 1973 to 2000 and 2002 to 2003. In 30 seasons as head coach, he led Seton Hall to 10 NCAA Tournaments and two College World Series. He had an overall record of 998-540-11.
College baseball is baseball that is played on the intercollegiate level at institutions of higher education. In comparison to football and basketball, college competition in the United States plays a smaller role in developing professional players, as baseball's professional minor leagues are more extensive, with a greater history of supplying players to the top professional league. Moving directly from high school to the professional level is more common in baseball than in football or basketball. However, if players do opt to enroll at a four-year college to play baseball, they must complete three years to regain professional eligibility, unless they reach age 21 before starting their third year of college. Players who enroll at junior colleges regain eligibility after one year at that level. In the most recently completed 2017 season, there were 298 NCAA Division I teams in the United States.
The Seton Hall Pirates baseball team represents Seton Hall University, in South Orange, New Jersey in college baseball. The program is classified in the NCAA Division I, and the team competes in the Big East Conference. The team is coached by Rob Sheppard.
The NCAA Division I Baseball Championship is held each year from May through June and features 64 college baseball teams in the United States, culminating in the eight-team College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska. Oregon State is the 2018 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament champion, defeating runner-up Arkansas 5-0 in Game 3 to win the 2018 College World Series championship finals.
After playing for Ownie Carroll at Seton Hall, Sheppard coached high school baseball. He became the head coach at Seton Hall after Carroll retired at the end of the 1972 season.
Owen Thomas "Ownie" Carroll, was a Major League Baseball pitcher who played nine seasons in the major leagues with the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees (1930), Cincinnati Reds (1930–1932), and Brooklyn Dodgers (1933–1934).
In Sheppard's first seven seasons (1973–1979), the Pirates played in six NCAA Tournaments and two College World Series. The team went 22-8 in his first season. It reached the District 2 Regional, where it lost consecutive games to Penn State and Temple. In 1974, Seton Hall went 3-0 in the District 2 Regional to reach the College World Series, where it lost to Southern Illinois, 5-1, and Texas, 12-2. In 1975, the team returned to the College World Series, where it went 1-2 with an elimination-game win over Florida State. The Pirates also qualified for NCAA Tournaments in 1976, 1977, and 1979, reaching the Northeast Regional final against Maine in 1976.Future major leaguers Rick Cerone and Dan Morogiello played for Sheppard during the 1970s.
The Penn State Nittany Lions baseball team is the varsity intercollegiate athletic team of the Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania, United States. The team competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I and are members of the Big Ten Conference.
The Temple Owls baseball team was a varsity intercollegiate athletic team of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, until the end of the 2014 season. On December 6, 2013, Temple announced that it would cut seven sports, including baseball, at the end of the 2013–14 academic year for financial reasons.
The Southern Illinois Salukis baseball team represents Southern Illinois University in NCAA Division I college baseball. They are part of the Missouri Valley Conference. Twenty-four Saluki Baseball alumni have gone on to the Major Leagues.
Seton Hall appeared in the NCAA Tournament three more times in the 1980s (1982, 1984, and 1987). Their deepest run came in 1984, when they again lost to Maine in the Northeast Regional final. The program began competing the Big East Conference in 1985. In its first six seasons in the conference (1985–1990), it won the South Division five times and played in the Big East Tournament five times. It won the tournament in 1987. Sheppard was named Big East Coach of the Year in 1985, 1987, and 1989.Several notable players played for Sheppard in the 1980s: John Morris, Tony DeFrancesco, Pat Pacillo, Rich Scheid, Craig Biggio, John Valentin, Kevin Morton, and Mo Vaughn.
The Big East Conference was a collegiate athletics conference that consisted of as many as 16 universities in the eastern half of the United States from 1979 to 2013. The conference's members participated in 24 NCAA sports. The conference had a history of success at the national level in basketball throughout its history, while its shorter football program, created by inviting one college and four other "associate members" into the conference, resulted in two national championships.
The Big East Conference Baseball Tournament is the conference championship tournament in baseball for the Big East Conference. It is a double-elimination tournament and seeding is based on regular-season records. The winner receives the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. The Big East Tournament champion is separate from the conference champion. The conference championship is determined solely by regular-season record.
The 1987 Big East Baseball Tournament was held at Muzzy Field in Bristol, CT. This was the third Big East baseball tournament, and was won by the Seton Hall Pirates. As a result, Seton Hall earned the Big East Conference's automatic bid to the 1987 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament.
In the 1990s, Seton Hall won a regular-season conference championship in 1990 and placed second multiple times but failed to qualify for an NCAA Tournament. Its highest win total came in 1995, when the team went 38-16. Future major leaguers Mike Moriarty, Matt Morris, and Jason Grilli played for Sheppard during the decade.
Michael Thomas Moriarty is a retired Major League Baseball shortstop and second baseman. He played during one season at the major league level for the Baltimore Orioles.
Matthew Christian Morris is a former Major League Baseball right-handed starting pitcher. He retired on April 30, 2008.
Jason Michael Grilli is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Florida Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Atlanta Braves, Toronto Blue Jays, and Texas Rangers. Taken as the fourth overall selection of the 1997 MLB draft by the San Francisco Giants, Grilli was one of the top starting pitcher prospects in all of Minor League Baseball, ranked 54th in 1998 and 44th in 1999. The Giants traded him to the Florida Marlins in 1999, for whom he debuted on May 11, 2000.
In 2000, Seton Hall returned to the NCAA Tournament. The Pirates went 36-14 in the regular season. They lost in the Big East championship game, but received an at-large bid to the 2000 NCAA Tournament. As the third seed in the Columbia Regional, they went 0-2, losing games to second-seeded Wake Forest and fourth-seeded Liberty.
The 2000 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament was played at the end of the 2000 NCAA Division I baseball season to determine the national champion of college baseball. The tournament concluded with eight teams competing in the College World Series, a double-elimination tournament in its fifty fourth year. Sixteen regional competitions were held to determine the participants in the final event, with each winner advancing to a best of three series against another regional champion for the right to play in the College World Series. Each region was composed of four teams, resulting in 64 teams participating in the tournament at the conclusion of their regular season, and in some cases, after a conference tournament. The fifty-fourth tournament's champion was LSU, coached by Skip Bertman. The Most Outstanding Player was Trey Hodges of LSU.
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons baseball team represents Wake Forest University in NCAA Division I college baseball. The program competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). They won the 1955 College World Series. They are coached by Tom Walter.
The Liberty Flames baseball team is a varsity intercollegiate athletic team of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, United States. The team is a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, which is part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I. Liberty's first baseball team was fielded in 1974. The team plays its home games at Liberty Baseball Stadium in Lynchburg, Virginia. The Flames are coached by Scott Jackson. The team colors are red, white and blue.
Sheppard missed the entire 2001 season while recovering from triple-bypass surgery. His son, Rob, served as interim coach during the season.
Sheppard returned for two seasons but resigned following the 2003 season in controversial circumstances. In March 2003, Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger published an article in which former players and their parents accused Sheppard, an ex-Marine, of using harsh punishments and racial slurs. Others, including other former players, fellow coaches, and media members, defended Sheppard and argued there was no proof of such behavior. Seton Hall conducted a confidential investigation of the incident, the results of which were not published. Sheppard resigned in summer 2003; the university's press release about his resignation cited "health reasons and a desire to spend more time with his children and grandchildren." Including games during the 2001, when his son Rob served as interim head coach, Sheppard retired with 998 career victories. Rob served as Seton Hall's interim head coach in 2004 before being named to the position permanently for the 2005 season.
Below is a table of Sheppard's yearly records as a collegiate head baseball coach.
|Seton Hall (1973–1984)|
|1973||Seton Hall||22-8||NCAA Regional|
|1974||Seton Hall||33-10-1||College World Series|
|1975||Seton Hall||32-10||College World Series|
|1976||Seton Hall||33-17-1||NCAA Regional|
|1977||Seton Hall||37-14||NCAA Regional|
|1979||Seton Hall||32-11-1||NCAA Regional|
|1982||Seton Hall||41-13||NCAA Regional|
|1984||Seton Hall||41-13||NCAA Regional|
|Seton Hall(Big East Conference)(1985–2000)|
|1985||Seton Hall||44-19-1||15-3||1st (South)||Big East Tournament|
|1986||Seton Hall||32-26||13-5||1st (South)||Big East Tournament|
|1987||Seton Hall||45-10||16-2||1st (South)||NCAA Regional|
|1988||Seton Hall||39-16||12-6||2nd (South)||Big East Tournament|
|1989||Seton Hall||33-19-1||16-2||1st (South)||Big East Tournament|
|1990||Seton Hall||35-18||16-4||1st||Big East Tournament|
|1992||Seton Hall||28-27||14-7||2nd||Big East Tournament|
|1993||Seton Hall||30-18||12-8||2nd||Big East Tournament|
|1994||Seton Hall||32-21||12-8||3rd||Big East Tournament|
|1995||Seton Hall||38-16||14-7||T-2nd||Big East Tournament|
|1996||Seton Hall||18-27-1||5-17-1||5th (National)|
|1997||Seton Hall||32-22||13-11||T-2nd (National)||Big East Tournament|
|1998||Seton Hall||25-23||12-10||6th||Big East Tournament|
|1999||Seton Hall||32-19-1||14-11||4th||Big East Tournament|
|2000||Seton Hall||40-18||18-7||T-2nd||NCAA Regional|
|Seton Hall(Big East Conference)(2002–2003)|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
Three of Sheppard's sons are also baseball coaches. Rob replaced him as Seton Hall's head coach, and Mike Jr. and John are high school baseball coaches. His son-in-law, Ed Blankmeyer, is the head coach at St. John's.
Sheppard is an inductee of the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame (1988) and American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame (2011).
Seton Hall's softball venue is named for Sheppard, who died on April 6, 2019, six days before his 83rd birthday.
The St. John's Red Storm is the nickname used for the 16 varsity athletic programs of St. John's University, in the U.S. state of New York. St. John's 16 NCAA Division I teams compete in the Big East Conference, with the exception of the fencing team, which compete in the ECAC. On December 15, 2012, St. John's and the other six Catholic, non-FBS schools announced that they were departing the former Big East for a new conference. The "Catholic 7", after purchasing the "Big East" name from the FBS schools and adding Butler, Creighton, and Xavier, began operating as the new Big East Conference beginning in July 2013.
Phyllis Ann Mangina is an American college basketball coach who was most recently an assistant women's basketball coach at Saint Peter's. Previously, she was head coach at Seton Hall from 1985 to 2010. Mangina was first a star basketball and softball player at Seton Hall, and later returned to her alma mater as an assistant, before assuming a leading role as head coach in 1985.
Fred Hill Sr. was the head baseball coach at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he served from 1984 through 2013. He earned 13 NCAA Baseball Tournament bids at the school. Hill was also a head baseball and football coach for the Montclair State University Red Hawks in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. He compiled an overall college baseball coaching record of 1,089–749–9.
Ed Blankmeyer is an American college baseball coach, the head coach of St. John's since the start of the 1996 season. Before St. John's, Blankmeyer served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Seton Hall. His head coaching record is 647–405–3, as of the end of the 2014 season. Under Blankmeyer, St. John's has won three Big East Regular Season Championships and three Big East Tournament Championships. They have appeared in eight NCAA Regionals and one NCAA Super Regional.
Kevin Leighton is an American college baseball coach, currently serving as head coach of the Fordham Rams baseball program. He was named to that position prior to the 2012 season. His brother, Brian Leighton, is also a baseball coach
The 2014 NCAA Division I baseball season, play of college baseball in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I level, began on February 14, 2014. The season progressed through the regular season, many conference tournaments and championship series, and concluded with the 2014 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament and 2014 College World Series. The College World Series, consisting of the eight remaining teams in the NCAA Tournament and held annually in Omaha, Nebraska at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, ended on June 25, 2014 with the final game of the best-of-three championship series between Vanderbilt and Virginia, won by Vanderbilt.
James Duffy is an American college baseball coach and former first baseman. Duffy currently serves as an assistant coach for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights baseball program. He had served as head coach of the Manhattan Jaspers baseball team from 2012 through 2017. He was named to that position prior to the 2012 season.
Charlie Hickey is an American college baseball coach. He has been the head coach of Central Connecticut since the 2000 season, leading the Blue Devils to four NCAA Tournaments. Previously, he was the head coach at Providence for three season (1997–1999). Providence announced it was cutting the program prior to the 1999 season, but the team won that year's Big East title and advanced to an NCAA Regional final.
Rob Sheppard is an American college baseball coach who has been the head coach at Seton Hall since the start of the 2004 season. Sheppard was also the Pirates' interim head coach in 2001. He succeeded his father, Mike, who had been Seton Hall's head coach since 1973. Under Sheppard, the Pirates have appeared in two NCAA Tournaments.
The Big East Conference Baseball Coach of the Year award is presented annually to the conference's most outstanding coach, as voted by the conference's coaches at the end of each regular season. From 1985 to 2013, the award was sponsored by the old Big East Conference. Since 2014, it has been sponsored by the new Big East.
The 2014–15 Seton Hall Pirates men's basketball team represented Seton Hall University during the 2014–15 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Pirates, led by fifth year head coach Kevin Willard, played its home games in Newark, New Jersey at the Prudential Center and were members of the Big East Conference. They finished the season 16–15, 6–12 in Big East play to finish in a tie for seventh place. They lost in the first round of the Big East Tournament to Marquette.
The 2014–15 Seton Hall Pirates women's basketball team represented Seton Hall University during the 2014–15 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Pirates, led by second head coach Anthony Bozella, played its home games in Newark, New Jersey at the Walsh Gymnasium and were members of the Big East Conference. They finished the season 28–6, 15–3 in Big East to share the Big East regular season title with DePaul. They advanced to the championship game of the Big East Women's Tournament where they lost to DePaul. They received an at-large bid of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament where they lost to Rutgers in the first round. With 28 wins in the regular season, the most wins in school history.
The Seton Hall Pirates women's volleyball program is the NCAA Division I intercollegiate volleyball program of Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. The team competes in the Big East Conference and plays their home games in Walsh Gymnasium on the Seton Hall campus.
The 2015–16 Seton Hall Pirates women's basketball team represent Seton Hall University during the 2015–16 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Pirates, led by third head coach Anthony Bozzella, play their home games in Newark, New Jersey at the Walsh Gymnasium and are members of the Big East Conference. They finished the season 23–9, 12–6 in Big East play to finish in a tie for second place. They advanced to the semifinals of the Big East Women's Tournament where they lost to Creighton. They received an at-large bid of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament where they lost to Duquesne in the first round.
The 2016–17 Seton Hall Pirates women's basketball team represented Seton Hall University during the 2016–17 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Pirates, led by fourth head coach Anthony Bozzella, played their home games in South Orange, New Jersey at the Walsh Gymnasium and were members of the Big East Conference. They finished the season 12–19, 4–14 in Big East play to finish in a tie for seventh place. They advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big East Women's Tournament where they lost to DePaul.
The 2017–18 Seton Hall Pirates men's basketball team represented Seton Hall University in the 2017–18 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. They were led by eighth-year head coach Kevin Willard. The Pirates played their home games at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey and Walsh Gymnasium in South Orange, New Jersey as members of the Big East Conference. They finished the season 22–12, 10–8 in Big East play to finish in a three-way tie for third place. In the Big East Tournament, they lost to Butler in the quarterfinals. They received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 8 seed in the Midwest region. There they defeated NC State in the First Round before losing to Kansas in the Second Round.
The 2017–18 Seton Hall Pirates women's basketball team represented Seton Hall University during the 2017–18 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Pirates, led by fifth year head coach Anthony Bozzella, played their home games in South Orange, New Jersey at the Walsh Gymnasium as members of the Big East Conference. They finished the season 16–16, 7–11 in Big East play to finish in seventh place. They advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big East Women's Tournament where they lost to DePaul. They received an at-large berth in the WNIT where they lost to Saint Joseph's in the first round.
The 2018–19 Seton Hall Pirates women's basketball team represented Seton Hall University during the 2018–19 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Pirates, led by sixth year head coach Anthony Bozzella, played their home games in South Orange, New Jersey at the Walsh Gymnasium as members of the Big East Conference. They finished the season 15–16, 7–11 in Big East play to finish in a tie for eighth place. They lost in the first round of the Big East Women's Tournament to St. John's. They received an at-large bid if the WNIT where they lost to Toledo in the first round.