Mike Sheppard (baseball)

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Mike Sheppard
Sport(s) Baseball
Biographical details
Born (1936-04-12) April 12, 1936 (age 82)
Playing career
? Seton Hall
Position(s) Catcher
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1973–2000 Seton Hall
2002–2003 Seton Hall
Head coaching record
Overall 998-540-11[a]
Tournaments NCAA D1: 14-20
Big East: 22-26
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
NCAA Regional: 1974, 1975
Big East: 1990
Big East South Division: 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989
Big East Tournament: 1987
Awards
Big East Coach of the Year: 1985, 1987, 1989

Mike "Shep" Sheppard Sr. (born April 12, 1936) is an American former college baseball coach, 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.[a][1]

Coaching career

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.[1][2]

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.[3][4] Future major leaguers Rick Cerone and Dan Morogiello played for Sheppard during the 1970s.[5]

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.[4][6] 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.[5]

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.[3][5][6]

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.[2][4]

Sheppard missed the entire 2001 season while recovering from triple-bypass surgery. His son, Rob, served as interim coach during the season.[2][7]

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.[1][3][8][9][10]

Head coaching record

Below is a table of Sheppard's yearly records as a collegiate head baseball coach.[3][4][6]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
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
1978 Seton Hall 24-13
1979 Seton Hall 32-11-1 NCAA Regional
1980 Seton Hall 25-12-1
1981 Seton Hall 33-11
1982 Seton Hall 41-13 NCAA Regional
1983 Seton Hall 34-15
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
1991 Seton Hall 26-19 10-9 5th
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)
2002 Seton Hall 25-28 11-15 9th
2003 Seton Hall 23-24 11-14 8th
Seton Hall: 998-540-11[a] 234-146-1
Total: 998-540-11[a]

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Personal

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.[1][11]

Sheppard is an inductee of the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame (1988) and American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame (2011).[12][13]

Seton Hall's softball venue is named for Sheppard.[14][15]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d This total includes the 2001 season, in which Sheppard's son coached the team while he recovered from heart surgery. Without the 2001 season, Sheppard's record is 964-517-10.

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Mike Sheppard". SHUPirates.com. Seton Hall Athletic Communications. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Rose, Chuck (March 18, 2002). "Jersey's Cardiac Coaches Choose Disciplined Paths". BaseballAmerica.com. Archived from the original on July 6, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d "2014 Seton Hall Baseball Record Book". Seton Hall Athletic Communications. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d "2014 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Record Book" (PDF). NCAA.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 12, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "MLB Amateur Draft Picks Who Came from "Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ)"". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "2013 Big East Conference Baseball Media Guide". BigEast.org. Big East Conference. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  7. ^ "Casey Grimm Contributing to Seton Hall Success". NewJerseyHills.com. Morristown Resident. June 8, 2001. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  8. ^ Politi, Steve (March 16, 2003). "Coach's Style Spurs Exodus at Seton Hall: Players Quit Baseball in Droves". The Star-Ledger. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  9. ^ Hague, Jim (August 22, 2003). "Scoreboard: Resignation of Sheppard Hits Close to Home". HudsonReporter.com. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  10. ^ Barmakian, Ed. "Sheppard Out as Coach: Health Issues Cited, But Controversy Apparent Factor in Ending Reign". NJ.com. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  11. ^ Behre, Bob (April 30, 2012). "Mike Sheppard Jr.'s 600th a Father and Son Affair". NJ.com. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  12. ^ "Past Inductees" (PDF). NewarkAthleticHallOfFame.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  13. ^ Rowe, John (January 18, 2011). "Mike Sheppard Sr. Inducted". NorthJersey.com. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  14. ^ Valenti, Stephen (April 26, 2012). "Ivy Hill Park Field Renamed Sheppard Field After Former SHU Coach". TheAlternativePress.com. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  15. ^ "Mike Sheppard, Sr. Field: Home of Seton Hall Softball". SHUPirates.com. Seton Hall Athletic Communications. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
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