[Information provided by: LSU Athletics]
The National College Baseball Hall of Fame announced Saturday the creation of its newest award — the Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year Award — honoring the nation's top collegiate coach from any level of college baseball. The award, sponsored by Easton-Bell Sports, will be presented as part of the College Baseball Night of Champions ceremony on June 29.
"It is time for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame to create a yearly honor for the top coach from any level of college baseball," said Hall of Fame executive director Mike Gustafson. "We recognize accomplishments at all levels of the game so that part was obvious. Coach Bertman's record stands on its own merits, but it is also a special way for us to honor him because of his support and guidance in our fundraising process."
Bertman coached at LSU from 1984 to 2001. During his tenure, he 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 inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 2006. Since that time, three of his players have joined him in the Hall of Fame.
Following his retirement from coaching, Bertman served as LSU's athletic director from 2001 to 2008. In May, LSU's home field was renamed Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
"I am thrilled and humbled to have an award with my name on it to be given by the National College Baseball Hall of Fame," Bertman said. "It's indeed a proud and extraordinarily happy moment for me and all the players I coached."
The award finalists and winner are selected by a national committee of active and retired coaches from all levels of college baseball.
Five finalists have been selected for the inaugural Skip Bertman Award — Scott Brosius, who led NCAA Division III Linfield College to a 42-8 overall record and a 21-3 conference record; Mike Dickson, whose NJCAA Division III Gloucester County College Roadrunners finished the season with a 49-3 overall record and a 15-1 conference record; Paul Mainieri of LSU, whose Tigers currently have a 57-9 overall record and finished with a 23-7 conference record; Patrick McCarthy, who led the NAIA Faulker University Eagles to a 43-14 overall record and a 25-5 conference record; and Tracy Smith, whose Indiana Hoosiers currently have a 48-18 overall record and finished with a 15-6 conference record.
"Three of these coaches have already led their teams to national championships and two have led their teams to Omaha for the College World Series and are still in the running to win a title," Gustafson said. "All of them led their teams to truly impressive records and all are very deserving candidates to be the first winner of the Skip Bertman Award."