Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Brian Schmack Named Valparaiso Baseball Head Coach

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Valparaiso University director of athletics Mark LaBarbera announced today that Brian Schmack has been named the 17th head coach in Crusader baseball history and just the sixth since 1946.

"We are very excited to have Brian Schmack leading our baseball program," said LaBarbera. "Over the past couple of years, we have added another chapter of championship play to Valpo's baseball tradition. This has been the result of hard work by many people, including Brian. Coach Schmack's baseball knowledge, ability to recruit, to teach, and to develop young men both on and off the field make him the right person to be our head coach."

Schmack has spent the last seven seasons as Valpo's pitching coach, helping the Crusaders to back-to-back Horizon League championships in each of the last two years. Prior to the 2011 season, Schmack was promoted to associate head coach. He also brings 10 seasons of professional playing experience to the position.

"I'd like to thank Mark LaBarbera and (vice president) Michael Joseph for giving me the opportunity here at Valparaiso," said Schmack. "I'm honored to be able to lead these guys and this program - it feels awesome and it's been a goal of mine for a long time. Our goal as a program is going to be to always win the Horizon League. Having success in regionals also is going to be a goal. Having played in the Horizon League championship game three years ago, then getting to a regional and then getting a win in a regional, we'd like to keep taking steps forward."

Over his seven seasons with the Crusaders as pitching coach/associate head coach, Schmack helped the Valpo baseball program to 187 victories, including the Horizon League regular season title in 2012 and the Horizon League tournament championship in 2012 and 2013. The Crusaders advanced to the NCAA Division I Tournament each of the last two years after a 44-year draught, and defeated Florida in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the program's first tournament win since 1966.

Schmack shaped the Valpo pitching staff into one of the best in the Horizon League, molding a staff with an ERA of 5.73 in the year before his arrival into one which has led the league in ERA each of the last three seasons, posting marks below 4.00 all three years. The Crusaders' pitchers have also ranked among the top-10 nationally in fewest walks per seven innings each of the last two seasons.

Over Schmack's seven years at Valpo, six Crusader pitchers have earned All-League recognition, including two Pitcher of the Year and one Relief Pitcher of the Year honorees. In addition, five pitchers have been selected All-Newcomer Team recipients and five pitchers have represented Valpo on the league's All-Tournament Team.

Schmack has coached three of the eight winningest pitchers in program history, as well as two of the top five in Crusader history in career strikeouts and two of the top four in saves. Under his tutelage, Tyler Deetjen won eight games in 2012, the most by a Valpo pitcher in 25 years. Bryce Shafer tallied 121 strikeouts in 2010, second-most in program history and most by a Crusader in the last 40 years, while Jarad Miller set new Valpo and Horizon League records with 17 saves in 2009. In addition, six pitchers coached by Schmack have gone on to play professional baseball, including a pair - Shafer and Dallas Cawiezell - who were chosen in the MLB Draft.

Schmack pitched in professional baseball from 1995-2004 in the Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, and Detroit Tigers organizations after breaking in with the Newark Bison of the Frontier League. In 2003, Schmack earned a promotion to the major leagues with the Tigers, appearing in 11 games and posting a 1-0 record with a 3.46 ERA. He earned his first major league victory against Cleveland on September 2, 2003.

At Erie, Schmack was named to TOPPS’ AA all-star squad in 2003, leading the Eastern League with 29 saves. In 2000, he tied for third in the International League (AAA) with 11 victories for Charlotte.

Schmack pitched collegiately at Northern Illinois University from 1992-1995. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management from Valparaiso University in 2009. He and his wife, Cari, have three children, Kyle born in 2001, and twins Ella and Riley born in 2004.

What they're saying about Brian Schmack

"Having Brian on my staff for the last seven years, I've seen one of the better pitching coaches that I've ever been around. I think his move to being the head coach will be an easy transition. His knowledge of the game and his passion for the game will do him well as a head coach." - Tracy Woodson, former Valparaiso head coach and current Richmond head coach

"I think Brian is an outstanding hire for Valparaiso University baseball. First off, Brian is a quality individual, a quality family man. Couple that with his baseball knowledge, and I think Valparaiso baseball will be in great hands. He's been there seven years, and in that time no doubt has been a huge factor in the rise in the program. The continuity the program will have with Brian being named head coach is going to be good for everybody." - Ed Mathey, Northern Illinois head coach

"Brian played for me at Northern Illinois - he always overachieved as a player and picked right up on it as a coach. Pitching's a big part of the game, and Brian has done an great job coaching some outstanding pitching staffs in his time at Valparaiso. He's also just a tremendous guy - a good person who truly cares about his players and does things the right way. Valpo did well to hire Brian as its new head coach." - Spanky McFarland, former Northern Illinois head coach and current James Madison head coach

M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 UIC
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana