The American Baseball Coaches Association inducted its 10-member 2017 ABCA Hall of Fame class during this year's ABCA/Diamond Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Banquet at the ABCA Convention in Anaheim, California.
The ABCA Hall of Fame Class of 2017 included:
Tom Austin, Methodist University (N.C.)
Scott Berry, Mayville State University (N.D.)
Jerry Boatner, West Lauderdale High School (Miss.)
Barry Chasen, Windsor High School (Conn.)
Leroy Dreyer, Blinn College (Texas)
Rick Jones, Tulane University (La.)
Wally Kincaid, Cerritos College (Calif.)
Bill Percy, St. Mary's High School (Colo.)
Steve Peterson, Middle Tennessee State University
Norm Schoenig, Montclair State University (N.J.)
Induction to the ABCA Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed by the organization. The ABCA was founded in 1945 and the Hall of Fame began in 1966.
Tom Austin, Methodist University (North Carolina)
The ninth coach in NCAA Div. III history to reach the 1,100-win plateau, Tom Austin has left his mark on the Methodist University baseball program. Through 37 years as head baseball coach at Methodist, Austin sports a 1,106-501-9 (.684) career record. His teams have eclipsed the 20-win mark in every season during his tenure and include 17 seasons of at least 30-wins and back-to-back 40-win seasons in 1986 and 1987.
Austin ranks ninth overall among all-time NCAA Division III head coaches and third among active Division III head coaches in victories. During his tenure at Methodist, Austin has guided the Monarchs to six NCAA Division III College World Series appearances (1986, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996), finishing no lower than fifth in any of those appearances. The Monarchs' best finish was runner-up in 1995.
Under Austin's guidance, Methodist has tallied 21 Dixie Intercollegiate/USA South Athletic Conference championships, six NCAA Div. III South Regional titles and 22 NCAA Div. III National Tournament berths, most recently in 2015. Methodist has also earned recognition as the country's top-ranked NCAA Div. III team during three different seasons.
In addition, Austin's teams have consistently been one of the best in the USA South in stolen bases. His 1986 squad set an NCAA Division III single-season record for stolen bases with 334. That same team also set the NCAA Division III single-season record for walks with 440.
Austin has received numerous coaching honors during his career, including being selected the Dixie Intercollegiate/USA South Athletic Conference Coach of the Year 11 times, the ABCA/Diamond NCAA Div. III South Region Coach of the Year seven times and the North Carolina College Coach of the Year twice.
A total of 29 players under Austin have garnered ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Div. III All-America honors, and 134 players have been selected first team All-Dixie Intercollegiate/USA South Athletic Conference.
A native of Philadelphia, Austin attended Seminole Community College in Sanford, Florida, where he was an All-Florida Conference outfielder and set the state junior college stolen base record. From there, Austin transferred to Rollins College, where he received his bachelor's degree in history in 1972. He then earned his master's degree in education from Rollins in 1976.
Austin began his coaching career at his high school alma mater – Bishop Moore High School – serving as football and baseball coach from 1973-79.
A Lifetime ABCA member, Austin has been involved in the ABCA for four decades and served as a clinician at the 2015 ABCA Convention in Orlando.
Scott Berry, Mayville State University (North Dakota)
Scott Berry became one of six active NAIA coaches to have eclipsed the 1,000-win mark during the 2016 season. The 2014 ABCA President took over as head coach at his alma mater, Mayville State, in 1982 where he has grown the program into an NAIA powerhouse.
Under Berry's guidance, the Comets have won 23 regular season conference championships, including 17 consecutive titles from 1986-2002. Additionally, the Comets have collected 21 conference tournament championships and have appeared in the NAIA national playoffs 26 times, including in 2016. In those 26 appearances, Berry's teams have won three NAIA regional titles, the 2002 Plains Super Regional title and had a top-five finish at the NAIA World Series.
Berry's career record as head coach stands at 1,012-573-1, which is good for a .683 winning percentage. He ranks fifth among active NAIA coaches in career wins despite the fact that over 75 percent of the games in his career have been played away from Mayville State's Scott Berry Field, which was named in his honor in 2010.
Berry has been named as Conference Coach of the Year 23 times, District 12 Coach of the Year nine times and NAIA Region Coach of the Year four times and he has coached 35 NAIA Scholar-Athletes, 25 NAIA All-Americans and 22 players who have signed professional contracts.
Prior to his career as a coach, Berry attended Mayville State where he lettered four years under ABCA Hall of Famer Al Meyer, receiving All-Conference honors his junior and senior seasons. After graduating from Mayville State, Berry coached high school baseball teams in Ellendale, Binford, Rolla and Casselton, North Dakota. He returned to his alma mater as an assistant under Meyer in 1981 and became the head coach the following year. Berry also coached the summer amateur baseball team in Mayville, with his "Red Caps" competing in the state finals six out of seven years and coming away with championships in 1981 and 1984.
A very active participant in local, state, and national baseball organizations, Berry has been heavily involved with the ABCA for four decades. In addition to serving as ABCA President in 2014, Berry currently serves on the ABCA's Board of Directors and Nominations Committee. Additionally, Berry has been involved in the North Dakota Baseball Coaches Association, North Dakota Amateur Baseball Coaches Association, North Dakota College Athletic Conference and USA Baseball.
Along with his induction into the ABCA Hall of Fame, Berry has been honored with induction into the Mayville State University Athletic Hall of Fame, the NAIA Hall of Fame for Baseball, the North Dakota Amateur Baseball Association Hall of Fame and the Christian Sports Commission Hall of Fame. He has also been honored with the North Dakota Associated Press Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association "Special Achievement Award", the NAIA Robert E. Smith Achievement Award and the FCA Jerry Kindall Character in Coaching Award.
Jerry Boatner, West Lauderdale High School (Mississippi)
A championship baseball and softball coach from West Lauderdale High School in Collinsville, Mississippi, Jerry Boatner has led his baseball and softball teams to a combined 21 state championships and 1,743 wins, more than any other coach in the state of Mississippi.
Boatner began his coaching career in 1969 as head coach at Clarkdale (Miss.) High School. He arrived at West Lauderdale in 1973, where he has led the Knights baseball program to a Mississippi high school record 13 state championships, with their most recent title coming in 2014. He also holds the state high school record for wins in the sport of baseball with 1,133 in his career.
Throughout his career, Boatner has had the privilege of coaching a number great teams, including his 2007 squad that finished the season with a 38-2 record and a No. 2 national ranking. Over 120 of his players have gone on to play college baseball, while another 10 have moved on to the professional ranks.
From 1990-2008, Boatner also guided the West Lauderdale softball program to an impressive 610-135 (.819) record and eight state titles.
Now a member of five Halls of Fame, Boatner has been named the ABCA/Diamond National Coach of the Year four times, most recently in 2009. He has also been named Sectional Coach of Year three times and is a 25-time District Coach of the Year. Boatner has the honor of having the fields at both Clarkdale High School and West Lauderdale High School named after him.
The 41-year Lifetime ABCA member has served on numerous state baseball committees as well as a 10-member National Rules Committee. He has also worked as an associate scout for the Kansas City Royals.
Boatner has been heavily involved in his community, starting West Lauderdale's FCA organization and serving as a member of Collinsville's First Baptist Church since 1974.
As a player, Boatner attended East Mississippi Community College before finishing his college career at Delta State University. He served as an ace pitcher for fellow ABCA Hall of Famer Boo Ferris. In 1968, Boatner led the Statesmen to a third place finish at the NCAA Div. II College World Series.
Barry Chasen, Windsor High School (Connecticut)
In a career that spanned almost four decades, Barry Chasen led the Windsor High School baseball program, located in Windsor, Connecticut, to 403 wins, 10 league titles, two regional titles and two state championships in his 28 seasons at the helm of the Warriors. Along with his 102 wins coaching summer baseball, Chasen finished his 38-year coaching career with a record of 505-171 (.747).
Chasen, who began his career at New London (Conn.) High School in 1969 as an assistant football, basketball and baseball coach, took over the Windsor baseball program in 1975, leading the Warriors to 27 state tournament appearances in a 28-season stretch. In 1979 following his first state title, Chasen's Warriors finished the season ranked No. 3 in the Collegiate Baseball national poll. His teams also won 40-straight regular season games between 1984-86 and were crowned Battle of the Windsors champion six times.
While at Windsor, Chasen also coached football and basketball, guiding the girls' basketball team to a runner-up finish in the Class LL state championship in 1980.
In his career, Chasen has coached over 100 players who have gone on to play anywhere from the junior college level to NCAA Div. I, with five playing for professional organizations.
In his community, Chasen has been an advocate for growing the sport. In 2012, he worked with city administrators to bring the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program (RBI) to Hartford, Connecticut where, with the help of the Ripken Foundation, three new multi-sport turf fields were constructed for the over 500 youth participants. The program also includes clinics put on by local college and professional teams.
The recipient of numerous coaching honors, Chasen was named the ABCA/Diamond High School Division II National Coach of the Year in 2000 as well as the ABCA/Diamond Region I Coach of the Year in 1992 and 2000. The two-time National High School Coaches Association Region I Coach of the Year was also named the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1986. A former recipient of the Gatorade Coaches Care Award, Chasen was also named Easton Sports/Collegiate Baseball Master Coach of the Year and a Hartford Courant 20th century Multi-Sport Coach of the Century.
Chasen served as the Baseball Chairperson for the Central Connecticut Conference from 1985-2004 and was a voting member of the Hartford Courant, Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America high school polls. He was also the secretary and a consultant for the Connecticut High School Baseball Coaches Association.
In his 41 years as an ABCA member, Chasen was voted to serve as a State and Regional Chairman and was as a member of the High School All-American and Coach of the Year Committees. The Lifetime ABCA member was also an original member and longtime Chairman of the ABCA High School Rules Committee.
Chasen has also served the game as an umpire for over 50 years. The recipient of the 2007 Connecticut American Legion Umpire of the Year Award has worked eight NCAA Div. III Regionals and 15 Amateur World Series, including the Babe Ruth and Babe Ruth Senior World Series.
His induction into the ABCA Hall of Fame will be his sixth, as he is currently a member of the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Norwich, Connecticut Sports Hall of Fame, the New York Military Academy Hall of Fame, the Windsor Diamond Club Hall of Fame and the Windsor High School Athletics Hall of Fame.
Prior to his career as a coach, Chasen attended Marietta College, where he played for ABCA Hall of Famer Don Schaly from 1966-69.
Leroy Dreyer, Blinn College (Texas)
A key figure in the Texas junior college landscape, Leroy Dreyer served as the head baseball coach at Blinn College for 27 years (1959-86). There, he compiled a 653-249 (.724) record and led five teams to the NJCAA World Series, including four consecutive appearances (1962-65, '68). The 12-time Texas Junior College Coach of the Year coached 23 NJCAA All-Americans, while 52 of his former players signed pro contracts, five of whom reached the Major Leagues.
Dreyer began his coaching career at Blinn as an assistant football coach and head basketball coach. In 1959, after becoming both the head baseball and football coach, he was named Athletic Director, a position he held until 1994. During his tenure as Athletic Director, Dreyer developed Blinn into one of the top NJCAA athletic programs in the nation. He served as head football coach until 1971.
Along with ABCA Hall of Famers Jack Allen (Tarleton State) and Bill Griffin (Howard), Dreyer was also instrumental in the formation of the Texas-New Mexico Junior College Baseball Coaches Association, serving on the association's Executive Committee and as its President for numerous years.
Dreyer received numerous honors throughout his career. He was awarded the 1974 Hap Morse Award for Texas Baseball Coach of the Year, the 1982 NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association Award for Leadership and was named the 1985 ABCA/Topps Coach of the Year. He was also recognized by the Texas-New Mexico Baseball Coaches Association for outstanding leadership and service.
Leroy Dreyer Field, home to the Blinn Bucaneers, was dedicated in Dreyer's honor in 1986. His number, 34, was also retired by the school. In 2015, Blinn College started the Leroy Dreyer MVP Diamond Award to be given annually to the most valuable player of the Blinn baseball team.
Following his retirement, Dreyer was a professional baseball scout for both the San Diego Padres and the New York Mets.
A longtime member of the ABCA, Dreyer was the first Junior College coach to ever be on the ABCA's Executive Committee, serving as the 4th Vice President.
Dreyer has been inducted into several Halls of Fame including the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, the NJCAA Football Hall of Fame and the Blinn College Ex-Student Hall of Fame. The Brenham (Texas) High School graduate has also been inducted into the Brenham High School Athletic Hall of Honor.
A great athlete in his own right, Dreyer began his collegiate career as an All-American football player at Blinn College, while also lettering in basketball and baseball. He would go on to earn his bachelor's degree from the University of Houston and his master's degree from Sam Houston State University.
Rick Jones, Tulane University (Louisiana)
In 21 years as the head baseball coach at Tulane, Rick Jones became one of the most decorated collegiate baseball coaches. Jones, who retired in 2014, left Tulane as the program's longest tenured coach, as well as its winningest coach. He compiled a record of 818-445-2 (.647), guiding the Green Wave to 12 NCAA Div. I Regional appearances, two NCAA Div. I Super Regional appearances and the program's only two appearances in the College World Series in 2001 and 2005.
For his career, Jones boasts an overall head-coaching record of 1,094-538-3 (.669). He also made head-coaching stops at Ferrum (1982-84), where he compiled a record of 102-32-1 (.756), and Elon (1985-89), where he led the program to a 174-61 (.740) record and made three NAIA Tournament appearances in five years. Jones went to Tulane after serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Georgia Tech from 1990-93 under head coach Jim Morris, where the Yellow Jackets had at least 42 wins and went to the NCAA Tournament in all four seasons that Jones was a member of the coaching staff.
Jones's resume is filled with accomplishments. The 2005 Baseball America National Coach of the Year was also a three-time Conference USA Coach of the Year (1997, 2001 and 2005) and owns more wins in the league than any other head coach. Ten of his Tulane teams posted 40 or more victories, and his squads averaged 40 wins a season during his 20 full years at the helm of the program.
Jones was appointed the head coach of the 2009 United States Collegiate National Team, guiding the Red, White and Blue to victory in the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline World Baseball Challenge that year.
Many of Jones's players had tremendous success during his tenure as head coach, as 61 Green Wave players earned All-Conference honors from C-USA and the Metro Conference on 89 different occasions, including 54 first-team selections. Twenty-eight players earned All-Freshman honors as well. Nationally, 22 of Jones' players received All-American recognition - including at least one every season from 1996-2006. Seventeen of his players were named Freshman All-Americans, and five went on to play for the USA Baseball National Team.
Professionally, Major League Baseball teams spent 54 draft picks on Tulane players from 1994-2014, including five first-round selections. A total of 76 of Jones's Tulane players signed professional contracts. Many of Jones's former players and assistant coaches went on to become collegiate head coaches.
Off the field, Tulane baseball produced unprecedented success in the classroom, as over 200 of his players earned C-USA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll recognition. Six of those players earned CoSIDA Academic All-American status. Every player who played four years for Jones completed his degree.
Wally Kincaid, Cerritos College (California)
Wally Kincaid is considered one of the key innovators of how baseball is played at the collegiate level. As the first head baseball coach at Cerritos College, he spent 22 years (1958-77 and 1979-80) at the helm and won six state championships, while posting a career record of 678-163 (.806).
Kincaid, who passed away in 2015, led his teams to 15 conference championships, 51 tournament championships and a 60-game winning streak that spanned over three seasons (1965-67). In 1966, he coached the Falcons to a 40-0 record.
After working at Cerritos College, Kincaid served as assistant coach at Cerritos under current Oregon head coach George Horton from 1985-89. He also served as an assistant coach during three College World Series appearances for Long Beach State.
Over 150 of Kincaid's former players moved on to the professional ranks, while another 100 have moved on to become coaches at all levels. Some of Kincaid's former assistant coaches and players include current NCAA Div. I head coaches George Horton (Oregon) and Dave Serrano (Tennessee), the all-time winningest junior college coach Don Sneddon (Santa Ana College), former Long Beach State head coaches Dave Snow and Mike Weathers, and current Cerritos College coach Ken Gaylord.
Kincaid, whose teams never had a losing season, was named the 2008 ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award winner and was recognized as the National Community College Coach of the Century by Baseball America. Also, in honor of his contributions to Cerritos, the baseball field there was named in his honor in 1992.
Now elected to the ABCA Hall of Fame, Kincaid was previously inducted into the Cerritos College Hall of Fame, the Community College Coaches Hall of Fame and the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
Before coaching at Cerritos, Kincaid coached baseball and basketball for seven years at Downey High School in Downey, California. He was a 1943 graduate of Downey High and was inducted to the school's Hall of Fame in 1999. Upon graduation, he attended Whittier College.
Bill Percy, St. Mary's High School (Colorado)
Bill Percy's influence in the game of baseball has spanned the globe. In the states, Percy is active in his home state of Colorado as the head baseball coach at St. Mary's High School in Colorado Springs, where he has served since 2007. Percy, who has over 38 years of coaching experience, is also the Director of Clinics for the Colorado High School Baseball Coaches Association and has served that post since 1996. He is a past president of that association and in 2010 was inducted into the Colorado Dugout Club's inaugural Hall of Fame class.
Percy's coaching career began in 1974 as an assistant at Florida Southern College under ABCA Hall of Fame coach Hal Smeltzly after a playing career that saw him win an NCAA Div. II National Championship in 1972. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Florida Southern, Percy went on to earn his master's degree in education from Central Missouri State University in 1975 while serving as a graduate assistant baseball coach.
He began his high school teaching and coaching career in 1978 as head coach at Palmer High School, before taking over at Mitchell High School, both of which are in Colorado Springs, in 1990. There, his 1992 and 1993 teams competed in the state championship game, finishing runner-up both years. In 1999, Percy was named an ABCA/Diamond Regional High School Coach of the Year.
Percy has traveled to four continents coaching and teaching the game of baseball to players and coaches worldwide. Since 1997 he has been a Major League Baseball Envoy coach with assignments in Croatia, Serbia, Austria and Hungary. From 1998-2005 he served as head coach of the Croatian Senior National Team. In 2002, he was awarded the Julio Puente Envoy Award by Major League Baseball for exceptional dedication to development of baseball overseas.
Percy became involved with USA Baseball in 1990, where he coached the Junior National Team to a silver medal in the Pan American Games in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Just three years later, Percy's Junior National Team brought home a gold medal in Chicago. In 1996, Percy served as head coach of the USA Youth 15U team that competed in the IBAF World Championships in Chiba, Japan. Percy was also an assistant coach with the USA Olympic Sports Festival East Team in 1995 that competed in Colorado Springs.
In his many coaching positions, Percy has had the opportunity to coach a number of players who went on to illustrious careers in Major League Baseball.
Along with coaching and his MLB Envoy work, Percy is active as a clinician, author and organizer of baseball coaching seminars throughout Colorado, the United States and Europe. The 36-year ABCA Lifetime member served on the ABCA High School All-American and Coach of the Year Committee from 1998-2005 and has been in his current role as the District 7 Chair of the ABCA High School Baseball Committee since 1998. Percy was also a speaker at the 2004 ABCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas.
Steve Peterson, Middle Tennessee State University
In 25 years at the helm of the Middle Tennessee State baseball program(1988-2012), Steve Peterson became the Blue Raiders all-time winningest coach. He led the program to nine regular-season conference championships, nine conference tournament titles and 11 NCAA Regional berths, including two at-large selections. He guided the Blue Raiders to eight consecutive championships - either regular season or tournament - from 1990-97.
Peterson wrapped up his career with a 791-637-3 (.552) mark at Middle Tennessee and a 944-733-3 (.562) career mark, producing 16 seasons with 30 or more wins, including a school-record 44 victories in 2009. He also had four campaigns of at least 40 wins.
Peterson served as head coach at Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tennessee from 1979 to 1984, leading the program to a 153-96 (.614) record. Peterson's teams won a Tennessee state title in 1981, and he was twice named TJCAA Coach of the Year (1981, '84).
In 2001, after years of success in the Ohio Valley Conference, Peterson oversaw the Blue Raiders' transition to the Sun Belt Conference. In their first five years in the Sun Belt, Peterson's teams won two regular-season championships and a tournament championship. His teams also earned three NCAA Regional berths ,including two at-large selections for the first time in school history.
At Middle Tennessee, Peterson coached 44 first-team All-Conference performers including seven Conference Players of the Year, two Conference Pitchers of the Year and two Sun Belt Freshmen of the Year. He also coached two first-team All-Americans, five third-team All-Americans and five Freshman All-Americans.
Peterson is a two-time OVC Coach of the Year, was named the 2004 Sun Belt Coach of the Year and was recognized as the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association College Coach of the Year in 1992, 2000 and 2009. He was named an ABCA/Diamond Regional Coach of the Year in 2009.
Peterson has seen 71 former players earn the chance to play at the professional level, with eight making their way to the Major Leagues. Many former Blue Raiders are also currently coaching at the high school, college, or professional levels.
Peterson served as an assistant coach at Middle Tennessee from 1976-78 and 1985-87, helping the Blue Raiders win two OVC titles and four Southern Division crowns.
Peterson has been inducted into the Rutherford County Old Timers Baseball Hall of Fame, the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Huntsville-Madison County (AL) Athletic Hall of Fame and the Blue Raider Hall of Fame by Middle Tennessee State University.
A native of Huntsville, Alabama, Peterson stood out as a catcher under Rudy Abbott at Jacksonville State. He earned his bachelor's degree from Jacksonville State in 1973 and later earned a master's degree from Middle Tennessee in 1977.
The Lifetime ABCA member has been involved with the association for 40 years, including a stint on the ABCA NCAA Div. I All-America and Coach of the Year Committee.
Norm Schoenig, Montclair State University (New Jersey)
A Red Hawk through and through, Norm Schoenig spent 26 seasons at the helm of his alma mater's baseball program, Montclair State. Schoenig took the reins at MSU in 1988 as the 10th head coach in program history following in the footsteps of his former coach, Clary Anderson, and one of his mentors, ABCA Hall of Fame inductee Fred Hill.
Schoenig continued the rich tradition of Montclair State's successful coaches, leading the Red Hawks to seven NCAA Div. III Championship appearances and two national titles during his tenure. MSU won its first national championship under Schoenig in 1993, his sixth year guiding the Red Hawks. Five years later, MSU finished as national runner-up in a season that started the Red Hawks' most successful run in program history.
From 1998-2001, Montclair State posted a record of 143-47-1 (.751 winning percentage) and went 62-10 during that time in New Jersey Athletic Conference play. That span included the 2000 season, in which Schoenig led MSU to its best season in program history going 42-7-1 and winning 17 of 18 NJAC games. Ultimately, the Red Hawks won the school's third national title that season and second under Schoenig. The following season, the Red Hawks went on to finish third in the 2001 NCAA Div. III World Series.
The two-time ABCA/Diamond NCAA Div. III National Coach of the Year retired with a career record of 724-409-11. His .637 winning percentage at the time of retirement ranked in the top 30 among active NCAA Div. III coaches and he is the all-time winningest coach in Montclair State baseball history. Schoenig is also one of just two coaches in NJAC league history to win 300 conference games and led MSU to five NJAC titles. In addition to his team's success, Schoenig produced 18 All-Americans and had 15 former players go on to sign professional contracts.
Prior to assuming the head coaching duties at Montclair State, Schoenig served as an assistant coach under Fred Hill at MSU. Since retiring from Montclair State, Schoenig has served as an assistant coach at Rutgers-Camden, also a member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
The Lifetime ABCA Member has been active in the association for nearly four decades and has served on ABCA committees in addition to the NCAA Div. III Baseball Committee. In 2011 while still coaching, Schoenig was inducted into the Montclair State Athletics Hall of Fame.