Baseball: Tracy Woodson steps down as Valparaiso’s head coach
Post-Tribune staff report July 22, 2013 7:52PM
Updated: August 24, 2013 6:36AM
Valparaiso University announced on Monday that head baseball coach Tracy Woodson has stepped down to accept the same position at Richmond.
Woodson spent seven seasons at the Crusaders’ helm with 187 victories was named the 2012 Horizon League coach of the year. Woodson led the Crusaders to the league regular season title in 2012 and back-to-back tourney championships in 2012 and 2013. VU advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last two seasons, a place it hadn’t reached since 1968, and defeated Florida in this year’s tournament for the program’s first Division I regional victory since 1966.
“On behalf of the university, I would like to thank Tracy for all his efforts to restore the Valparaiso baseball program back to its traditional standard of excellence,” said Valparaiso director of athletics LaBarbera in a release. “Under his leadership, the program has reached all of the goals that we set out to accomplish when he came on board. I’m pleased that we now have a baseball program that is competitive on a national level, and our intent is to move quickly to put new leadership in place.”
Under Woodson’s guidance, Valparaiso recorded 10 first team and 14 second team all-Horizon League selections in VU’s first six years in the league. In addition, Woodson had 14 all-newcomer team picks and 20 Crusaders named to the Horizon League’s all-tournament team, including Mark Johnson and Karch Kowalczyk, the tournament’s most valuable players in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
“I want to thank everybody at Valparaiso University, especially director of athletics Mark LaBarbera, for the opportunity to spend the last seven years as head coach of the Crusader baseball program,” Woodson said in a statement. “It was a great experience and we were able to accomplish some tremendous achievements. I’m excited for the Valpo baseball program going forward into the future with the foundation of success we were able to build.”
Five Crusaders were selected in the Major League Baseball draft during Woodson’s tenure at Valparaiso. Kyle Gaedele became VU’s highest draft pick ever in the sixth round (No. 203 overall) by the San Diego Padres in 2011. Designated hitter/closer Dallas Cawiezell was selected in the summer of 2007 and signed with the Cleveland Indians. In 2010, pitcher Bryce Shafer was drafted by the Chicago Cubs while Bo McClendon was a pick of the Detroit Tigers, marking the first time since 1969 the Crusaders have had two players selected in the same draft. Earlier this summer. Tanner Vavra was chosen by the Minnesota Twins in the 2013 draft.