Danny Schmitz enters his 28th season at the helm of the Orange and Brown in 2018. The three-time Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year has delivered seven conference championships, and owns a career record of 694-708-5 heading into the 2018 season.
Schmitz has assembled a coaching staff of Falcons. Assistant coaches Rick Blanc and Ryan Shay were mentored by the BGSU skipper during their playing careers, and both won MAC titles. Blanc was a part of the 1998 team that captured the program's first MAC Tournament title, while Ryan Shay won back-to-back regular-season titles in 2008 and 2009. Schmitz recently added Ryne Foster to the staff in the fall of 2017 as a volunteer.
On April 20, 2013, he became just the third coach in Mid-American Conference history to win 600 games, doing so in a 14-6 triumph over the Akron Zips at Warren E. Steller Field.
The 2013 season marked Schmitz’s most improbable run, as the Falcons reached the NCAA Tournament. The Orange and Brown nearly missed the MAC Tournament. On May 18, needing a win just to qualify for the MAC Tournament, the Falcons found themselves trailing visiting Buffalo, 4-0, after two innings. Schmitz, and the Falcons, would pull victory from the jaws of defeat, winning in walk-off fashion to clinch the 6-seed in the MAC Tournament. That walk-off win would propel the Falcons to their winning ways in the MAC Tournament, winning four of five games to clinch the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. That 2013 team compiled a program-best ERA under Schmitz’s guidance, finishing with an earned run average of 3.83—the first sub-4.00 ERA for the program since 1979.
Schmitz has led his Falcons to three NCAA Tournament appearances during his 27 full seasons. The first time came in 1998, when the Falcons won the MAC Tournament and were sent to Coral Gables for the NCAA Regional at University of Miami. The following year, the Falcons once again pulled off the feat, winning the 1999 MAC Tournament. The Falcons were sent to the Ohio State Regional in Columbus, Ohio. In 2013, the Falcons were sent to the Louisville Regional at the University of Louisville’s Jim Patterson Stadium.
Under the most successful coach in Bowling Green State University baseball history, the Falcons – four separate times – have won the MAC’s regular season crown. The Orange and Brown have also claimed seven divisional titles to go along with the three tournament championships.
Schmitz took over a program which had recorded just one winning season across the seven years prior to his arrival. Schmitz has since guided the Orange and Brown to 13 winning seasons.
Following a 1993 season which saw the Falcons finish 19-27-1 (11-17 MAC), Schmitz guided the Falcons to the first winning season under his watch in 1994. The Falcons would go 29-18 (16-10) in 1994, completing a 10-game turnaround from the previous season. At the conclusion of the 1994 campaign, Schmitz was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year.
The following year, Schmitz was once again named MAC Coach of the Year, as the Falcons continued to build off their momentum from the previous season. The 1995 version of the Falcons went 34-20 (22-8 MAC), a program-record for wins in a season at the time. The 1995 regular-season championship was the first for the Falcons under Danny Schmitz.
Schmitz won MAC Coach of the Year honors for the third time in his career following the 2009 regular season, which saw the Falcons win their second-straight MAC title. The 2009 Falcons went 28-22 (18-8 MAC) to claim their fourth MAC regular-season crown in program history.
Twice under the tutelage of Danny Schmitz, the Falcons have won a program-record 36 contests in a single season. The first time was in 1999 when the Orange and Brown went 36-24, winning the MAC Tournament to advance to the NCAA Regional. Just two years later, the Falcons finished 36-18, winning the East Division.
In 2001, the Falcons compiled an astonishing offensive season, leading the NCAA in both batting average and slugging percentage.
Schmitz, who has a reputation of developing players, has certainly done so over the past several seasons. Schmitz played a huge role in the development of Brandon Howard, who stole 42 bases in 2015 as a senior to establish a new single-season record.
Additionally, Schmitz has mentored three Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-Americans, including Zac Carey – another member of the 2015 team. Carey went 7-0 over his final 10 outings of the season with a 2.40 ERA in 63.2 innings pitched. Tyler Saneholtz (2002) and Len Elias (1999) also earned the honor under Schmitz.
In 2016, freshman Riley Minorik become the school's first-ever second baseman to be named to the All-Defensive Team in the MAC. Several other players experienced breakout seasons, including Derek Drewes, who set career highs in batting average (.298), hits (28), runs (13), slugging percentage (.330) and on-base percentage (.377).
Also in 2016, Schmitz had two of the best relief pitchers that he's ever had at BGSU. Devin Daugherty led the team in ERA (2.56), strikeouts (51), and wins (4), while also posting two saves and breaking the single-season record for appearances with 30. Tony Landi made 29 appearances, and tied the single-season record for saves with eight.
In 2017, Jake Wilson hit .305 en route to earning Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year honors. Wilson was also named a Freshman All-American by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
Nolan Reimold was selected in the second round of the 2005 MLB Draft by Baltimore, while Corey Loomis was taken in the 21st round in the 2002 draft by Detroit. Kelly Hunt -- a member of the 2015 BGSU Athletics Hall of Fame class -- heard his name in the 29th round of the 2003 draft by Detroit. Burke Badenhop was also selected by the Tigers in the 19th round of the 2005 draft. The ace of the 2006 BGSU staff, Alan Brech, was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 35th round. Derek Spencer was taken by the Kansas City Royals in the 42nd round in 2009 after his junior season before returning to play a fourth year at BGSU. After the conclusion of the 2010 season, the Detroit Tigers selected top-of-the-rotation hurler Brennan Smith in the 33rd round of the 2010 MLB Draft. After the conclusion of the 2011 season, Jon Berti (18th round, Toronto) and Ross Gerdeman (35th round, Arizona) were selected. Berti – Schmitz’s nephew – was also selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 36th round out of high school before opting to attend Bowling Green. Berti is currently in the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
In 27 full years at the helm, Schmitz has had a number of players sign professional contracts, including Andy Tracy, who was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies squad that captured the 2008 World Championship. Badenhop, the Tigers Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2007, was traded to Florida in the 2007 off-season as a part of the deal that brought Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit. Badenhop made his major league debut on April 9, 2008. He made eight starts and had 13 appearances in his first season in the majors. After playing the 2012 season with the Tampa Bay Rays, Badenhop was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for the 2013 season. He spent the 2014 season with the Boston Red Sox before retiring after a strong 2015 season with the Cincinnati Reds. Reimold played in the 2006 All-Star Futures Game and made his debut on May 14, 2009 against the Kansas City Royals. He was an early favorite for the 2009 American League Rookie of the Year and finished the season batting .279 with 15 home runs and 45 RBI in 104 games played with the Baltimore Orioles.
Schmitz came to BGSU with an abundance of baseball experience from almost every conceivable level. His primary goal upon arriving on campus in August of 1990 was to rebuild Falcon baseball’s winning tradition. He and his staff have done just that and more.
A 1973 graduate of Hazel Park High School, Schmitz earned four letters as a second baseman at Eastern Michigan between 1974-77. During his career at EMU, he played a big role in the Hurons (now Eagles) winning back-to-back MAC titles in 1975 and 1976, thus earning the right to host the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships.
On both occasions, the Green and White, which had future big-league pitchers Bob Welch (1990 Cy Young Award winner) and Bob Owchinko on its staff, won the regional tournament to advance to the College World Series. In 1975, the Hurons won their first game in the CWS (2-1 over Florida State in 10 innings), but were eliminated when they fell in their next two contests.
The following year, EMU became one of only two MAC teams to advance to the CWS final. Schmitz and the Hurons won their first three games in the series before losing to Arizona twice, including a 7-1 decision in the title contest, to fall just short of the championship trophy. For his outstanding play, Schmitz was named to the all-tournament squad for the College World Series at second base. He was an honorable mention All-MAC selection his junior season. EMU was ranked third in the final Collegiate Baseball poll, up five spots from its final rating the year before.
Following the CWS, Schmitz played with Team USA, serving as captain of the squad that went to Korea and Taiwan.
At the conclusion of his senior campaign, during which he was co-captain, Schmitz earned team MVP honors, and hit a career-high .339. Schmitz was then drafted in the 20th round by the New York Yankees. He joined the Yankee rookie team in Oneonta right after the draft and helped his new club to a league crown, the first of five teams in a six-year span that would earn titles with the assistance of Schmitz.
The Ferndale, Mich., native then made the big jump to AAA for the 1978 season playing for Tacoma before spending the 1979 year in Columbus under manager Gene Michael. In 1980, Schmitz played in Nashville for former Yankee manager Stump Merrill prior to going back to Columbus for both the 1981 and 1982 seasons.
He completed his eight-year minor league career with stops in Tidewater (Mets affiliate) in 1983 and Toledo (then Twins affiliate) in 1984, where he also began his instructional career serving as player-coach.
In 1985, the Minnesota Twins hired Schmitz to manage their Class-A affiliate, Visalia, in the California League. In his second year at the helm, he led Visalia to the second half Northern Division pennant and a spot in the championship series.
After his stint at Visalia, Schmitz returned to his alma mater, where he spent three campaigns as an assistant coach under Roger Coryell. During that time, the Hurons finished second in both the 1988 and 1990 MAC races. In his final year as an assistant, EMU won more league contests (20) than any other team, but finished one game behind league champion Central Michigan.
Born March 1, 1955, the BGSU skipper earned his undergraduate degree from EMU in 1979 in physical education.
Schmitz and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of two children – Spencer, and Jamie Lynn.
Ryan Shay enters his fourth season as assistant baseball coach at Bowling Green State University. A former standout on the Falcons as a player, Shay coaches the hitters and infielders.
As an offense, the 2015 season saw the Falcons improve in several categories over the last few seasons. Bowling Green had 109 extra-base hits this past season, including 26 home runs – the most for the program since the 2010 season (the last year of the “live” bat era).
Under Shay, three Falcons were named All-MAC, highlighted by Trey Keegan being named first team at catcher. Brandon Howard and Matt Smith also earned All-MAC honors for the Falcons in Shay’s first season.
Keegan was drafted on June 10, 2015 by the Atlanta Braves in the 14th round of the 2015 MLB First Year Player Draft. Taken with the 420th pick overall, Keegan was the highest drafted player from Bowling Green since Nolan Reimold was taken in 2005 by the Baltimore Orioles. Keegan was the first Falcon to be drafted since both Jon Berti and Ross Gerdenman were selected in 2011.
Smith, who hit under .250 in each of his first two seasons while playing in just 56 games, hit .310 in 2015 to lead the Falcons. His .398 MAC average was tops in the entire conference. Keegan, who was a first-year starter for BGSU, was named first team All-MAC after registering 13 doubles, a team-high five home runs, scoring 46 runs while driving home a team-best 39.
In 2016, Shay mentored second baseman Riley Minorik, who as a freshman, was named to the All-Defensive Team in the MAC and led the Falcons with four home runs. Derek Drewes also experienced a breakout season. Playing mainly third base, Drewes led BGSU with a .298 batting average, and posted career numbers across the board.
In 2017, freshman Jake Wilson hit .305 en route to earning Freshman All-American honors. Infielder Randy Righter also had a big offensive season, as he hit .301 with a team-high 17 doubles. Catcher Justin Mott experienced a breakout season, hitting a career-best .291.
Prior to his appointment as assistant coach, Shay had plenty of baseball experience outside of his playing days at BGSU. Following a professional career in the Frontier League. Shay coached at Bowling Green, Divine Child High School, and Select Baseball Training Academy. He also served as an intern in the baseball office at Wayne State University while completing his Masters Degree.
The former shortstop finished his career as a two-time All-MAC performer, while also earning All-Mideast Region honors at shortstop in both 2008 and 2009. The Falcons won the MAC's regular-season title in both 2008 and 2009. He finished his career with 749 at-bats (first in school history), 177 runs scored (third), 252 hits (second), 53 doubles (second), 372 total bases (fourth), 205 games played (fourth), and 578 assists (second).
On Sept. 12, 2018, the BGSU baseball program and head coach Danny Schmitz announced the hiring of Kyle Hallock as Assistant Baseball Coach. Hallock will serve as BGSU's pitching coach.
Hallock won four-consecutive MAC Championships, played in three NCAA Regionals, and his teams averaged over 40 wins per season across his Kent State playing career (2008-11). During his senior year in 2011, Hallock won 10 games and posted a 1.95 ERA on his way to earning All-American and MAC Pitcher of the Year honors. Hallock still ranks in the top-10 of all major pitching statistical categories (wins, strikeouts, innings pitched and appearances) at Kent State. During his time at KSU, Hallock was mentored by current University of Georgia Head Coach Scott Stricklin, as well current Golden Flashes' pitching coach Mike Birkbeck – a former Major Leaguer and ABCA/Baseball America Division I National Assistant Coach of the Year.
"My family and I are excited to be Bowling Green Falcons. I would like to thank Bob Moosbrugger, Steve Messenger, Coach Schmitz and the hiring committee for this opportunity. I look forward to building on the tradition that is Bowling Green Baseball with our alumni, coaches, current players and future recruits. I would also like to thank Tom Crank for allowing me to begin my career in coaching at Malone University."
Hallock went on to have a highly-successful career in professional baseball. Hallock, who was also drafted out of high school by the Philadelphia Phillies, began his career in pro ball in 2011 after being selected by the Houston Astros in the 10th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Across his first year in the Astros' system, he participated in the New York Penn League All-Star Game, on top of being named an organizational All-Star by MiLB.com writers and scouts.
In 2013, Hallock was promoted three times, spending time with the Quad Cities River Bandits (Single-A), Lancaster Jethawks (Advanced-A) and Corpus Christi Hooks (Double-A) before finishing the year with the Oklahoma City RedHawks (Triple-A). In total, Hallock appeared in 59 games as a pro, logging 186.2 innings.
As he transitioned into a coaching role, Hallock took over pitching coach duties in the summer of 2014 for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL) – the premier summer circuit for college baseball players. On top of running a pitching operation that culminated with a CCBL championship, Hallock coached 12 players that summer that went on to be selected in next year's 2015 MLB Draft, including three first-round picks (Walker Buehler, Phil Bickford and Tyler Jay). Bickford was named the Summer Collegiate Pitcher of the Year that summer, while Buehler is currently pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Most recently, Hallock has spent the last four years as the pitching coach at Malone University under head coach Tom Crank (465-331-1 at Malone). Over his time at Malone, on top of playing a pivotal role in the program's overall resurgence, Hallock turned the Pioneers' pitching staff into one the very best across the Midwest Region. In the two seasons prior to his arrival, Malone went a combined 40-57. Across Hallock's four years on staff, the Pioneers posted four-straight winning seasons and went 124-83 (.600) overall.
Malone averaged 31 wins per season under Hallock's guidance, due largely in part to a pitching staff that ranked first or second in team ERA within the GLIAC/GMAC conferences in three of the last four years. In fact, Malone's team ERA ranked 22nd in the country in 2015 (3.43), and 14th in the nation in 2017 (3.32). In his four years as a Pioneer, Hallock tutored an All-American, a two-time conference pitcher of the year, a conference freshman of the year, four All-Region picks and five All-Conference selections. While on staff, Hallock also coached right-handed pitcher Alex Widmer, who was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 2017 MLB Draft.
The Pioneers' bullpen went 105-6 when leading after the sixth inning under Hallock, while Malone pitchers have combined to pick off 57 base runners over the last two seasons. Those final two seasons were two of the best in school history, as Malone went 35-18 in 2017 and 34-18 in 2018. The Pioneers were ranked No. 6 in the entire Midwest Region during the 2018 season.
Hallock, who received his Bachelor's degree in Sport Administration from Kent State in 2011, earned a Masters of Business Administration from Malone University in 2016.