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BGSU baseball reinstated after alumni support

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Baseball 5/15

After the program was cut due to COVID-19 restructuring, BGSU baseball has been reinstated. A commitment of $1.5 million from donors and alumni over the next three years has brought the program back immediately. 

“BGSU is grateful for its alumni, friends and fans who have stepped up during this difficult time to ensure that our alma mater is in a position to thrive on the other side of the current COVID-19 crisis,” Athletic Director Bob Moosbrugger said during an online press conference.

Fundraising started almost immediately after it was announced that the baseball program would be cut on May 15. Donors and past players reached out to show their support for the program that has meant so much to them and for the current people involved who have continued to represent the program. 

The quickness from these donations was key in reviving the program. Moosbrugger, a former BGSU baseball player himself, knew that support needed to come in right away in order for the program to have a chance. 

“We worked together (with the alumni leadership group) and tried to find solutions,” he said. “It had to happen quickly or it wasn’t going to happen. I am surprised, somewhat, but from those first conversations they were motivated and passionate about.”

Moosbrugger also pointed out BGSU President Rodney Rogers and Vice President of University Advancement, Pam Conlin and their willingness to help BGSU baseball get back on its feet.

Now the program is hoping to remain competitive while fighting to stay alive. There is an agreed upon $500,000 per year in order to sustain the program, but with budget cuts to every sport it may be a challenge to put together a competitive roster. The university will commit $250,000 to scholarships for the baseball program. NCAA rules state baseball programs can have up to 11.7 scholarships — BGSU had 10.4 scholarships on last season’s roster. 

“That’s roughly around the $250,000 budget,” Moosbrugger said. “Obviously we want to be competitive. We know (the University of) Akron brought their program back as a non-scholarship, but we know that’s not what we want for BGSU… We don’t want it just to come back just to participate. We want this to be a competitive baseball program.”

Coaching changes are also being added to the program. Long time head coach Danny Schmitz has moved into a new advisory role after serving as the baseball head coach for 30 years. Kyle Hallock is now serving as an interim head coach. Hallock has been an assistant with Schmitz since 2018. 

“I am so thankful for 30 incredible years as head baseball coach at BGSU. I am going out on my own terms and fully trust the staff that is in place. This program has new life, and I think it’s time for a new direction,” Schmitz said in a statement. “I am not leaving Bowling Green. I am excited to be staying on at BGSU and will help the department and baseball program in any way that I can. I am excited to see the baseball program thrive for years to come.”

For now, there is a future for BGSU baseball. The compassion from their alumni base has brought the club back to life and has it headed for sustained success during a difficult time. 

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