Archive for February 12th, 2009

Northern Sun Coach Survey – Mark McKenzie

Concordia

This past weekend I sent out a short questionnaire to the coaches of the Northern Sun Conference.  My intent was to introduce this blog to each coach as well as get some content that might be of interest to readers.  I asked just a few questions as I hoped a shorter list of questions would lead to more responses. 

I received an almost immediate response from Mark McKenzie, the head coach of Concordia University in St. Paul.  Mark is entering his 10th season as coach of Concordia and became the Golden Bears’ all-time winningest baseball coach last year with a 191-136-1 record.  He also led them to their first ever appearance in the NCAA Baseball Tournament in 2008 and has his team off to a 5-1 start in 2009.  Finally, the list of assistant coaches he employs is quite likely the most impressive in the Conference.  Mark McKenzie Bio

1. In what area(s) are you looking for your team to make the biggest improvement over 2008?

We look to improve in all areas of the game. We are looking for more consistency in all aspects of the game which will lead to overall improvement.

2. What newcomers to your team look like they will make the biggest impact?

SS Bryan Lippincott, 2B Chase Brown, OF Logan Bouts, RHP Ben Lemke, RHP Chris Peterson, C/IF Troy Dubay.

3. What’s your philosophy regarding recruiting out of high school vs. college transfers?

We are looking for good people, students and players at all times regardless of age or background.

4. What Northern Sun team do you consider to be your schools biggest rival?

Our biggest rival is the team we are playing that day.

5. Who has been the biggest influence on your coaching philosophy and/or career?

Several people have influenced my coaching philosophy and my career. Tom Kelly, Ron Gardenhire, Rod Carew & Jim Wiesner for sure and John Wilkens got me involved with USA Baseball 10 years ago and it basically changed my life and led to coaching becoming my full time job.

The Northern Sun Baseball Blog would like to thank Mark McKenzie for taking time out of his schedule to answer these questions.

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NCAA Division 2 Rankings Updated

NCAA Baseball Logo

The first weekly updated rankings are out for Division 2 NCAA baseball and perennial powerhouse, University of Tampa, has moved to the top of both primary polls.  Tampa won the NCAA Division 2 championship in both 2006 and 2007 as well as 5 championships in the past 17 years.  They are off to a 5-0 start on the year.

  • In the College Baseball News poll there were some dramatic changes as preseason #1 ranked, Mount Olive, dropped to #27 after a 3-3 start and preseason ranked #3, Central Missouri, dropped out of the Top 30 altogether.  There are 2 Northern Sun Conference teams in the rankings as Wayne State stays at #20 (even though they didn’t play a game) and Concordia University picked up 4 votes to be tied for 36th.  College Baseball News Rankings
  • The other primary ranking publication is Ping! Baseball.  They moved Tampa to #1 as well after having them at #3 in their preseason poll.  There are no Northern Sun teams in the Ping Top 30 poll – Ping! Baseball – Top 30 Poll

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