Archive for February 18th, 2009

Northern Sun Coach Survey – Paul Blanchard

SW MN State

This is my 6th entry in my series of questionnaire responses I received from coaches in the Northern Sun Conference.

One of the most successful coaches of not only the Northern Sun Conference but of Division 2 as a whole is Southwest Minnesota State’s Paul Blanchard.  Entering his 13th season as head coach of the Mustangs, Blanchard has had only 1 non-winning season.  He is the winningest coach in school history and has led them to 1 regular season conference championship and 3 post-season tournament championships.  As a player he competed for Creighton University for 2 years before transferring to the University of Minnesota where he played both football and baseball – a modern day Eric Decker.  He has also participated in helping develop players for USA Baseball.  Paul Blanchard Bio

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

Pitching is the area we need to improve on the most.

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

Matt Bauer, Jr.,  (3B-DH);  Doug Mead, FR. OF; Tyler Paulson, Jr., RHP.

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

We recruit mostly High School players. We will recruit J.C. players if we have an immediate need.

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

I would say our biggest rival is Wayne State.

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

The biggest influence on my career has been my father and mother. The other has been Rob Fornasiere (Asst. at the University of Minnesota)

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

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NCAA Division 2 Baseball Tournament – Conference Alignment & Links

NCAA Baseball Logo

All 237 NCAA Division 2 baseball teams are starting up their seasons with the same goal in mind.  That goal is to be one of the 48 teams that make the NCAA Tournament. 

Each Conference is divided out into 1 of 8 Regions and this alignment has changed for 2009.  These Regions comprise the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  Six sites will host 6 teams, one site (West) will host 4 teams and one site (South) will host 8 teams.  These Regional’s will be played as a double-elimination tournament to determine the Regional Champion who will advance as 1 of the 8 teams to the NCAA Division 2 National Tournament.  The double-elimination Championship this year will be played May 23-30 in Cary, NC.  NCAA Tourney Info

The Regional winners are already paired for the National Tourney.  For 2009 they are as follows –

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Therefore, if you are following your Conference you might also want to look ahead to the teams that make up your Region and, if you like to look ahead, the teams that could be your 1st round NCAA National Tournament opponent.  That’s why those of us that are watching the Northern Sun Conference in the Central Region are also keeping a close eye on the Rocky Mountain Conference.

Here are the Regional breakdowns, including the links to each of the Conference’s to make it easier to keep track of the schools within each.

 Atlantic Region – 35 teams
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association – CIAA Baseball
Independent (Columbia Union)
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference – PSAC Baseball
West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – WVIAC Baseball
Central Region – 22 teams
Independent (North Dakota)
Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference – NSIC Baseball
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference – RMAC Baseball
East Region – 35 teams
East Coast Conference – ECC Baseball
Northeast Conference (Bryant)
Northeast-10 Conference – N-10 Baseball
Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference – CACC Baseball
Midwest Region – 24 teams
Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – GLIAC Baseball
Great Lakes Valley Conference – GLVC Baseball
Independent (Chowan, Oakland City)
Ohio Valley Conference – OVC Baseball
South Region – 41 teams
Gulf South Conference – GSC Baseball
Independent (Flagler College, Palm Beach Atlantic, Puerto Rico-3)
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – SIAC Baseball
Sunshine State Conference – SSC Baseball
Southland Conference – Southland Baseball
Southeast Region – 31 teams
Conference Carolinas – Carolinas Baseball
Independent (North Carolina Central, North Greenville)
Peach Belt Conference – PBC Baseball
South Atlantic Conference –SAC Baseball
South Central Region – 31 teams
Heartland Conference – Heartland Baseball
Lone Star Conference – Lone Star Baseball
Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association – MIAA Baseball
West Region – 18 teams
California Collegiate Athletic Association – CCAA Baseball
Great Northwest Athletic Conference – GNAC Baseball
Pacific West Conference – PWC Baseball


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