Halford Named 2017 NAIA National Coach of the Year
The NAIA-BCA National Coach of the Year is voted on by the NAIA-BCA Executive Committee and NAIA-BCA Past Presidents. To be eligible, a head coach must be selected as their conference or unaffiliated group coach of the year or lead their team to the Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series.
Halford led William Carey to a 45-20 record this season, including a title in the Hattiesburg Bracket of the 2017 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round. The single-season win total is the second most, trailing a 47-victory season in 1995, in Halford's 32 years at the helm of the program. He currently ranks fourth among active NAIA coaches with a 1,107-682 career record.
As the No. 9 seed at this year's NAIA World Series, William Carey advanced to the semifinals before falling to eventual national champion Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), 12-7. The squad opened the event with an 11-8 victory over No. 8 Hope International (Calif.), marking the first win for William Carey at the World Series since defeating La Verne (Calif.), 5-3, in the 1965 title game.
Under the direction of Halford, the 2017 Crusaders ranked among the top 10 nationally in chances (2,306), assists (642), at-bats (2,070), putouts (1,572), innings pitched (524), runs scored (510), RBI (453) and stolen bases (128). Individually, senior first baseman James Land was named Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Player of the Year and First Team All-American, while three others were named All-SSAC.
Halford is the first head coach from William Carey to be named the NAIA Baseball Coach of the Year.