KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in conjunction with the American Baseball Coaches Association has announced that Tennessee Wesleyan Head Coach Billy Berry has been named the 2019 ABCA-NAIA Coach of the Year.
Berry led his Tennessee Wesleyan squad to its second NAIA National Championship, the first since 2012. Berry was also honored with the Coach of the Year award after that title run.
The Bulldogs finished the 2019 year with a 56-10 overall record and were ranked in the top 10 in the nation in 17 statistical categories including total hits (719), total runs scored (561) and slugging percentage (.546).
Berry guided his team to an Appalachian Athletic Conference best, 21-6 record, which stood to earn the Bulldogs a conference regular season title prior to going 4-1 in the AAC tournament to earn the title. After a 1-0 loss to Webber International (Fla.), Berry’s Bulldogs lost just one more game on the way to snagging the red banner.
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.
About the American Baseball Coaches Association
The ABCA, founded in 1945, is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its over 11,000 members represent all 50 states and 25 countries. Since its initial meeting of 27 college baseball coaches in June 1945, Association membership has broadened to include eight divisions: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA, Pacific Association Division, High School and Youth. The 76th annual ABCA Convention will be held Jan. 2-5, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee.