KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is proud to announce that Lee (Tenn.) University head coach Mark Brew is the Rawlings-NAIA National Baseball Coach of the Year. The award will be presented to coach Brew at the 2009 Rawlings-NAIA Awards Luncheon on Jan. 3 in San Diego, Calif. The luncheon is part of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Convention which runs from Jan. 2-5 at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina.
Brew, who guided the Flames to a national runners-up spot in 2008, is 114-25 entering his third season. Last year, Lee made its third World Series appearance overall and earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament. The Flames ended their year with a 63-10 record. Brew mentored two players to NAIA-All American status including First-Team pitcher Pablo Lopez and Second-Team first baseman Chris Warters.
The Flames rattled off 34 straight wins during the 2008 campaign starting with a 6-0 win on Feb. 8 and continue to win for nearly two-and-a-half more months. After appearing in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Championship, Lee took home Region XIII Championship honors wiping out LSU-Shreveport. Winners of the Super Regional, Lee again was on a hot streak heading into the World Series winning nine of its last 11 games.
Searching for its first ever national championship, Brew and the Flames won their first four World Series contests averaging 8 runs per game. However, their hot streak and season came to a halt when Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) won in consecutive nights to take home the national hardware.
As a team, Lee was third in the country in batting average (.361) and averaged 8.4 runs per game, good for eighth in the nation. Known for his pitching, Brew should have been proud of his pitching corps. As a unit, Flames’ pitchers held opponents to a .243 batting average, which was 13th lowest in the NAIA.
This award is Brew’s first in his career. The 1994 Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) University graduate pitched for the Trojans. He was the squad’s closer for four seasons. He earned his master’s degree from the U.S. Sports Academy in 2006.
Prior to head coach status, Brew served under coach David Altopp for 10 years as the assistant. Altopp will be inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame during the Convention.
Some information provided by Lee University Sports Information Office