After 20 years, Jeff Lounsbury, the head coach of Brock Baseball, announced his retirement on March 24. Lounsbury posted a 507-234-5 record as the Badgers coach, as he built one of the most dominant programs in the OUA.
Lounsbury was the second Canadian university coach to reach the 500 win milestone – Terry McKaig of the University of British Columbia was the other. Lounsbury led the Badgers to two CIBA National Championships in 1998 and 1999, as the team made seven appearances in the national title game.
Over the last 15 years, the Badgers have finished first place in the OUA 10 times, in which Lounsbury has coached the team to four OUA Championships (2002, 2004, 2010 and 2014). Lounsbury was also named OUA Coach of the Year in 2005, 2012 and 2014. He was also inducted into the Niagara Falls Sports Hall of Fame in January 2016.
The most recognizable name Lounsbury coached was Andrew Tinnish, who is now the Assistant General Manager for the Toronto Blue Jays. Also, Dan Baribeau (2001), Raul Borjas (2002), Andrew Sorochan (2003), Adam Vella (2004), Mike Walker (2009), Saune Valeriote (2010 and 2011) and Justin Gideon (2014 and 2015) all won OUA top hitter awards under Lounsbury. Ryan Pranger (2004) and Justin Ayles (2014) were named OUA Most Valuable pitchers while being coached by Lounsbury at Brock.
This past season Lounsbury led the Badgers to a 16-2 OUA record, and a 28-7 record overall. The Badgers would reach the OUA Championships before falling to the Western Mustangs 9-4.
According to some players on the team, who requested to remain anonymous, Lounsbury’s retirement came as a shocker to the team and at an odd time. Brock Baseball was in the midst of their off-season training and one player said, “It didn’t really help the team” with the retirement coming at the time it did.
Lounsbury told the team about his retirement the night before it became public, but did not give his players any reason as to why. Some players also said the team has their theory of why Lounsbury retired, but refused to comment on what that theory might be. Normally coaches retire at season’s end, so Lounsbury’s timing is quite odd, as it has also left the Brock Baseball team without a replacement coach.
The Brock Athletic Department will begin searching for a new coach immediately, as one of the best programs at Brock is without a coach.
Lounsbury joins Bill Millar as the second Brock Badger coach to retire this year. Millar coached the Brock Men’s Soccer team for 31 years, and will be replaced by Lucio Ianiero. Also, Brock Women’s Rugby head coach Rebecca DeLaney departed this year, and was replaced by former Brock rugby player, Stefanie Pavlovich.