Donors raise $1.5 million as BGSU reinstates baseball

After what the school calls a “very positive and productive dialogue with alumni and former student-athletes nationwide,” Bowling Green State University has reinstated its baseball program effective immediately.
“In just days, our passionate baseball alumni and donors have committed $1.5 million over the next three years. During this time, the University, in partnership with a select group of baseball alumni, will pursue a long-term funding solution to sustain and support the program,” a statement read.
“BGSU is grateful for its alumni and friends who have stepped up during this difficult time to ensure their alma mater is positioned to thrive on the other side of the current COVID-19 crisis. We are inspired by the efforts of our baseball alumni, and we look forward to continuing to cultivate and reinvigorate all BGSU alumni. We are excited for Opening Day in the spring. Ay Ziggy Zoomba!” the statement continued.
That means Tyler Haas (Eastwood), a 6-foot-5, 180 pound sophomore right-handed catcher, will now get to play for the Falcons this year and does not have to look for another school if he wants to play baseball.
As a freshman, Haas played in 31 games, starting in 19. He batted .226 (14 for 62) with four doubles, seven RBIs, eight walks, a .338 on-base percentage, and a .980 fielding percentage — all good numbers for an NCAA Division I freshman.
On the heels of the reinstatement of the Bowling Green State University baseball team, Director of Athletics Bob Moosbrugger has announced changes to the baseball coaching staff.
Danny Schmitz, who has been the head coach of the BGSU baseball program for 30 years, will remain in an advisory role, working to cultivate alumni relationships. Kyle Hallock, who began as an assistant coach for the Falcons in Sept. of 2018, has been named the interim head coach. Ryan Shay, a former Falcon baseball player and six-year assistant coach, remains an assistant coach for BGSU.
"We are extremely thankful for Danny's 30 years of service to BGSU," Moosbrugger said. "He is the longest tenured coach in the history of the BGSU Athletics Department and his legacy is unmatched. Danny was my coach at BGSU and he gave me an opportunity to play Division I baseball."
A three-time MAC Coach of the Year, Schmitz delivered seven conference championships (regular season or tournament) and was the Mid-American Conference's active leader in all-time wins. His teams qualified for the NCAA Tournament three times – in 1998, 1999 and 2013. The Falcons won four MAC regular season titles and seven division championships in his tenure.
"First and foremost, I want to thank Andy Tracy and everyone involved with the process of reinstating BGSU Baseball," Schmitz said. "I couldn't be more proud of the collective effort and I'm thrilled to no end that the baseball family came together. Their efforts were truly remarkable.
"I am so thankful for 30 incredible years as head baseball coach at BGSU. I am going out on my own terms and fully trust the staff that is in place. This program has new life, and I think it's time for a new direction. I am not leaving Bowling Green. I am excited to be staying on at BGSU and will help the department and baseball program in any way that I can. I am excited to see the baseball program thrive for years to come. Go Falcons!"
Hallock, named Interim Head Coach, is no stranger to the MAC, having played at Kent State from 2008-11. He won four consecutive MAC championships and played in three NCAA regionals. He had a successful minor league pitching career before transitioning to the coaching profession. He spent four years as the pitching coach at Malone University before coming to BGSU. In one year at Bowling Green, the BGSU staff ranked in the top five in the league in ERA and fewest hits allowed. Bowling Green was second in the league in total runs allowed.
At Eastwood, Haas earned four varsity letters for coaches Craig Rutherford, Todd Henline and Kevin Leady, also lettering g in football and basketball.
Haas led Eastwood baseball to a league championship and district runner-up finish and hit .397 as a senior. He earned eight wins on the mound, becoming the Northern Buckeye Conference Pitcher of the Year, and earned second team All-Ohio honors in 2018. He was the team captain of the baseball team his final two years at Eastwood and played American Legion ball for Pemberville Post 183, coached by the late Don “Chopper” Schmeltz.
The son of Gary and Chrissy Haas and majoring in construction management, Tyler’s father played baseball at the University of Toledo.
Tyler’s grandfather Gary was a member of two BGSU baseball teams, the 24-12-2 team in 1972 and the 30-14 squad in 1974, which set the standard of excellence for the program.  The 1972 squad captured the Mid-American Conference title and hosted the NCAA District 4 tournament.  Two years later, the Falcons set a school record for victories, placing second in the MAC.
A starter at shortstop all four seasons, the elder Gary, a Stony Ridge native and Eastwood graduate, was BGSU’s team MVP as a freshman (1971) on a team that included future major leaguer Doug Bair.
A first time all-league pick as a junior, Haas led the team with a .397 average in league play and a .364 overall mark.  For his career, Haas hit .392 in league games and .318 overall. Gary Haas was inducted into the BGSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994. ( - from BGSU press releases and file stories by Press Sports Editor J. Patrick Eaken)


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