Haas family was still contributing to BGSU baseball

Press Sports Staff

Bowling Green State University announced that it has eliminated the baseball program effective immediately. 

This action is being taken as part of a plan for a $2 million reduction to the operating budget of the intercollegiate athletics department.

“This was a very difficult, but necessary, decision,” Director of Athletics Bob Moosbrugger said. “As a baseball alumnus, my heart breaks for the families affected by this decision. We will ensure the student-athletes in the program have support during this challenging time. We will honor their scholarship agreements through graduation and, should they pursue their collegiate baseball career elsewhere, we will assist in the process of finding a new home.”

“While we remain committed to supporting Division I athletics programs, we must do this in a financially sustainable approach,” said BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers. 

“We have made the difficult decision to eliminate the baseball program due to financial constraints. This decision was not made lightly, and does not reflect the rich history of the program, including five Mid-American Conference championships and four NCAA regional appearances.”

Those directly affected include two full-time coaches, a part-time assistant and 34 student-athletes and their families, which includes coach Danny Schmitz, who has been at the helm for over three decades.

Tyler Haas (Eastwood), a 6-foot-5, 180 pound sophomore right-handed catcher, was to play for the Falcons this year. As a freshman, he 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.

At Eastwood, Haas earned four varsity letters for coaches Craig Rutherford, Todd Henline and Kevin Leady, also lettering in football and basketball. Leady says Haas is “working through the process” to find another school to play baseball at.

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, Tyler is 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 Haas, 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. Haas was inducted into the BGSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994. The BGSU baseball facility, which will remain idle, is named Warren Stellar Field at Gary Haas Stadium in his honor.

For Tyler, BGSU promises to provide help moving onward. First of all, the university will honor current athletic scholarships for student-athletes who wish to continue their studies at BGSU.  

“We will provide assistance to any student-athlete interested in continuing their athletic pursuits elsewhere. Per NCAA rules, student-athletes who transfer because their athletic program has been eliminated will be able to compete immediately,” the athletics department states. 

“For incoming baseball student-athletes, BGSU will honor the scholarship agreement that was signed with the NLI and honor the terms of that agreement.” 

Per the NLI provisions, the BGSU NLI is ‘null and void’ which will allow signees to accept a scholarship offer from another institution should they wish.”

The university says the decision to eliminate baseball “came after careful review examining a wide range of criteria, including: financial impact, support services needed, facilities, equity and a comparison of MAC sport sponsorship.”

The elimination of baseball will result in an athletics budget cost savings of approximately $500,000 annually. 

“The elimination of baseball will reduce stress on already-taxed support services including academic, strength & conditioning, athletic training, facilities and game operations whose budgets and personnel will be affected by all decisions,” the university says.

With the change, BGSU will now sponsor 17 NCAA Division I sports (six men’s sports and 11 women’s sports). The move affects 34 student-athletes and three coaches. The university’s goal is to reduce it’s annual budget by $2 million.

“In this difficult budgetary climate every BGSU division, including athletics, is evaluating all expenditures and face the difficult decision of discontinuing programs.  The University is projecting a shortfall of approximately $29 million. With an athletics operating expense reduction of $2 million this decision is necessary,” the athletic department states.

Also, BGSU announced the restructuring of the Department of Recreation and Wellness to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

“We have spent the recent days identifying opportunities to align functional areas to share resources and streamline practices,” BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers announced. “I have also asked Bob Moosbrugger to assume an expanded role as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Recreation and Wellness. He will now provide oversight for all athletic facility operations and integrate our student recreation and wellness programs to focus on physical wellness of not just our Division I student-athletes, but each student.”


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