MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Central Michigan University baseball head coach Steve Jaksa announced his retirement today after serving 25 years as a student-athlete and coach.
Jaksa will serve as head coach through June 30, 2018.
Jaksa served as head coach for 16 seasons and ranks second on CMU's all-time coaching wins list with an overall record of 507-421-2. He led Central Michigan to three Mid-American Conference championships and six MAC West Divisions titles while compiling a 257-157 record in conference action.
"I am very proud to have represented CMU as a player and coach for the past 25 years of my life, 16 of those being the head baseball coach. I will truly miss the relationships with the players, coaches and support staff," Jaksa said. "The opportunity to help mold these young men meant a great deal to me. Know that a small piece of my heart will always be with my players. I wear the maroon and gold with pride and always stand for the fight song. May God bless."
Jaksa was named the MAC Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2015. He coached three All-Americans, two MAC Pitchers of the Year, a MAC Player of the Year, 20 first team All-MAC selections and 33 second team All-MAC honorees. His program also had success in the classroom with four Academic All-Americans, seven Academic All-District selections and 45 Academic All-MAC honorees.
He was a student-athlete for the Chippewas from 1974-79, earning two letters while compiling a 12-4 career record with four saves and a 2.76 earned run average, which ranks 11th all-time on CMU's career ERA list. He returned to CMU as an assistant coach in 1999 and served as the pitching coach for four seasons until taking over as head coach.
"Coach Jaksa is a true Chippewa who has been an outstanding representative since coming here in the 1970s as a student-athlete," CMU Associate Vice President/Athletics Director Michael Alford said. "Coach Jaksa led this program with pride through his 16 seasons as head coach, following in the footsteps of coaching greats Dave Keilitz and Dean Kreiner as CMU remains one of the top programs in our conference and region."
Jaksa coached 33 individuals who were drafted into Major League Baseball. Most notable among that group is Josh Collmenter, who pitched in the major leagues for seven seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves. Pitcher Dietrich Enns also made his way to the majors, making his debut with Minnesota in 2017. Both Chad Pleiness, (Blue Jays, 2002) and Jordan Foley (Yankees, 2014) were fifth-round selections, the highest for CMU since the 1980s.
A national search will begin immediately to identify the next head coach of the CMU baseball program.
Story courtesy of CMU Athletics.
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