Gene Stephenson Among College Hall Of Fame Selections

Former Wichita State coach Gene Stephenson, who has more Division I wins than any other coach in history, will join brother Phil in the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.

Gene-Stephenson-2003

Stephenson, who was 1,837-673-3 in 36 seasons as coach of the Shockers, joins six other players and coaches as 2014 inductees, including former Southern California pitcher Bill Bordley; Alex Fernandez, who pitched at Miami and Miami-Dade South Community College; Mike Fiore, a former Miami outfielder; legendary junior-college coach Demie Mainieri from Miami-Dade North CC; Baylor outfielder and coach Mickey Sullivan; and William C. Matthews, a shortstop at Tuskegee Institute and Harvard.

“(Stephenson) is one of the people directly responsible for the growth and strength and popularity of college baseball,” Jana Howser, executive vice president of the hall, told The Wichita Eagle.

Stephenson, 68, coached the Shockers to seven College World Series and led them to the school’s lone title in 1989. He stands as the third-winningest coach at any level, behind College Baseball Hall of Famer Gordie Gillespie and Augie Garrido.

“It’s great to unite the Stephenson brothers as inductees,” Mike Gustafson, president and CEO of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, said in a news release. “Once Gene went on the ballot this year, there was no doubt he’d be a part of this year’s class.”

Phil Stephenson, a former Shockers first baseman, was inducted in 2007.

Among the other inductees are Demie Mainieri, the father of LSU coach Paul Mainieri. The elder Mainieri built a powerhouse program at Miami-Dade North CC. He was the first junior college coach to win at least 1,000 games (he finished with 1,012) and more than 100 of his former players were drafted or signed by professional teams, with 30 reaching the majors.

Matthews was at Tuskegee from 1893-97 and captained the 1897 team. Following his career at Tuskegee, he went on to play at Harvard as an infielder. During his time with the Crimson, he was part of teams that went a combined 75-18.

Matthews was selected by the Black College Legends and Pioneers Committee, which selects inductees who played or coached at HBCUs prior to 1975. He joins Ralph Garr, Lou Brock, Danny Goodwin and Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones as previous honorees in this category.

Sullivan was an outfielder at Baylor from 1952-54 and was the school’s first two-time All-American. He batted .519 in 1954, still a school record. He returned to Baylor as a coach in 1974 and led the Bears to a school-record 649 wins in 21 seasons, including four NCAA tournament appearances and the school’s first two College World Series appearances in 1977 and 1978.

Bordley was a two-time All-American at USC from 1977-78. He posted a 26-2 career record with the Trojans, and his .929 winning percentage is still a school record.

Fernandez was named Freshman of the Year and a first-team All-American at Miami, where he won 15 games to go with a 2.01 ERA and 177 strikeouts in 147 innings as a freshman. He played his sophomore season at Miami-Dade South CC and was named first team all-NJCAA after leading the nation with 154 strikeouts in 121 innings. He finished his sophomore season with a 12-2 record and a 1.19 ERA. He won the 1990 Dick Howser Trophy and the 1990 Golden Spikes Award.

Fiore was a star outfielder from 1985-88 at Miami, where he set 12 school batting records including hits (341), doubles (63) and RBIs (235). He was named a freshman All-American, won the Dick Howser Trophy in 1987 and was a consensus All-American in 1988.

The 2014 class will be inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the annual Night of Champions event on June 28 in Lubbock, Texas.