Willis earns Coach of the Year award for sixth time

Posted at 5:52 PM, Jul 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-03 18:52:23-04


EUNICE, La. –  For the sixth time in his baseball coaching career, LSU Eunice head coach Jeff Willis has been named the ABCA/Diamond Sports NJCAA Div. II National Coach of the Year, the organizations announced on Tuesday.

Willis was selected among ten Regional Coaches of the Year that were announced on Monday.  The LSUE skipper along with the ten other National Coach of the Year and Regional recipients will be honored on Friday, Jan. 4 on the main stage of the clinic hall prior to the start of clinics at the 75th annual ABCA Convention, which will be held Jan. 3-6, 2019 in Dallas, Texas.

Willis completed his 16th at the helm of the Bengals, helping lead LSUE to a NJCAA-record sixth Division II National Championship.  LSU Eunice ranked number one for the majority of the season and amassed a program-record 59 wins on the season.

LSUE also enjoyed a 24-game win streak during the 2018 season, the second longest in school history.

In addition to Regional and National ABCA honors, Willis was named the Region 23 Coach of the Year as well as the NJCAA Division II World Series Coach of the Tournament.  Willis has won his six National honors in each of LSU Eunice’s National Championship seasons and has added South Region awards for NJCAA Division II (2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018).

Under Willis’s leadership, LSUE has a 779-181 record (.811 win percentage) to go along with nine trips to the NJCAA World Series.

Coach Willis was helped by a veteran staff consisting of Alan Orgain, Roberto Vaz, Paige Hodges and Michael Suk.

The ABCA, founded in 1945, is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its nearly 10,000 members represent all 50 states and 23 countries. Since its initial meeting of 27 college baseball coaches in June 1945, the association’s annual awards program has grown to include nine divisions: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA Division I, II, III, Pacific Association Division and High School.