Creating Generation Healthy
Thank you to The College of St. Scholastica for honoring me as a recipient of the John Baggs Memorial Scholarship. I feel truly blessed to be recognized for this distinct award.
Baggs was the winningest coach ever at St. Scholastica in any sport. Head baseball coach since 1992, he built the team into a national powerhouse on the NCAA Division III level. In 2008 the team was runner-up for the Midwest Regional, its best NCAA finish in program history. The team has also won 12 straight Upper Midwest Athletic Conference titles.
Baggs was 531-197 during his career at St. Scholastica, a .720 winning percentage. He missed only one game in 17 seasons.
St. Scholastica Athletic Director Don Olson said Baggs' success as a role model was evident in how many of his former players remained his friends long after graduating.
"John touched the lives of so many students," Olson said. "John developed a culture of family within the CSS baseball program, based on caring and support. He truly represented the best of St. Scholastica's tradition in athletics. We all support John's family and friends as they mourn his death and celebrate his life."
Baggs was born in Chicago, Ill. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1989 with a B.A. in journalism and English. Hired at St. Scholastica in 1991 when he was only 24 years old, he was the youngest head coach in the country at the time.
Following a 33-10 season in 1996, Baggs was selected to coach Team USA II, an NCAA all-star team that won the International Series '96 in Apeldoorn, Holland. The next summer he was chosen to coach Team America, and led that team to a first place trophy in Solingen, Germany. He has a 27-3 record coaching USA teams internationally.
Earning high honors after leading the Saints to a 41-11 record and the NAIA Regional Championship in 2000, Baggs was named ABCA Regional Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the NAIA National Coach of the Year award. He was voted the ABCA Regional Coach of the Year again in 2003.
He won Louisville Slugger Coach of the Year of awards in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.
He coached 21 All-Americans and 12 of his players went on to sign professional contracts.
Article by Duluth News Tribune