|Organization:||Lee University (TN)|
Dr. David Altopp spent his entire 35 years as a college head baseball coach at NAIA institutions. His longest tenure was at his alma mater Greenville College (16 years) where he followed the legendary Robert "Ish" Smith, his college coach, and the man most responsible for Altopp pursuing a coaching career. Following a three-year stint at Marion College (now Indiana Wesleyan University) and six years at Trevecca Nazarene University, Altopp completed his final 10 years of coaching baseball at Lee University where he retired after the 2006 season.
Altopp began his baseball-coaching career at Phoenix Christian High School (AZ) where he won the state Class B championship in his first year of coaching. Prior to arriving at Lee, where he began the baseball program from scratch during the 1996-97 school year, Altopp's college teams had won six conference championships and he had received five Coach of the Year honors. Though the first 19 years of his college-coaching career were in non-scholarship programs, he had four players taken in the MLB Draft, including one in the seventh round. However, he believes his most significant accomplishment, as a college baseball coach for 35 years is that every player who played four years for him graduated from college.
Altopp's coaching career reached its pinnacle at Lee University. Starting from scratch, his final five teams at Lee won more than 40 games each year with three consecutive Conference championships from 2003-2005. The 2005 team went 55-16 and reached the NAIA World Series and a final regular season ranking of 6th. During this span, Altopp earned two Conference Coach of the Year awards and was twice named the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association NAIA Coach of the Year.
Altopp's overall college coaching record was 807-786 (.507) and he is a member of six Halls of Fame. In addition to the ABCA Hall of Fame, Altopp is a member of the Greenville College, Lee University, NAIA, Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association and Chattanooga Area Sports Halls of Fame.
Altopp has served on several ABCA committees and served on the NAIA-Baseball Coaches Association Executive Committee. Named as the NAIA representative to the ABCA Executive Committee in 1992, he moved from that position to being elected by the ABCA membership as the Fourth Vice President of the ABCA in 1999, culminating as the 2003 President of the ABCA. He currently serves on the Board of Directors and Ethics in Coaching Committee.