|Organization:||Southeastern Oklahoma State University|
After 37 years at the helm of the Southeastern Oklahoma State University baseball program, Mike Metheny announced his retirement from coaching following the 2017 season. He finished his storied career with a national championship and as the winningest coach in NCAA Div. II baseball history.
Metheny secured his place in the record books during his final season, capturing his 1,315th win and surpassing longtime Armstrong State skipper and ABCA Hall of Fame member Joe Roberts on the all-time list. He is one of only 18 NCAA Div. II coaches to ever reach the 1,000-win plateau and became just the third NCAA Div. II coach to reach 1,300 wins. He also ranks among the top 20 on the all-time wins list regardless of division.
For his career, Metheny finished with a 1,324-679-3 (.660) record, with his teams averaging over 35 wins per season. His connection with Southeastern spanned more than 40 years from his beginnings as a player, through being a graduate assistant, an assistant coach and ultimately taking over as the head coach before the 1981 season.
Metheny guided the Southeastern baseball program through its successful transition from NAIA to NCAA Div. II. In just their second season at the Div. II level, he led his squad to the NCAA Div. II World Series and secured the program’s first national championship in 2000. The title earned him ABCA/Diamond Sports National Coach of the Year honors.
While a member of the NAIA, his teams made seven trips to the NAIA World Series and earned three runner-up finishes.
Throughout his tenure, Metheny’s teams claimed 15 conference championships, earning him Conference Coach of the Year honors nine times and regional coach of the year honors seven times.
Metheny coached 54 players who signed professional contracts and guided 35 players to a total of 42 All-American honors. Among those are a pair of National Player of the Year honorees in Alan Cartwright in 1982 and Cary Ammons in 1997.
In January of 1999, he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame at the American Baseball Coaches Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also inducted into the Southeastern Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
Metheny’s No. 1 jersey was retired by Southeastern on Nov. 11, 2017, joining his predecessor Don Parham (No. 5) and Major Leaguer Brett Butler (No. 2) in that honor.
In 2019, Metheny became the third former Southeastern coach to have a venue on campus named in his honor when Southeastern athletics renamed The Ballpark in Durant, the long-time home of the Savage Storm baseball program, to Mike Metheny Field in honor of the all-time wins leader.