According to Matt Fortuna of The Athletic, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team is nearing an appointment for its next head coach, Shawn Stiffler of the VCU Rams.
Sources: Notre Dame is finalizing a deal with Shawn Stiffler to become its next baseball coach. The 43-year-old Stiffler has been VCU’s head coach for the past 11 seasons, winning four Atlantic 10 tournament titles.— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) July 11, 2022
Notre Dame, of course, is looking for a new head coach after Link Jarrett left to become the head coach of the Florida State Seminoles. Stiffler has been at the helm for VCU for 11 seasons, since taking over in 2012. Stiffler won the 2019 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year Award and led VCU to the first Super Regional in program history in 2015. VCU is also just one of just seven teams in the country to have 34 or more wins over the last eight full seasons, all under Stiffler.
I admittedly don’t know much about Stiffler, but his accolades are impressive, and judging by the replies to Fortuna’s tweet and VCU message boards, Rams fans are not happy to see him go. We will have more if/when this becomes official but for now it looks like Notre Dame has their target coach lined up.
Notre Dame made it official this morning, announcing Stiffler as the 22nd head baseball coach in program history with a press release. Stiffler will be introduced at a press conference on Thursday at 1pm ET, which will be streamed on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
Stiffler had this to say on the announcement:
“I first want to thank Father Jenkins, Jack Swarbrick and Jody Sadler for the confidence to lead this outstanding program,” Stiffler said. “My family and I are extremely humbled and ready to get started.”
“Notre Dame is the finest university in the country.” Stiffler continued, “It challenges everyone to become the best version of themselves and I cannot wait to continue recruiting, developing and working with student-athletes with that type of mindset.”
Stiffler led VCU to the NCAA Tournament three times, making it as far as the Super Regional in 2015. He leaves the Rams with an overall record of 340-198 in his decade at the helm. He previously served as an assistant coach at VCU as well as pitching coach at George Mason. He comes to Notre Dame after one of the best three year stretches in program history and will be looking to build on that foundation to solidify the Irish as a national championship contender.