Jeremy Christian, who guided Point University to the NAIA World Series last spring via the Savannah Regional, now finds himself back in the Lowcountry taking over one of the programs his team eliminated.
USC Beaufort tabbed Christian to become its new baseball coach, filling the vacancy created when Bryan Lewallyn departed last month for Pensacola State College in Florida.
“I’ve enjoyed the challenge of rebuilding programs,” Christian said in a statement, “but I’m excited about the opportunity to come into a situation where there’s already a strong foundation in place and take it to the next level.
“I can’t wait to get started and see how many games Sand Shark baseball can win for the next 20 years.”
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Christian takes over a program that set a school record with 42 wins last season, capturing the Sun Conference crown and host duties for the NAIA tournament’s opening round, played at Savannah’s Grayson Stadium.
The Sand Sharks ran up against Point on the second day of the regional, falling 6-5 on a bases-loaded single with two out in the bottom of the ninth. USCB was eliminated in its next game, while Point became the first No. 5 regional seed to crash the NAIA World Series.
USCB athletics director Quin Monahan cited not only on-field results in selecting Christian, but his energy, character and success in building programs with limited resources.
“Of course he has a passion for the game and an undeniable drive to win,” Monahan said, “but even more so, he wants to do so while mentoring his young student-athletes into men of character.”
Christian spent two years at Point, taking the Skyhawks to their best conference record in his first season and setting a school record with 34 wins in his second. Before that he spent seven years at Virginia Intermont, building a program that won 31 games in 2013.
Both programs were built largely on blue-collar players with strong character and work ethic, with a competitive atmosphere in which every player knows he has a chance to earn playing time.
“We’re going to compete. Every day, we’re going to compete,” Christian said. “Every day we’ll have a winner and a loser. If we’re in the cafeteria eating chicken wings, we’ll have a winner and a loser. I want guys who are ready to line up and see who can tie their shoes the fastest.”