Bill Wilhelm

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Bill Wilhelm
Sport(s) Baseball
Biographical details
Born 1929
Died December 24, 2010
Seneca, South Carolina
Alma mater Catawba College
Playing career
1948–1949
1950
1950
1953
1953
1954
1954
1955
1956
1957
NC State
Goldsboro Cardinals
Allentown Cardinals
Paducah Chiefs
Albany Cardinals
Columbus Cardinals
Allentown Cardinals
Jacksonville Braves
Atlanta Crackers
Greensboro Patriots
Position(s) Catcher
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1957
1958–1993
North Carolina (assistant)
Clemson
Head coaching record
Overall 1,161–536–10
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
17 ACC Regular Season Championships (1958, 1959, 1967, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1991, 1992)
7 ACC Tournament Championships (1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1991, 1993)
17 NCAA Tournament Appearances (1958, 1959, 1967, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993)
6 College World Series Appearances (1958, 1959, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1991)
College Baseball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2011

Bill Wilhelm (1929 – December 24, 2010) was an American college baseball coach who was the head coach of the Clemson Tigers from 1958 to 1993. In his 36 seasons as head coach, Wilhelm had a record of 1,161–536–10. Before coming to Clemson, Wilhelm played several seasons of minor league baseball and served one season as an assistant baseball coach at North Carolina.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Wilhelm played two seasons of college baseball at NC State, and he signed a professional contract with the St. Louis Cardinals organization in 1950, splitting that season between the Goldsboro Cardinals and the Allentown Cardinals. Wilhelm then spent two years out of baseball from 1951 to 1952, when he served in the United States Army in the Korean War.[1]

In 1953, Wilhelm returned from military service and had his most successful minor league season. In 96 games with the Paducah Chiefs of the Class D Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee League, he batted .291 and hit 14 home runs. After the 1954 season, which he split between the Columbus Cardinals and the Allentown Cardinals, Wilhelm left the Cardinals organization.[2]

Wilhelm played the 1955 and 1956 seasons in the Milwaukee Braves system, advancing as high as the Double-A Atlanta Crackers. He played his final season of professional baseball in summer 1957, with the Greensboro Patriots of the Boston Red Sox organization.[2]

He appeared in a total of 401 minor league games, hitting .212 with 21 home runs.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Prior to his final season of professional baseball in summer 1957, Wilhelm had served as an assistant baseball coach for the North Carolina Tar Heels in spring 1957. In September 1957, Wilhelm accepted the head coaching position at Clemson.[1]

In his first two seasons, Wilhelm led the program to two Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) championships and its first two College World Series appearances, in 1958 and 1959. In the next 13 season (1960-1972), however, Clemson made only one NCAA Tournament appearance, in 1967.[3]

With the start of the ACC Tournament era in 1973, Wilhelm began a stretch of 11 regular season conference championships in 13 seasons (through 1985), including seven consecutive from 1973-1979. This 13-season period included three College World Series appearances, in 1976, 1977, and 1980.[3]

From 1986-1993, the final eight seasons of Wilhelm's head coaching career, Clemson won three regular season conference championships (1988, 1991, 1992), three conference tournament championships (1989, 1991, and 1993), and one College World Series appearance (1991).[3]

Wilhelm's teams had winning records in each of his 36 seasons, and he won a total of 17 ACC Regular Season Championships and seven ACC Tournament Championships, both ACC coaching records, as of the end of the 2012 season.[4] He also appeared in six College World Series. He coached 27 players who went on to play Major League Baseball.[3]

Head coaching record[edit]

The following is a table of Wilhelm's yearly records as an NCAA head baseball coach.[3]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Clemson Tigers (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1958–1993)
1958 Clemson 22-8 11-3 1st College World Series
1959 Clemson 24-8 9-5 1st College World Series
1960 Clemson 11-10-1 7-6 4th
1961 Clemson 12-11 6-8 5th
1962 Clemson 17-8 8-6 T–3rd
1963 Clemson 15-11 9-5 T–2nd
1964 Clemson 13-13 6-7 T–4th
1965 Clemson 18-10-2 9-5 2nd
1966 Clemson 20-7-2 9-4 2nd
1967 Clemson 29-9 11-2 1st NCAA Regional
1968 Clemson 27-14 11-7 4th
1969 Clemson 27-17-2 12-8-1 3rd
1970 Clemson 32-16 14-7 2nd
1971 Clemson 27-14 10-4 2nd
1972 Clemson 19-15 6-7 5th
1973 Clemson 24-16 10-2 T–1st ACC Tournament[a]
1974 Clemson 23-15 10-1 1st ACC Tournament[a]
1975 Clemson 33-10 10-2 T–1st NCAA Regional
1976 Clemson 36-15 10-2 1st College World Series
1977 Clemson 42-10 9-1 1st College World Series
1978 Clemson 39-14 10-2 1st NCAA Regional
1979 Clemson 40-15 10-1 1st NCAA Regional
1980 Clemson 38-21 6-5 3rd College World Series
1981 Clemson 34-24 10-4 T–1st NCAA Regional
1982 Clemson 37-22 10-2 1st ACC Tournament[a]
1983 Clemson 30-20-1 6-5 3rd ACC Tournament[a]
1984 Clemson 38-17 12-2 T–1st ACC Tournament[a]
1985 Clemson 36-30-1 9-4 T–1st ACC Tournament[a]
1986 Clemson 42-21 9-4 3rd ACC Tournament
1987 Clemson 54-14-1 16-5 2nd NCAA Regional
1988 Clemson 54-14 18-2 1st NCAA Regional
1989 Clemson 50-20 13-5 2nd NCAA Regional
1990 Clemson 43-23 14-6 2nd NCAA Regional
1991 Clemson 60-10 18-3 1st College World Series
1992 Clemson 50-14 19-5 1st NCAA Regional
1993 Clemson 45-20 11-11 5th NCAA Regional
Total: 1,161-536-10

      National champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Death and posthumous awards[edit]

Wilhelm died at the age of 81 on December 24, 2010, in Seneca, South Carolina.[1] Following his death, he was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011 and the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.[5][6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f In this season, all members of the Atlantic Coast Conference qualified for the conference tournament.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d London, Mike (26 December 2010). "Bill Wilhelm Dies". SalisburyPost.com. The Salisbury Post. Archived from the original on 2012-06-11. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "William Wilhelm". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2012-06-11. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "2012 Clemson Tigers Baseball Media Guide". Clemson Sports Information. Archived from the original on 2012-06-11. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Media Guide". TheACC.com. Archived from the original on 2012-06-11. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Clemson Legend Bill Wilhelm Inducted Into National College Baseball Hall of Fame". ClemsonTigers.com. 5 July 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-06-11. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Bill Wilhelm Elected to South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame". OrangeAndWhite.com. 13 March 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-06-11. Retrieved 11 June 2012.