Florida Atlantic Owls baseball

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Florida Atlantic Owls
Founded: 1981
Florida Atlantic Owls athletic logo

University Florida Atlantic University
Conference C-USA
Location Boca Raton, FL
Head Coach John McCormack (5th year)
Home Stadium FAU Baseball Stadium
(Capacity: 2,000)
Nickname Owls
Colors

Blue and Red

            
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1985, 1993, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2010, 2013
Conference Tournament Champions
2004, 2013
Conference Champions
1983, 1999, 2003, 2010, 2012

The Florida Atlantic Owls are the college baseball team of Florida Atlantic University which plays its home games at FAU Baseball Stadium.

Fielding its first team in 1981, the Florida Atlantic University baseball team has experienced frequent success, shared respect from other baseball teams nation-wide and the building of a mid-major power in NCAA baseball.

As of the 2010 season, the Owls have had 12 consecutive winning seasons. Additionally, the Owls have had only four losing seasons in 30 years of competition.

Overview and history[edit]

Florida Atlantic University's baseball program began in 1981 and has seen success, growth and change in its 26 seasons of competition. Among the changes, the most noticeable to fans would be the change of the team name in 2005. University President Frank T. Brogan led the charge for the university to create a unified, single mark for FAU's athletic programs. The student-body decided "Owls" should be the athletic logo and in 2005, the baseball team lost its previous identity of "Blue Wave." Over the 30 years of competition, FAU baseball has jumped from NAIA, to NCAA Division II, to NCAA Division I competition, and has reached success on all levels.

Steve Traylor Era: The Beginning[edit]

Under its first coach and first year of competition, FAU won its inaugural game, 12-8, against St. Thomas University on February 23, 1981. Steve Traylor coached FAU from 1981–1987 and oversaw the building of a program from scratch. After only three years of existence, FAU jumped from the NAIA level to the NCAA Division II level. If there was any doubts about this young program belonging on that level, its very first season would prove any doubters wrong. The Blue Wave opened the 1984 season with a win against in-state super-power University of Florida Gators, 5-4. FAU continued to win its first five games of the season, including another major upset, this time on the road at another in-state super-power, defeating University of Miami Hurricanes, 11-10. The Blue Wave finished the 1984 season with a record of 40-15, ranked 8th in the nation in the final NCAA Division II poll.

Kevin Cooney Era: Division I and National Success[edit]

During the offseason between 1987 and 1988, Steve Traylor left Florida Atlantic to become the head coach at Duke University. FAU hired Kevin Cooney, head coach of Montclair State University in New Jersey. Since the hiring, FAU has won 61% of their games and transformed itself from a local power in South Florida to a national baseball program on the Division I level. Coach Cooney arrived at FAU in 1988 and began his 20th season as head coach of the Owls on opening night of the 2007 season. Given the success and unprecedented heights that Cooney has taken FAU baseball, "Florida Atlantic" and "Kevin Cooney" have become synoymous with one another. Entering the 2007 season, Cooney has won 680 games (at FAU) and 820 (all-time, between FAU and Montclair State University, his alma mater and where he coached from 1984–1987).

In his 19+ seasons in Boca Raton, Cooney has established a powerhouse program at a university that continues to grow. Cooney has led the charge for FAU baseball to enjoy such successes as, 67 athletes turning professional (with 4 reaching the majors). For these accolades and so much more, Cooney was inducted into the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.[1]

On March 15, 2006, against Columbia University, Cooney reached a personal milestone, coaching a team to his 800th career victory.

On Thursday, April 24, 2008, Coach Kevin Cooney announced that the 2008 season would be his last season as head coach of the Owls. Subsequently, on May 24, exactly two months after this announcement, Coach Cooney coached his last game as FAU head coach when the Owls lost to Western Kentucky in the play-in championship game of the Sun Belt Conference Championship Tournament.

All-time consecutive wins record[edit]

During the improbable 1999 season, when FAU finished with a school-best record of 54-9, Coach Kevin Cooney led his team to an NCAA all-time record for consecutive wins. Starting February 19, in a 7-4 win over Bethune-Cookman College, the Blue Wave continued on to 34 consecutive wins. The streak lasted all the way to March 17, when Jacksonville University topped FAU, 2-1. The streak ended two days short of lasting two complete calendar months.

March to 800[edit]

Cooney's milestone wins:

  • 1st: March 14, 1984 (Montclair State 5, Southern Illinois 0)
  • 100th: May 6, 1986 (Montclair State 9, Glassboro State 1)
  • 200th: April 28, 1989 (FAU 3, UCF 2)
  • 300th: March 15, 1993 (FAU 4, Rowan 3)
  • 400th: March 18, 1996 (FAU 6, Northeastern 2)
  • 500th: March 13, 1999 (FAU 8, Troy 2)
  • 600th: March 31, 2001 (FAU 4, Stanford 3)
  • 700th: May 9, 2003 (FAU 12, Georgia Southern 2)
  • 800th: March 15, 2006 (FAU 8, Columbia 7)

John McCormack Era: Sooner Than Five Years[edit]

On July 1, 2008, Florida Atlantic named 18-year Assistant Coach, John McCormack, as Cooney's successor. McCormack served as Cooney's top assistant, associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the 18 seasons before being elevated as head coach. With the foundation laid by Cooney, McCormack leads the Owls under intense pressure and high expectations. During his interview for the head coaching position, he detailed his so-called "Five Year Plan" for the Owls to reach the College World Series. His plan was met with the following response from Athletic Director Craig Angelos: "It has to be sooner than that."[2]

Individual records and honors[edit]

No Hitters[edit]

  • Tom Clark, 1982
  • Jim Hanrahan, 1984
  • Luis Merino, 1985
  • Jim Drancsak, 1986
  • John Sammon, 1994
  • Mickey Storey, 2006

FAU Baseball Hall of Fame[edit]

In 2006, Florida Atlantic University inducted the first class to its new FAU Baseball Hall of Fame.

Name Class
Keith Foley 2006
Scott Hay 2006
Todd Moser 2006
Jack Penrod 2006
Nick Presto 2006
Mike Ryan 2006
Warren "Doc" Schneider 2006
Steve Traylor 2006
Kevin Connacher (1994-'97) 2007
Doug Gonring (1984-'85) 2007
Tommy Murphy (1998-'00) 2007
Pat Murphy (1981-'82) 2007
Jorge Vega (1981-'83) 2007

All-Americans[edit]

11 players from FAU baseball have won recognition as "All-American": Keith Foley (1983), Mike Ryan (1984), Scott Hay (1986), Jack Penrod (1988), Todd Moser (1999), Dan Jackson (1999), Dickie Hart (1999), Randy Beam (2003), Jeff Fiorentino (2004), Mickey Storey (2005), Robbie Widlansky (2007).

Freshmen All-Americans[edit]

7 players from FAU baseball have won recognition as "Freshmen All-American": Kevin Connacher (1994), Rusty Brown (2001), Chris Pillsbury (2001), Jeff Fiorentino (2002), Derek Hutton (2002), Tim Mascia (2003), Mickey Storey (2005).

2005 Mickey Storey[edit]

In 2005, as a freshman pitcher for FAU, Mickey Storey was named Collegiate Baseball's National Freshman Pitcher of the Year. Storey's stat line for his freshman season was one of the best posted by a pitcher in the nation.

Year G/GS W-L Pct. ERA IP H R ER BB SO
2005 23/9 10-1 .901 1.70 95.1 78 25 18 23 82

Storey's 1.70 ERA is a school-record for a single-season, and ranked fifth in the nation for the 2005 season among pitchers on the Division I level. His performance during the 2005 season awarded him an invitation to try out for the USA Baseball National Team.

Storey also took home numerous other awards that season, including All-American honors, Freshman All-American honors, All-Conference honors, and All-Conference Freshman honors.

2007 Robbie Widlansky[edit]

In 2007 Robbie Widlansky won the Sun Belt Conference batting title his senior season (.430 average; breaking the school's season record), and Sun Belt Player of the Year, NCAA All-American honors, and First-Team All-Conference honors.[3]

Head coaches[edit]

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
1981–1987 Steve Traylor 7 268-107-2 .714
1988–2008 Kevin Cooney 21 748-480-5 .607
2009-pres. John McCormack 2 62-44-0 .585
Totals 3 coaches 30 seasons 1078-631-7 .628

Year By Year Records[edit]

Year Record Pct. Coach Postseason Conference
1981 15-16-0 .484 Steve Traylor None NAIA
1982 42-14-0 .750 Steve Traylor None NAIA
1983 49-16-0 .754 Steve Traylor NAIA District 25 Champions NAIA
1984 40-15-0 .727 Steve Traylor None NAIA
1985 44-15-0 .746 Steve Traylor NCAA South Regional D-II Independent
1986 44-10-0 .815 Steve Traylor None D-II Independent
1987 34-21-2 .614 Steve Traylor None D-II Independent
1988 32-19-2 .623 Kevin Cooney None D-II Independent
1989 30-23-2 .564 Kevin Cooney None D-II Independent
1990 28-25-0 .528 Kevin Cooney None D-II Independent
1991 24-31-0 .436 Kevin Cooney None D-II Independent
1992 27-27-0 .500 Kevin Cooney None D-II Independent
1993 41-17-0 .707 Kevin Cooney NCAA South Regional D-II Independent
1994 31-23-0 .574 Kevin Cooney None Atlantic Sun
1995 27-31-0 .466 Kevin Cooney None Atlantic Sun
1996 39-23-0 .629 Kevin Cooney None Atlantic Sun
1997 32-24-0 .571 Kevin Cooney None Atlantic Sun
1998 29-30-0 .492 Kevin Cooney None Atlantic Sun
1999 54-9-0 .857 Kevin Cooney Atlantic Sun Conference Champions
NCAA Regional
Atlantic Sun
2000 43-19-0 .694 Kevin Cooney NCAA Regional Atlantic Sun
2001 36-24-0 .600 Kevin Cooney None Atlantic Sun
2002 46-21-0 .687 Kevin Cooney NCAA Super Regional Atlantic Sun
2003 47-16-0 .746 Kevin Cooney Atlantic Sun Conference Champions
NCAA Regional
Atlantic Sun
2004 47-17-0 .734 Kevin Cooney Atlantic Sun Conference Champions
NCAA Regional
Atlantic Sun
2005 37-24-0 .607 Kevin Cooney NCAA Regional Atlantic Sun
2006 30-28-0 .517 Kevin Cooney None Atlantic Sun
2007 36-22-0 .621 Kevin Cooney None Sun Belt
2008 32-27-1 .533 Kevin Cooney None Sun Belt
2009 30-26-0 .535 John McCormack None Sun Belt
2010 37-24-0 .607 John McCormack Sun Belt Conference Champions
NCAA Regional
Sun Belt
2011 32-25-0 .561 John McCormack None Sun Belt
2012 32-22-0 .593 John McCormack Sun Belt Conference Champions Sun Belt
Total 1169-696-7 .624 3 coaches Total Total

Postseason Records[edit]

Florida Atlantic is 11-18 all-time in NCAA Division I postseason history (11-16 all-time in NCAA Regionals and 0-2 in NCAA Super Regionals).

1999[edit]

NCAA Regional (Coral Gables, FL)

  Coral Gables, FL Regional Second Round Regional Final
                             
1  Miami (FL) 15  
4  Bethune-Cookman 9  
  1  Miami (FL) 6  
  3  Florida International 4  
3  Florida International 4
2  Florida Atlantic 1  
  1  Miami (FL) 3
  2  Florida Atlantic 2
2  Florida Atlantic 12  
4  Bethune-Cookman 0  
  3  Florida International 0
  2  Florida Atlantic 1  

2000[edit]

NCAA Regional (Coral Gables, FL)

  Coral Gables, FL Regional Second Round Regional Final
                             
1  Miami (FL) 19  
4  Wagner 5  
  1  Miami (FL) 11  
  2  Florida Atlantic 5  
3  Florida International 6
2  Florida Atlantic 14  
  1  Miami (FL) 14
  3  Florida International 4
3  Florida International 10  
4  Wagner 1  
  2  Florida Atlantic 0
  3  Florida International 7  

2002[edit]

NCAA Regional (Tuscaloosa, AL)

  Tuscaloosa, AL Regional Second Round Regional Final
                             
1  Alabama 4  
4  SE Missouri State 7  
  4  SE Missouri State 6  
  3  Florida Atlantic 12  
3  Florida Atlantic 16
2  Auburn 11  
  3  Florida Atlantic 2 6
  1  Alabama 7 5
1  Alabama 6  
2  Auburn 3  
  4  SE Missouri State 4
  1  Alabama 7  

NCAA Super Regional (Atlanta, GA)

  Atlanta, GA Super Regional
           
     Georgia Tech 3 5  
   Georgia Tech 14 11  

2003[edit]

NCAA Regional (Coral Gables, FL)

  Coral Gables, FL Regional Second Round Regional Final
                             
1  Miami (FL) 10  
4  Bethune-Cookman 5  
  1  Miami (FL) 1  
  2  Florida Atlantic 0  
3  Florida 3
2  Florida Atlantic 4  
  1  Miami (FL) 5 13
  3  Florida 15 10
3  Florida 8  
4  Bethune-Cookman 6  
  2  Florida Atlantic 14
  3  Florida 22  

2004[edit]

NCAA Regional (Coral Gables, FL)

  Coral Gables, FL Regional Second Round Regional Final
                             
1  Miami (FL) 6  
4  St. Bonaventure 3  
  1  Miami (FL) 19  
  2  North Carolina State 5  
3  Florida Atlantic 5
2  North Carolina State 6  
  1  Miami (FL) 19
  3  Florida Atlantic 6
3  Florida Atlantic 14  
4  St. Bonaventure 2  
  2  North Carolina State 2
  3  Florida Atlantic 10  

2005[edit]

NCAA Regional (Coral Gables, FL)

  Coral Gables, FL Regional Second Round Regional Final
                             
1  Miami (FL) 6  
4  Va. Commonwealth 3  
  1  Miami (FL) 4  
  2  Mississippi State 1  
3  Florida Atlantic 2
2  Mississippi State 11  
  1  Miami (FL) 10
  2  Mississippi State 4
3  Florida Atlantic 3  
4  Va. Commonwealth 1  
  2  Mississippi State 8
  3  Florida Atlantic 4  

2010[edit]

NCAA Regional (Gainesville, FL)

  Gainesville, FL Regional Second Round Regional Final
                             
1  Florida 7  
4  Bethune-Cookman 3  
  1  Florida 10  
  3  Oregon State 2  
3  Oregon State 6
2  Florida Atlantic 4  
  1  Florida 15
  2  Florida Atlantic 0
2  Florida Atlantic 12  
4  Bethune-Cookman 6  
  3  Oregon State 7
  2  Florida Atlantic 11  

2013[edit]

NCAA Regional (Chapel Hill, NC)

  Chapel Hill, NC Regional Second Round Regional Final
                             
1  North Carolina 6  
4  Canisius 3  
  1  North Carolina 8  
  3  Towson 5  
3  Towson 7
2  Florida Atlantic 2  
  1  North Carolina 2 12
  2  Florida Atlantic 3 11
2  Florida Atlantic 14  
4  Canisius 6  
  3  Towson 5
  2  Florida Atlantic 6  

Professional Owls[edit]

Owls in the majors[edit]

Florida Atlantic Owls to reach Major League Baseball:

Owls in the minors[edit]

Florida Atlantic Owls currently playing in Minor League Baseball (as of the 2007 season) who have been selected in the First-Year Player Draft:

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Gowdy, Cooney Inducted into Hall of Fame". Palm Beach post. Archived from the original on 2007-02-22. Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  2. ^ All Stars - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
  3. ^ "Former Owl Robert Widlansky claims Carolina League batting title". Fausports.com. September 17, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 

External links[edit]