Former Major League pitcher Gene Stechschulte is entering his eighth season as head baseball coach at Ohio Northern University.
Stechschulte is the 24th head coach in ONU baseball history, but is just the fifth head coach since 1971.
Stechschulte guided Northern to a 27-15 record and an 11-7 mark in the OAC in 2018. He coached ONU to its first OAC Tournament berth since the 2000 season after finishing the regular season tied for third in the OAC standings.
Under his guidance, the Polar Bears set a school record with 79 victories from 2014-2016.
In just seven years as ONU's head coach, Stechschulte ranks second all-time at Northern in career victories as a head coach, trailing only legendary coach Herb Strayer who coached the Polar Bears for 31 seasons. Stechschulte owns a 159-117 (.576) record in seven seasons at the helm.
He led the 2018 squad to a record-breaking season, that featured a postseason berth for the first time in 18 years, broken all-time single season individual and team hits records at ONU, and a new record for doubles hit in a single season (83).
The Kalida native enjoyed a 4-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2000-03 after an All-American career at Ashland University.
He also served as head coach of the Lima Locos, a summer collegiate league team.
Stechschulte made his major league debut on April 20, 2000, against the San Diego Padres. He struck out the first batter he faced, Mike Darr, to begin his career in style.
In four seasons, he was 8-7 with six saves, a 4.58 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 116 appearances out of the bullpen.
He had a 0.00 ERA in two post-season appearances with the Cardinals in the 2001 National League Divisional Series.
His best season came in his final year of 2002 when he was 6-2 with a 4.78 ERA in 29 games.
Stechschulte also has the distinction of being the 16th major league player in history to hit a home run on the first pitch seen in a MLB game.
He hit a 2-run home run as a pinch-hitter off of Armando Reynoso in the bottom of the 6th inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 17, 2001.
He is a 3-time Minor-League All-Star and won the Midwest League’s Best Relief Pitcher Award when he had a 2.59 ERA and 33 saves for the Single-A Peoria Chiefs that year.
Stechschulte graduated first in his class from Ashland School of Business and Economics, Summa Cum Laude, in 1996.
He was a 1st Team All-American and Academic All-American as a shortstop.
He was Regional Player of the Year and set school records for Total Bases, Home Runs and RBI, leading Ashland to its first ever NCAA Division II World Series appearance in 1995.
His 15 home runs and 143 total bases are still the third-best single-season marks in AU history.
Stechschulte guided the Locos to a 32-15 record in 2011 and the Great Lakes League title. He is 121-73-1 in five seasons overall as a head coach with the Locos and the Ottawa American Legion Post 63 team.
In addition to his extensive playing and coaching credentials, Stechschulte has either coached or instructed more than 40 players that have gone on to play professional baseball.
Gene and his wife Krista have a son, Andrew (13), and two daughters, Katelyn (11) and Ava (6).
He is a graduate of Kalida High School and resides in Findlay.
Baseball under Stechschulte
|2018||27-15||.643||11-7 / t3rd|
|2017||21-19||.525||7-11 / 7th|
|2016||21-16||.568||9-9 / 5th|
|2015||30-9||.769||12-6 / t2nd|
|2014||28-12||.700||11-7 / t4th|
|2013||17-21||.447||8-10 / t6th|
|2012||15-23||.395||7-10 / 8th|