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.................. Eagle Baseball ................
Head Coach Al Brisack begins his 12th season as the Edgewood College skipper in 2011. Brisack, the winningest baseball coach in Edgewood College history, won his third conference title last season and opens the new campaign with a 248-203 record. The Eagles reached the NAC Tournament championship game, before falling to Aurora University.
The Eagles tied a school record with 29 wins in 2010, matching the 2005 squad which reached the NCAA Tournament. The conference title was the first for the Eagles in the 12-team Northern Athletics Conference, after winning back-to-back titles in the Lake Michigan Conference in 2005 and 2006. Edgewood College has won 20 games or more in each of the last seven seasons.
Brisack has guided the Eagles to two NCAA Division III national tournament appearances. The Eagles reached the tournament in only Brisack's second year as Head Coach and in 2005 finished one game away from the World Series. Brisack has been named the Conference Coach of the Year on two occasions.
In 2005, the Eagles set a single-season team record for wins with an overall mark of 29-17. In addition to a school record 16 conference victories and a win over nationally ranked Washington (Mo.) University in the NCAA Div. III tournament, Edgewood College was ranked No. 5 in the Midwest Region by the American Baseball Coaches Association, the highest regional ranking in the history of the program prior to a No. 4 ranking in 2006 and 2007. The Eagles also led the Lake Michigan Conference in nearly all statistical categories, including overall pitching and hitting.
Since taking over the helm in 2000, Brisack has coached 27 All-Conference performers; including back-to-back LMC Player of the Year recipients Travis Krahn (2004) and John Fish (2005) and Conference Rookie of the Year recipients Travis Krahn (2001) and Alex Berta (2006). The Eagles had a league best seven All-LMC members in 2005. Six players have garnered All-Region recognition: Travis Krahn (2001, 2003, 2004), Matt Hill (2001), Andrew Handorf (2005,2006), John Fish (2005), Ryan Halliburton (2006), and Cody Flynn (2007). In addition to success on the field, Handorf became the program's first-ever Academic All-American in 2005.
Brisack can be credited with building the Edgewood College baseball team -- a program that played its first season in 1993 -- and making it a contender for the national championship all in a few short years. "We have built the Eagle Baseball Team on a total commitment to developing the fullest potential of each young man in the program - developing their potential in academics, in character and in baseball. Our success as a team will always be determined by the quality of the individuals in the program and their belief in common principles and goals. On the field, we want our players to play like this could be their last day of baseball and to take pride in their fundamentals and execution. Ultimately, this program is about young men having a great college experience while playing the greatest game on Earth!"
In 2001, Brisack's second season, the Eagles made their first trip to the NCAA Div. III national tournament, where underdog Edgewood College was defeated 9-8 in 11 innings by top-ranked and eventual national champion University of St. Thomas. Brisack and the Eagles sought redemption in 2002, however, with a 7-5 win over the Tommies who were then ranked No. 2 in NCAA Div. III.
A great teacher of the game, Brisack has had success at every level he has coached. As head coach at St. Bernard High School in Eureka, Calif., Brisack compiled a 156-50 record. He coached St. Bernard to five league titles from 1992 to 1999, 7 sectional appearances, two sectional titles, 6 California top 10 rankings, and was named the ABCA National High School Coach of the Year in 1998 after leading his team to a 27-3 overall record and a No. 1 ranking in the state polls.
From 1996 to 1999, Brisack served as Coach for the Humboldt (Calif.) Crabs Collegiate Baseball Program, the winningest and oldest such club in the country. In addition to being the club's signal caller as third base coach, Brisack also handled player instruction and directed the Humboldt Crab's Baseball Camps. He also assisted in the recruitment of top-level collegiate athletes. Brisack has sent some of his Edgewood College players to Humboldt to continue their summer development.
During his coaching career, Brisack has coached over 20 current or former professional players, including Edgewood's Travis Krahn. Brisack also had the privilege of taking the first U.S. collegiate team to the country of Aruba for both competition and the opportunity to instruct young Aruban players in the summer of 2003.
Under Brisack, Eagle baseball teams have also taken a great deal of pride in giving back to the community. Whether they are speaking to an elementary school class or mentoring high school students, Brisack encourages his student-athletes to make a difference in the world around them. Brisack's Eagles are very active with local youth baseball programs - hosting youth coaches' clinics, the popular Eagle Baseball Camps, Spring Training Days and generally promoting the "greatest game on earth" while educating young players on the dangers of spit tobacco use.
In addition to his duties with Edgewood's baseball program, Brisack was named Athletic Director at the College on July 6, 2006.
Coach Brisack is married to wife Michele. The couple has been blessed with two beautiful children.