The 2012 season was Joe Schaefer's ninth as a member of the PLNU baseball staff, his fourth as head coach. He has led the Sea Lions to a 133-89-1 overall record in his four years at the helm, winning the GSAC regular season and postseason tournament titles in 2009, and reaching the NAIA World Series in both 2009 and 2010. In fact, the first two years under Schaefer were arguably the best campaigns in Point Loma baseball history.
Eight Sea Lions have been named all-conference during Schaefer's time at PLNU, and five of his players have been selected in the Major League First Year Player Draft: Kurt Steinhauer, Kaohi Downing, Steven Winnick, Chad Blauer and Ricky Gingras. Many others have earned spots on top Summer League rosters.
In 2009, Schaefer was named as the GSAC Coach of the Year. He was twice selected as the American Baseball Coaches Association /Diamond Regional Coach of the Year (2009-2010).
The Sea Lions went 18-34 in the rebuilding year of 2012, which was the team's last in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC). Point Loma showed flashes of promise, but did not qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2001. Still, there is quite a bit of reason for optimism as the Sea Lions prepare for 2013 and their inaugural season in the NCAA DII as a member of the Pacific West Conference.
John Gunther, a long time San Diegan, oversees the Sea Lion pitching staff. His PLNU hurlers have been among the best in the NAIA as proven by the team's two deep World Series runs and having four members signing professional contracts.
Gunther has coached at the high school and collegiate levels for nearly 40 years, bringing a wealth of experience to the position. His coaching stints include time at local Kearney and Point Loma high schools as well as San Diego State, Mesa College, the University of San Diego and UC San Diego.
Gunther earned his bachelor's degree and teacher's credential at UC Santa Barbara, beginning his coaching career with his alma mater in 1968. After coaching at UCSB and Carpinteria High School, he coached and taught at the University of the Pacific for three seasons.
After receiving his master's degree at Pacific, Gunther moved to San Diego in 1972 and has coached and taught in the area ever since. In addition to his high school and college experience, Gunther coached various collegiate wood-bat summer league teams from 1973-98. Some highlights include a national championship with the Fairbanks Goldpanners and four league championships with the Beach City Cubs.
Justin James is in his fifth year of coaching, third as an assistant coach for the PLNU baseball program. He returned to his alma mater for the 2010 season and helped the team reach the NAIA World Series where they finished third. His main duties are coaching third base and to help in recruiting, camp coordination and opponent scouting.
Before returning to PLNU, James spent the two prior seasons assisting the New Mexico Highlands University baseball team under head coach Steve Jones. During that span the Cowboys won 70 games, twice reached the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) tournament championship game and qualified for the NCAA Division II Western regionals in 2009.
In addition to his coaching duties at NMHU, James was the strength and conditioning coach for the university's athletic teams and was in charge of game management, which included setting up every home sporting event up to NCAA standards and RMAC regulations. He also ran the school's intramural program.
James prepped at South Pasadena High School where he earned two varsity letters and was named the Tigers MVP in 1999. He helped lead SPHS to their first league title in 31 years and won the Pat Murphy Award and all-league outfield honors.
Landon Burt is the newest member of the PLNU baseball staff. The 2013 season will be Burt's first, but he began working with the Sea Lion program in the summer of 2012. Burt's duties at Point Loma are to coach first base, work with the outfielders, teach base running and assist with recruiting.
Prior to coming over to PLNU, Burt was the baseball assistant coach for the Del North High School varsity team for three seasons. The Nighthawks won the league title in their first season as a varsity program, doing so with only sophomores and juniors. Burt has also coached numerous travel teams.
An outfielder for four seasons at San Diego State University (2000-04), Burt hit .343 with 45 runs scored and 30 RBI as a junior, and batted .321 with six homers, 61 runs scored and 40 RBI as a senior.
Following college, Landon was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 27th round of the 2004 draft.He prepped at La Quinta HS, lettering in both baseball and basketball.