LA MIRADA, CALIF. — Biola University head baseball coach John Verhoeven, the program’s all-time winningest coach, announced on Monday that he will resign at the end of the 2013 season, stepping down after 16 years and over 500 wins with the Eagles.
“The last 16 years at Biola as the head baseball coach have truly been a blessing,” said Verhoeven. “My athletic director, Dave Holmquist, was a blast to work for and became one of my best friends. I am anxiously waiting to see what God has planned for the remainder of my life in baseball. I still love being on a baseball field around young men where I can influence their lives and make them better players.”
Verhoeven enters the 2013 season with an overall record of 521-275-6 (.653 winning percentage) and has accounted for nearly half of the program’s 1,116 total wins. The Eagles have finished below .500 just once in his tenure and have amassed at least 30 wins in 12 of his 15 seasons at the helm.
“John has had a very successful career at Biola,” said Biola Athletic Director Dr. Dave Holmquist. “He is an excellent coach who is loved and respected by his players. His knowledge of baseball and ability to relate to a wide-range of people have allowed him to accomplish some special things. He will always be greatly appreciated by all of us who worked with him.”
Verhoeven took over a team that had just 13 winning seasons in the previous 38 seasons including three in the 16 years prior to his arrival. But he quickly righted the ship and guided the Eagles to GSAC titles in each of his first four seasons, culminating in the team’s first-ever trip to the NAIA World Series. It would be the first of three trips to the World Series for Biola. For his efforts, Verhoeven has been named GSAC Coach of the Year five times (1998, 99, 2000, 01, 05) and NAIA Region II Coach of the Year twice (2001, 2005).
Verhoeven has led the Eagles to five GSAC titles and to top-three finishes in the conference in 11 of 14 seasons in the league. Overall, the team is 313-157 (.665 winning percentage) in GSAC contests. In addition, he has helped Biola reach the postseason in all but two seasons.
Twenty players have signed major league contracts during his 14 years as skipper of the Eagles, including 13 players who were drafted in the MLB Draft. Verhoeven, who was a 12th-round draft pick out of the University of La Verne, played with the California Angels, Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins from 1977-81. He compiled a lifetime 3.76 ERA in 99 games and retired after the 1982 season.
“In my 32 years as a professional ballplayer and collegiate coach, my method of operation had always been to keep moving on to the next challenge,” said Verhoeven. “My thrill had always been to take something below average and make it better until it became the best it could be. But Biola was different. There seemed to be something which kept me from moving on, even after reaching the ultimate goal, a berth in not just one, but three, NAIA College World Series. I stayed longer than I ever imagined I would. What’s next? I will be active in moving forward and passive in waiting for the next step.”
Biola University officials have announced that a national search to find Verhoeven’s replacement will begin immediately. Interested parties may contact Holmquist or apply online at https://www.biola.edu/hr/.
For more information, contact Jeff Hoffman, Sports Information Director, at (562) 903-4889.