Lawrence Technological University will field varsity baseball and softball teams to compete in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics starting in the fall of 2016. The LTU Athletic Department has taken the first big step in establishing the new athletic programs by hiring Stan Eldridge as the head baseball coach.
Lawrence Tech joined the NAIA in 2012 and now has 16 men’s and women’s varsity teams in basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, tennis and volleyball. More than 280 LTU students compete at the varsity level, and another 65 students play on junior varsity teams.
Before discontinuing varsity athletics in the 1960s, Lawrence Tech competed in a number of sports, and several of its basketball teams were nationally ranked. The last Lawrence Tech baseball team was disbanded at the start of World War II when most of the players joined the war effort.
“We believe Coach Eldridge is the right person to build new traditions here at LTU,” said Athletic Director Scott Trudeau. “I am confident his teams will be a source of great pride for LTU, both on the field and in the classroom.”
Eldridge’s first responsibility as head coach will be to recruit a team to compete in league games for the 2016-17 season. “I want to build a program that everyone at this great university can be proud of, while bringing in student-athletes that represent what Lawrence Tech is all about,” Eldridge said.
Eldridge has 15 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level. He was associate head coach during nine seasons at Spring Arbor University and has also coached at Siena Heights University, Concordia University-Ann Arbor, and Madonna University.
“Coach Eldridge brings a ton of experience to the table, not only in our league, the WHAC, but in the NAIA as well. His years of experience and connections in the baseball world will enable him to hit the ground running and field a competitive team right away,” said Trudeau.
Immediately prior to joining the Blue Devils, Eldridge spent just over a year at Siena Heights University, working primarily with the hitters and more recently the offensive direction of the Saints program.
At Spring Arbor, Eldridge was recruiting coordinator and oversaw hitters and infielders. Two of his teams went to the NAIA World Series. During his nine-year tenure, the Cougars hit a combined .318 and fielded a .960 mark, leading the NAIA nationally in fielding in 2007 and finishing third in 2011.
Eldridge also tutored many players who enjoyed individual success, sending seven players to the professional ranks, while developing three Conference Player of the Year winners, a Rawlings NAIA National Golf Glove honoree, and several others selected to All-Conference, All-Region, and All-American teams.
At Concordia University, Eldridge served as the associate head coach and was primarily responsible for implementing a more aggressive style of offense, while also assisting the Cardinal pitchers.
Eldridge is a graduate of Concordia University-Ann Arbor where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and leadership. He also holds a degree in criminal justice and is a graduate of the School of Police and Fire Staff and Command at Eastern Michigan University.
He played baseball at the collegiate level and soon turned to coaching at the high school level.
Eldridge has retired from a career in law enforcement with Ypsilanti Township and resides in Ypsilanti with his wife and two children.