Darrel Grissom, the long-time head coach of Miami University Regionals' Hamilton Harriers Baseball, has been named Coach of the Year by the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA).
Grissom, who just completed his 22nd season at the helm of the Harriers, led the team to a 7-1 USCAA conference record. The team advanced to the finals of the USCAA Small College World Series National Championship, falling to the Apprentice School Builders. This was Miami University Regionals' first year as a member of the USCAA.
"It was a great honor to be named USCAA coach of the year," said Grissom, noting the team plays a heavy schedule in the conference, as well as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and NCAA Divison 2 and 3 teams.
"The level of competition was exactly what I expected, and it was fun to play with some good teams.," he said. "The highlight of the season was seeing the kids get the chance to play in the World Series. It was the type of tournament atmosphere we'd always hoped we'd be playing in."
Calling him "blue-chip stock" and the "pillar of strength in our athletic department," Miami University Hamilton Athletic Director Chris Settle was not the least bit surprised by the team's success.
"Baseball has been successfully competing against top-notch competition, including NCAA Division 1 programs, so I knew this would not be too big for them. I'm just upset he didn't get a chance to compete on the national level sooner," Settle said. "I'm just happy they finally got to show what they could do on a national stage, and I'm excited to see how well we do in the future.
"Every time I hire a new coach, I go in detail about how Coach Grissom handles the baseball team and how they do things, because that's how I want all of our teams to function," Settle added. "Not everyone can get to that level because he continues to raise the bar."
Four players – Daulton Miller (first team), Jordan Edrington and Stephen Stigler (second team), and Jarrod Bahr (honorable mention) – were named USCAA Baseball All-Americans for 2022.
During Grissom’s tenure, Miami’s Hamilton Campus, which was previously a member of the Ohio Regional Campus Conference, has won 17 of 20 conference championships, 17 of 20 conference tournaments, and has averaged more than 30 wins a year.
Despite being “worn out” from the season, Grissom has another task ahead: he is the president and general manager of the Hamilton Joes. Members of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate Baseball League, the Joes provide student-athletes the opportunity to improve their baseball skills in a competitive summer baseball league made up of college baseball players. Their 2022 season opens on June 7.