Greg Beals just concluded his eighth season as the head coach at Ball State baseball program in 2010. During his time at Ball State Beals has guided the Cardinals to three seasons of 35 wins or more as well as three MAC West Division titles. He has tallied an overall record of 243-202 with an equally impressive mark of 117-80 in MAC play. He became the second fastest Ball State coach to reach 200 victories (trailing only Rich Maloney) as he accomplished the feat in just six-plus seasons.
Under Beals' tutelage, the Cardinals have posted a string of players drafted in the Major League Baseball Draft as 20 Cardinals have been tabbed during his tenure. This past season Ball State saw three players get the call, including first round draft pick Kolbrin Vitek (Boston) and second round draft pick Perci Garner (Philadelphia). A school-record five players were selected in 2003, including Brad Snyder, who became the sixth first-round pick in school history when he was taken 18th overall by the Cleveland Indians -- the highest selection in Beals' tenure.
This past season, the Cardinals posted a 29-29 overall record with the nation's fourth toughest non-conference schedule. Ball State also turned in a 19-8 record in MAC play, marking the Cardinals' highest MAC win total since 2001. The Cardinals turned in the league's Player of the Year in Vitek, who also earned First Team All-America honors as well as being named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award and the John Olerud Two-Way Player Award. Ball State also received All-MAC honors for Zach Dygert, Ian Nielsen and Garner.
The Cardinals finished 43rd in the nation in home runs (77) while ending the year 52nd in the country in double plays (57). Also, sophomore Ian Neilsen was named ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-District.
In 2009, the Cardinals returned to the top spot in the MAC West Division with a 14-10 conference record as the Cardinals claimed the divisional title with a two-game sweep of rival Toledo to end the regular season. During the season, Beals earned his 200th career victory at the helm with a 4-2 win over his alma mater Kent State (March 28). He is the second-fastest coach in BSU Baseball history to reach the 200-victory mark.
Under his guidance, The Cardinals placed four members on the All-MAC teams, including first team honors for Jeremy Hazelbaker, Dygert and Vitek. Freshman first baseman Ian Nielsen earned Freshman All-America honors, marking the second straight year that BSU has had a Freshman All-America selection. Also, Hazelbaker earned multiple All-America honors after his record setting breakout season. Ball State had three players selected in the MLB draft as Hazelbaker, Brenden Stines and Dygert were called with Hazelbaker becoming a fourth round draft choice.
The highlight of Beals' tenure to this point came in 2006, when his Cardinals won the MAC Tournament for the first time in school history. The team advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1969 as the No. 4 seed in the Lexington Regional. Ball State opened the Regional with a historic victory over host and No. 1 seed Kentucky.
The 2006 team finished the season 38-22 overall (16-9 MAC) and tied for second place in the MAC West Division. Since coming to BSU, Beals has led the Cardinals to a first- or second-place finish in the division in four of his five years.
Four members of Ball State's 2006 NCAA Tournament team were Major League Baseball draft picks: pitcher Ben Snyder (fourth round), first baseman Brad Miller (18th), center fielder Mike Sullivan (31st) and catcher Matt Singleton (33rd, 2005). In 2007, Ball State added another draft pick to its growing list when closer Kyle Heyne was selected by the Minnesota Twins (27th round). Heyne, tied for first on the school's all-time saves list, opted to return for his senior season in 2008. Beals has coached 18 players to All-MAC honors in his time at Ball State. His 2005 team matched a school record by placing four players on the All-MAC First Team: Kyle Dygert, Erik Morrison, Ben Snyder and Mike Sullivan.
In addition to those MAC honors, Beals has also coached five All-Americans: Kolbrin Vitek (2010 Collegiate Baseball), Jeremy Hazelbaker (2009 American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings Second Team and Baseball America Third Team), Brad Miller (2006 ABCA Second Team), Erik Morrison (2005 Collegiate Baseball Second Team) and Brad Snyder (2003 Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball First Team).
Off the field, Beals has had players named to the Academic All-MAC Team 15 times.
On August 1, 2003, Beals became the eighth head coach in the 87-year history of the BSU program. Beals had spent the nine previous seasons as an assistant coach at Kent State.
Beals became the most successful first-year head coach in school history by guiding the Cardinals to a 36-21 overall record in 2003. He is also the first BSU head coach to win the MAC West Division title in his first season, with a 17-10 MAC ledger. In addition, he is just the third coach to post a winning record in his first season at BSU.
Under his guidance, the Cardinals posted the third-best single-season batting average in school history at .327, which ranked 15th in the nation. BSU's 652 hits in 2003 tied the school record, and its 125 doubles were the third-most in school annals.
Beals' first win as a head coach came March 1, 2003, when the Cardinals defeated Evansville 4-3. His first MAC win was a 24-2 victory over Central Michigan (March 28, 2003). His 100th victory came May 21, 2005, with an 8-0 shutout of Wright State.
After a 28-28 mark and second-place MAC West finish in 2004, Beals returned the Cardinals to the top of the division in 2005 with a 38-18 (17-5 MAC) record. Senior closer Erik Morrison earned the league's Pitcher of the Year award, and starter Ben Snyder was named MAC Freshman of the Year.
The Cardinals also went undefeated versus teams in the state of Indiana during the 2005 season by defeating in-state rivals Butler, Indiana, IPFW, Notre Dame, Purdue and Valparaiso. In 2006, the Cardinals went 7-1 against teams from Indiana. In Beals' five seasons at Ball State, the Cardinals are 27-9 against in-state teams.
Following the 2006 run to the NCAA Tournament, the Cardinals lost six everyday starters and their top pitcher. A young Ball State lineup managed a 20-34 mark last season, but the team returns seven starting position players and two weekend starting pitchers this year.
As an assistant at Kent State, Beals concentrated his duties on recruiting, along with the instruction of the hitters and catchers. In his nine seasons at KSU, he helped tutor student-athletes to 36 All-MAC and 17 Academic All-MAC honors, while 21 of his recruits signed professional contracts. Beals also helped guide the Golden Flashes to a .314 team batting average along with numerous offensive records.
In addition, Beals helped the Golden Flashes to two MAC Tournament titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Prior to coaching at Kent State, Beals was a 22nd round selection of the New York Mets in the 1991 Major League Baseball Draft. He spent three years in the Mets' farm system, and in each season, Beals was part of a division-winning club.
Before playing in the minor leagues, Beals was a three-year letterwinner at Kent State. He amassed a .306 career batting average and received All-MAC honorable mention honors in each of his three collegiate seasons.
Beals graduated from Kent State in 1995 with a degree in human movement studies. He later earned his master's degree in sport administration from Kent State in 1999.
A native of Springfield, Ohio, Beals attended Kenton Ridge High School, where he played baseball under Coach Tom Randall.
Beals and his wife Kathy have three daughters, Kayla, Amber and Morgan. His wife, the former Kathy Carroll, was a four-year letterwinner on the Kent State University women's basketball team from 1991-94.