Sand Shark baseball lands experienced skipper

The USCB baseball team has announced the hiring of the fourth head coach in program history, and he comes to the Lowcountry with an impressive track record in tow.

The Sand Sharks picked former Madonna (Mich.) head coach Ted Falkner to fill the same position at USCB, replacing Jeremy Christian, who was not retained after four seasons at the helm. Falkner compiled a 103-54 record in his four seasons at Madonna, including a 17-9 mark during the shortened 2020 campaign.

“Especially in these tenuous times, this is extraordinarily good news,” USCB Director of Athletics Quin Monahan said in a release. “We are excited to welcome Coach Falkner to USCB and look forward to him and his family becoming part of the Sand Shark family.”

Monahan said the search took longer than usual due to the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he is satisfied with the result, plucking an experienced and successful head coach from a talented field of applicants.

While heading up another NAIA program at Madonna, Falkner posted an impressive .656 winning percentage. One of his best seasons as a head coach occurred in 2019, when he led the Crusader program to a 37-22 overall record and a 15-7 mark in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.

During that same season, Madonna posted wins over four top-25 teams, including No. 5 Marian (Ind.). Despite falling in the WHAC Championship game, the Crusaders played in the 2019 NAIA World Series Opening Round, going 2-2 with both defeats coming at the hands of top-ranked and eventual national champion Tennessee Wesleyan.

The 2018 campaign was also a strong year for the seven-year head coach, as he led the Crusaders to a 36-18 overall record and a 16-6 mark in conference action. They collected five wins over nationally-ranked opponents en route to claiming the WHAC Championship title over Indiana Tech.

Along the way, Falkner saw several Crusaders earn national awards. In 2017, Falkner coached an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American and the WHAC Player of the Year. In 2018 and 2019, a Crusader earned WHAC Newcomer of the Year, and in 2018, he saw a player earn a NAIA Gold Glove award, which was the first-ever in the program’s history. He also coached three WHAC Gold Glove performers, eight WHAC All-Conference members, 31 WHAC All-Academic honorees and 15 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes.

Prior to Madonna, Falkner was the head coach at Viterbo (Wisc.) for two seasons. While with the V-Hawks, he coached five NSAA All-Conference and four NSAA All-Academic honorees.

Falkner will move to the Lowcountry with his wife Katie and their two sons — Jackson and Miles.

During the extensive search, USCB assistant coach Zach Roberts held the reins of the program through the hiring process.

“While we’re excited for Coach Falkner to get to campus, I have to say that in the interim period I could not be more thankful to Coach Roberts,” Monahan said. “He not only kept the program afloat during these past few stressful months but kept it steered in the right direction. Coach Roberts is a huge asset to the Sand Shark baseball program, and I’m so thankful he’ll continue to be part of our team moving forward.”

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