Baylor Bears coach Steve Rodriguez resigns after seven seasons with program
May 31, 2022
Baylor Bears head coach Steve Rodriguez announced his resignation on Monday this week, just four days after the program conceded an 11-1 defeat from the Oklahoma State.
Rodriguez and the Bears failed to withstand the strong current of the Big 12 Conference tournament. The team wrapped this year with a 26-28 record.
The former Boston Red Sox joined the Bears in 2016. After seven years under Rodriguez's leadership, the Baylor baseball program is now looking for a new coach in the market. Rodriguez’s coaching career in the NCAA after the resignation, on the other, remains unclear.
Rodriguez steps down as Bears head coach
The former Major League player signed with the Bears in 2016. The program’s highest position in the NCAA Regional was second place in 2019 and the lowest was sixth, which was received in 2021.
"While a decision of this magnitude is never easy, I am at peace with it," Rodriguez said. "Seven years is a long time at one place, and now it is time for a new voice to lead the Baylor baseball program. I will forever be grateful to the outstanding young men who have played for me."
Rodriguez wrapped his coaching career in Baylor with a 197–134 overall. In 2017, when the Bears made their first out of three appearances in the NCAA Regional, he was awarded the 2017 Big 12 Coach of the Year. In the following year, Baylor won its only Big 12 tournament title.
Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades released a statement, thanking Rodriguez for his seven years of dedication to coaching the program. It was also reported that the athletic director had begun a national-wide search for Rodriguez’s replacement, but the criteria of the candidates or the recruitment process were disclosed.
"We are grateful for Steve's time at Baylor over the past seven years and for his commitment to our student-athletes, our university and to Preparing Champions for Life," Rhoades said in the statement.
"On behalf of Baylor University, I want to thank Steve and his family for their service, and we wish him, his wife Kim and their two children, Julia and Nolan, the very best as God directs their next steps. We have a world-class university and incredible momentum in Baylor Athletics, and I am confident we will identify and recruit a tremendous new head coach."
The former Pepperdine Waves head coach left Baylor as the third coach with the most game wins in the Bears’ history, behind former coaches Steve Smith and Mickey Sullivan.
Rodriguez’s coaching career
Rodriguez, a native of Las Vegas, began his NCAA coaching career back in 2004 with the Pepperdine Waves. During the first five years of coaching the team, the former Major League player led the Waves to five consecutive NCAA Regional appearances.
The head coach and Pepperdine ranked No. 1 in the West from 2004 to 2005 in the NCAA Regional and often snatched top three positions in the tournament. He finished coaching the program in 2015 after leading it to a second spot in the Regional that year and first position in the NCAA Super Regional in the previous year. He finished with a 401–300 overall.