SOSU to name baseball field after legendary coach Mike Metheny

DURANT, Okla. - Southeastern athletics has announced that The Ballpark in Durant, the long-time home of the Savage Storm baseball program will be renamed to Mike Metheny Field in honor of SE Hall of Famer and NCAA Division II All-Time wins leader Mike Metheny.

A dedication ceremony is scheduled for April 6.

"My family and I are honored and humbled at the thought of having the Southeastern baseball field carry the Metheny name," said Metheny, "We truly enjoyed my 47 years here as player and coach and have a deep emotional attachment to that piece of ground on the Southeastern campus."

"I would like to thank President Sean Burrage," he continued, "Athletic Director Keith Baxter and all those who had a part in this decision. I would also like to thank my former players and my coach, mentor and friend Dr. Don "Doc" Parham who helped put Southeastern Oklahoma baseball on the college baseball map."

Zach Crabtree, who succeeded Metheny as baseball coach, added his endorsement.

"What a fitting way to honor Coach Metheny's career and all the accomplishments of his 37 teams here at Southeastern,'' Crabtree said. "Coach Metheny set the standard high here at Southeastern. Not only does he have the most wins in NCAA DII history, but he is also one of the very few Oklahoma college baseball coaches to lead their program to a National Championship. By naming our field Mike Metheny Field, it is a way to forever honor Coach Metheny for all he has done for his players, the game of baseball, and our University.''

Athletic director Keith Baxter said the honor is well deserved.

"What a great way to honor one of Southeastern's most decorated coaches, the Legend,'' Baxter said. "Naming the field after coach Metheny is just the right thing to do - it's not only a tribute to him, but also his family and the hundreds of players that gave Southeastern Baseball such a rich tradition."

Added Baxter: "We have been making renovations at the field over the last 18 months and we felt it was the right time to make this (naming) official. Coach Crabtree has been very supportive of the naming and instrumental in the renovations, with 100 percent of the funding coming from external sources. I think this is a great way of connecting the great history and tradition of Southeastern Baseball with our current and future student-athletes."

Metheny becomes the third former Southeastern coach to have a venue on campus named in his honor, joining Bloomer Sullivan (gymnasium and arena) and Paul Laird (football field).

He had his #1 jersey retired on Nov. 11, 2017, joining his predecessor Don Parham (#5) and major leaguer Brett Butler (#2) in that honor.

Metheny retired from coaching following his 37th season at the helm and left the game as the Division II leader in all-time victories.

He finishes his storied career with 1,324 career victories across from 679 losses and three ties to push his career winning percentage to .660 over 37 seasons, averaging just over 35 wins per season.

SE collected a 9-1 win over Harding in the series opener on March 31 and that win secured Metheny the NCAA Division II record-setting 1,315th win.

Metheny is ranked among the top 20 on the all-time wins list regardless of division, climbing to 19th on the list just behind Larry Cochell who has 1,331 after finishing his career in 2005 as the head coach at Oklahoma.

If that list is narrowed to coaches who have picked up all of their victories at one school, Metheny would rank eighth behind Rod Dedeaux who spent 44 seasons at Southern California.

His connection with Southeastern has spanned more than 40 years from his beginnings as a player, through being a graduate assistant, an assistant coach and ultimately taking over as the head coach for the 1981 season.

Metheny guided the SE baseball program through its successful transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II, and in just the second season at the D-II level he led his squad to the NCAA Division II World Series in Montgomery, Ala., and on June 3, 2000, Southeastern earned its first National Championship.

That title earned him the 2000 National Coach of the Year honor at the American Baseball Coaches Convention.

While a member of the NAIA, his teams made seven trips to the NAIA World Series and earned three runner-up finishes.

His teams claimed 15 conference championships and he has earned conference coach of the year honors nine times and regional coach of the year seven times.

He coached 54 players who have signed professional contracts and has guided 35 players to a total of 42 All-American honors.

Among those are a pair of National Player of the Year honorees in Alan Cartwright in 1982 and Cary Ammons in 1997.

In January of 1999, he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame while at the American Baseball Coaches Convention in Atlanta, Ga.

He was inducted into the Southeastern Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.