Mike Stone announces retirement following 2017 season
The 2017 season will be the last for Massachusetts baseball coach Mike Stone.
The UMass Baseball Twitter account announced Wednesday morning that Stone will retire following the upcoming season,after his 30th as the coach of the Minutemen and 35th as a Division 1 coach. The all-time winningest coach in UMass baseball history will be 62 following his next season.
“I’ve decided to move on to the next chapter of my life,” Stone said in an interview with Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette. “I’m not sure what it’s going to be yet. But after next year it’ll be 35 years (30 at UMass, five at Vermont) as a Division I head coach,” Stone said. “I feel young. I act young. When I think about the number 35 it seems like a lot, but I certainly don’t feel like I can’t do things.”
“My wife and I want to retire when we have some time to enjoy retirement. I just feel like the time is right.”
Through 29 springs in Amherst, Stone compiled a .507 winning percentage (682-663-3) overall and a .546 mark in the Atlantic 10 (350-291-2), en route to capturing 10 conference titles and two NCAA postseason berths.
The three-time A-10 coach of the year has won six Beanpot championships and groomed 37draft picks in his time coaching at Earl Lorden Field.
“It’s been enjoyable,” he added. “The opportunity to compete and build a ball club has always kept me going. I like to help young men develop as people and ball players.”
The emphasis, as it always is with Stone, will be on his players and compiling a team good enough to contend for an A-10 title, not on the soon-to-be retired coach.
“It’s going to be uncharted territory for me,” he said. “For it to be the last (season), I’m sure I’ll savor things, a little, but I want to have a great team. I want us to be as prepared as possible and really go out with a bang doing it the right way with a great ball club.”
Kyle DaLuz can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @Kyle_DaLuz.