WAYNE – William Paterson will honor its legendary former head baseball coach, Jeff Albies, when the University renames its baseball facility in his honor at a ceremony to be held Sunday, Oct. 3.
The complex, currently known as Pioneer Baseball Park, will be dedicated as Jeff Albies Field at 12:00 p.m. at the facility, prior to the Pioneers’ annual Alumni Game on Homecoming Weekend. In case of inclement weather, the event will be conducted at 12:00 p.m. at the University Commons Ballroom. Light refreshments will be offered after the ceremony.
Albies, who coached two national championship teams and finished his career ranked eighth all time in Division III victories, announced his retirement in 2007 after 33 years as the head baseball coach and associate athletic director at William Paterson.
Achieving a 862-401-15 (.680) record during his 33 seasons, Albies led the Pioneers to the 1992 and 1996 NCAA Division III national championships, six NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional titles (1982, 1988, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1999) and the 1985 NCAA South Atlantic Regional crown. Seven times a participant in the College World Series (1982, 1985, 1988, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1999), William Paterson qualified for the NCAA Tournament 18 times during Albies’ tenure (1977, 1981-89, 1991-93, 1995-99) and won 11 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) championships (1982-83, 1986-89, 1991-93, 1996-97).
“Jeff Albies had a powerful impact on our baseball program and, more importantly, he had a powerful impact on the lives of the players he coached for 33 years,” said Arnold Speert, president of William Paterson University. “The naming of this facility in his honor is a fitting tribute to Jeff and his many accomplishments.”
Twenty-eight of Albies’ charges were lauded as all-Americans by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), and 31 Pioneers went on to play professionally, including former New York Yankee Dan Pasqua (’82) and former Baltimore Oriole Bruce Dostal (’88). Six NJAC Players of the Year, five Pitchers of the Year and three Rookies of the Year benefited from Albies’ instruction, while seven different Pioneers were named the New Jersey College Baseball Association (NJCBA) Division II/III Player of the Year and five earned the organization’s Pitcher of the Year award. In all, 20 of his former players, as well as the 1992 national-championship team, have already been enshrined in the William Paterson University Alumni Association Athletic Hall of Fame.
“Obviously, it is a tremendous honor,” said Albies. “Needless to say, I was overwhelmed and humbled by the decision to rename the field. Now, walking in to the stadium and seeing my name up there, it will be quite a special experience. I am very appreciative of the support and efforts of President Speert, (athletic director) Sabrina Grant and (head coach) Mike Lauterhahn for making this happen, and it is something that I really feel great about.”
A member of both the ABCA and the William Paterson University Alumni Association Athletic Halls of Fame, the 26-time Coach of the Year honoree finished his career ranked eighth overall and sixth among active Division III coaches in victories (862), and 21st overall and 20th among active coaches in winning percentage (.680).
“The success the William Paterson baseball program enjoyed on the conference, regional and national level with Jeff Albies at the helm certainly warrants this special honor,” said Sabrina Grant, William Paterson Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. “Simply look at the 862 wins during his 33 years, as well as the 11 conference, seven regional and two national championships, and it becomes clear as to why we are proud to recognize him in this manner.”
Two of the greatest seasons in Pioneer athletic history came in the springs of 1992 and 1996, when William Paterson reached the pinnacle of Division III baseball. Both title-game victories came in dramatic fashion, thanks to late-game rallies against California Lutheran (3-1 in 1992, 6-5 in 1996).
Albies’ passion for the game extended off the field, where he served as the national baseball chairperson of the NCAA Division III Championship and Mid-Atlantic Region committees. In addition, he served on the NCAA Division III All-America, NCAA Selection and Legislative Action, and ABCA committees. He also coached in the prestigious Cape Cod League that showcases the nation’s top college players each summer.
Prior to his coaching career, Albies played second base in the Atlanta Braves’ organization from 1965-68 before playing professionally in Canada from 1969-70. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education at Long Island University in 1968, a master’s in health and physical education at Hunter College in 1972, and an administration and supervisory certificate from Fordham University in 1975.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!