Mark Scalf, UNC Wilmington Seahawks

college baseball

The dean of coaches in the Colonial Athletic Association, Mark Scalf returns for his 27h season at the helm of the UNC Wilmington Seahawks baseball program in 2018.

The Seahawks are coming off a 2017 campaign in which they went 30-29, including an 18-6 mark in the CAA. UNCW suffered three-game sweeps on the road early in the slate at Ole Miss and Florida Gulf Coast. The team rebounded and posted a valiant attempt to win the CAA but fell just shy of its goal. Even so, the Seahawks continued to be the only program in the CAA to play in every edition of the conference tournament.

Mark Scalf, head coach

Mark Scalf, head coach

Thanks in part to a prolific offense, Scalf guided UNCW to back-to-back 41-win seasons in 2015-16. The Seahawks reached the NCAA tournament both years. In 2016, they won their ninth CAA regular season crown and advanced to the regional finals for an eighth time.

UNCW landed 10 players on the CAA All-Conference squads in 2016, including five first-teamers. Nick Feight and Ryan Foster were honored as the league’s Player and Pitcher-of-the-Year, respectively, and were joined by Steven Linkous, Daniel Stack and Brian Mims on the first team.

Feight was named All-America by six media outlets while Mims and Foster were tabbed by four apiece. Feight set a school-record with a nation-leading 91 runs batted in.

The Seahawks reached the NCAA regionals for a seventh time in 2015 after winning their fourth Colonial Athletic Association title under the direction of Scalf.

Major League Baseball reached to the program five times in the 2015 draft, selecting Jordan Ramsey, Zach Shields, Evan Phillips, Nick Monroe and Will Shepley. All five signed bringing UNCW’s total to 63 players who have gone on to play professional baseball during Scalf’s tenure.

In 2014, Mark Scalf’s 23rd season at the lead of the program, UNCW posted its 16th consecutive season with a winning record (30-27, 10-8 CAA) and competed in the Colonial Athletic Association championship tournament for a 29th time. Scalf also became the first coach in the CAA to surpass the 300-win mark in conference action.

UNCW had four players drafted in the Major League Baseball draft with Kelly Secrest (NY Mets, 10th round), Mat Batts (Minn., 17th round), Christian MacDonald (Miami, 25th round) and Jordan Ramsey (NY Yankees, 32nd round) being tabbed.

In 2013, UNCW posted a 38-23 overall record and topped the CAA with an 18-8 mark. Eight Seahawks earned All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and Michael Bass earned five All-America honors. The season was highlighted by a 9-8 win in Chapel Hill, N.C., over then top-ranked North Carolina.

Season number 22 for Scalf was a special one for the long-time Seahawk. His club won its eighth regular season title, earned an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament and helped him pass the 700-career wins mark. Scalf was honored by the league’s coaches as Co-Coach-of-the-Year honors for the sixth time, tying the conference record.

Scalf has led his program to the NCAA tournament on eight occasions, including at-large selections in 2003, 2008 and 2013. In 2003 the Seahawks reached the NCAA tournament for the first time and in 2008, UNCW fashioned a school-record 21-game winning streak and set a program record with 44 victories.

Scalf served twice as an assistant on Team USA’s collegiate national team, first under Ray Tanner in 2003 and again in 2007 on Mike Weather’s staff. In 2007, Seth Frankoff became the first Seahawk to play for Team USA.

Scalf by the numbers:
870 – career wins
358 – career regular season wins in CAA play
9 – CAA regular season titles won
8 – times UNCW has reached the NCAA regionals
4 – CAA tournament championships won by the Seahawks
4 – Seahawks have been named CAA Player-of-the-Year

About the author, Bill

Bill Ballew has been involved with collegiate and professional baseball since 1983. He has been the Atlanta correspondent for Baseball America since 1991 and has served as the editorial content manager for Baseball The Magazine for more than five years. He is a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).