After leading the UT Tyler baseball program to three conference championship in four years, Patriots head coach Chris Bertrand announced he was ready for a new challenge.
Bertrand said on Monday he has resigned to pursue new opportunities in his home state of Louisiana.
"Coach Bertrand has done an exceptional job leading the UT Tyler baseball program since his arrival in 2013," Dr. Howard Patterson, Vice President for Student Affairs, said in a statement. "He has grown the program and continued to recruit outstanding student-athletes and continued to expand the name of UT Tyler in national baseball circles. We are sad to see him leave, but are excited he will be closer to family and wish them all the best."
Bertrand, who became head coach in 2013, had a record of 119-69 in four years, along with three American Southwest Conference championships and three NCAA Division III Tournament berths.
Patterson said a national search for Bertrand's successor will begin immediately.
UT Tyler had 41 all-conference and eight all-region selections under Bertrand's leadership.
"I can genuinely say that this has been the best four years of my career," Bertrand said. "UT Tyler is a really special place and I think we accomplished really special things. I've enjoyed every bit of it and love UT Tyler and the community. The opportunity to pursue some new baseball challenges closer to home brought about this decision for me and my family."
The Patriots compiled a record of 32-19 and earned wins over No. 14 Cal Lutheran and No. 18 Whitworth (Washington) before falling to eventual national champion, No. 3 Trinity, and Pacific Lutheran (Washington) in the Spokane (Washington) Regional.
A Louisiana native, Bertrand returns to his home state where he played for the Wildcats at Louisiana College and also was an assistant coach for nine years at LSU-Shreveport before arriving at UT Tyler. He leaves as the second winningest coach in program history with his 119 victories, behind only James Vilade who amassed a 230-65 record from 2004-10.
"This wasn't an easy decision for me though because of the support I've received from Dr. (Rodney H.) Mabry (UT Tyler president) and Dr. Patterson," Bertrand said. "We have a tremendous booster club here at UT Tyler starting with the generosity of Mike Clements, the Buies (Herbert and Melvina) and Bob and Mary Irwin. We worked hard the past four years to reconnect with our alumni and brought in a lot of awesome players. You win three championships in four years because of the players. Our coaching staff put in tons of work to make this a great program and I'm thankful for each of them."