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TYLER – The UT Tyler baseball team will be under the leadership of the fourth head coach in program history next season with the announcement that Chris Bertrand has resigned following four seasons with the Patriots to pursue new professional opportunities.
UT Tyler boasts a 415-154 all-time record in baseball after establishing the program in 2004, including a 119-69 record over Bertrand’s four seasons in Tyler. A national search for Bertrand’s successor at UT Tyler will begin immediately.
“Coach Bertrand has done an exceptional job leading the UT Tyler baseball program since his arrival in 2013,” said Dr. Howard Patterson, Vice President for Student Affairs. “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 was the UT Tyler head coach from 2013-16, led the Patriots to three American Southwest Conference Championships and to three NCAA Division III regional tournaments. His staff was named the 2015 ASC Coaching Staff of the Year after guiding the Patriots to a 34-12 record. 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 are coming off a season where they advanced to the NCAA postseason for the sixth time in program history after making a run through the ASC Championship as the fourth seed to secure the automatic bid. Bertrand and the Patriots would travel to Spokane, Washington and earn wins over No. 14 Cal Lutheran and No. 18 Whitworth before having its season end with a pair of losses to No. 3 Trinity and Pacific Lutheran at the regional tournament. Finishing with a 32-19 record, the Patriots have won 30 or more games in 10 of 13 seasons.
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 that’s I’ve received from Dr. Mabry and Dr. Patterson,” Bertrand said. “We have a tremendous booster club here at UT Tyler starting with the generosity of Mike Clements, the Buies 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.”
UT Tyler has won five ASC Championships and has made six national postseason appearances – both of which are the most of any program in the conference.