Stahl named to lead Spartans

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Aurora announced that Lane Stahl, currently assistant pitching coach, will be promoted to head coach for the university. Stahl takes over the reins of the successful Spartan program from Shaun Neitzel who resigned and was named Dean of Student Life for the university. Neitzel who spent the last 10 seasons as the Head Coach of the Spartan program had an overall record of 287-146-2. Neitzel was 38-10 in his final season with the Spartans.

"I am pleased that Lane Stahl has agreed to take the reins of the program so that we have coaching continuity and can build on the tradition of success that Spartan Baseball has enjoyed," Aurora University Provost Andrew Manion said.  "I also am grateful to Coach Neitzel for his outstanding performance as coach and look forward to the positive influence he will have on all of our students in his new role."

Stahl is no stranger to the Spartan baseball program, having returned to AU for the second time in 2010 after being away from the program for seven seasons. Stahl was an assistant coach for the Spartans from 1999-2002.

In Stahl's last three seasons as the Spartan pitching coach, the team has captured three consecutive Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) Tournament Championships and appeared in three straight NCAA Division III Regionals with a 105-40 record. During these three seasons, Stahl also had one pitcher named a All-American, five named all-region and nine pitchers named Northern Athletics Conference All-Conference.

"I would like to thank the Aurora University administration for this great opportunity. I am excited for the opportunity to continue the proud winning tradition of the Spartan baseball program. I have seen in my experience here as an assistant coach that AU has the tools and support necessary to maintain a successful program," said Stahl. "I will strive to recruit talented and enthusiastic student athletes who fit the Spartan mold both academically and athletically."

Stahl returned to AU in 2010 after he completed his third season on staff at East Texas Baptist University in 2009, working with Tiger pitchers as well as serving as the program's recruiting coordinator. Prior to joining East Texas Baptist, Stahl spent two years as the head coach at Hendrix College.

Stahl received his bachelor's degree in management from Howard Payne University and went on to earn a master's degree in sports and exercise science from West Texas A&M University.

During his coaching career, Stahl has coached teams that have made eight playoff appearances, with his teams making consecutive trips from 1999 to 2002. As hitting coach at AU in 1999, Stahl worked with a program that finished seventh in the Division III World Series and was second in the nation in team batting average. In 2002, the Spartans were the top hitting team in the nation statistically.

Stahl has also been a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association since 1995. Lane and his wife, Angie, have two sons, Tanner and Owen.