Daron Schoenrock – Head Coach – Baseball Coaches
Hired on June 29, 2004, Daron Schoenrock becomes the 16and Head coach in baseball’s long history at the University of Memphis. After a seven-year stint as a top assistant and pitching coach at three Southeastern Conference schools (Kentucky 1998, 1999, Georgia 2000, 2001, and Mississippi State 2002, 2003, 2004), Schoenrock immediately began to put his fingerprints on the program. including enhancing recruiting efforts to a more national reach, building the Bullpen Club to increase revenue to support program growth, and launching a subscription campaign to increase fan appeal to see the Tigers compete in the ever-competitive baseball environment of Conference USA.
After experiencing a difficult campaign in his first season (2005), Schoenrock and his team entered a recruiting class that led them to 2n/a record biggest NCAA Baseball Division I turnaround in 2006 with a 32-28 record, which included a 2-2 finish in the C-USA Tournament. The 2007 campaign saw the Tigers finish 36-27 with a 3-2 performance in the C-USA Tournament, which included a win over then-ranked No. 2 Rice to push the Tigers into the semi-finals of the tournament. The Tigers were selected as an all-around team for the NCAA program’s first regional birth (Nashville Regional at Vanderbilt) since the 1994 season and that momentum initiated plans to improve facilities at Nat Buring Field.
“Starting over” with a group of talented freshmen in 2008, the Tigers secured a senior grant commitment from FedEx to renovate the facility in what is now known as FedExPark. Plans were made during the 2008 and 2009 seasons that found the Tigers without a “home park”, as they played their entire 2009 season on the road, which included all of the C-USA weekend series at the USA Stadium in Millington.
Memphis moved into FedExPark just a week before the end of the 2010 campaign with a 21-32 record, which set the tone for a five-year (2011-2015) streak of more than 30 winning seasons, including a record 37-21 in 2015. In 2013, Schoenrock was named C-USA Coach of the Year, an award voted on by his C-USA coaching peers. Schoenrock led the Tigers to eight 30-plus seasons, second only to Bobby Kilpatrick’s fourteen 30-plus seasons during his 21 years at the helm.
In 2017, Schoenrock led efforts to upgrade FedExPark with a team meeting room (the Al Brown Meeting Room) and on-site coaching offices to give the coaching staff better access to players and their development. This improvement to the facility led to the baseball building being renamed “The Babe Howard Training Facility”, led by a senior donation from Ray and Laura Rosas (daughter of the late Babe Howard). The Tigers now enjoy a state-of-the-art baseball building to call home. Schoenrock is actively involved in upcoming facility renovation plans, which include conversion to an all-grass pitch, a new scoreboard and seating upgrades, all of which are expected to begin in the summer of 2022.
Schoenrock launched his coaching career in 1985, when he served as a graduate assistant/pitching coach under David Mays at his Alma Mater, Tennessee Tech University, after enjoying a four-year career as a mainstay in the rotation of Golden Eagles pitchers (1981 -1984). Schoenrock then moved to Murray State University to serve as a pitching coach under the late Johnny Reagan (ABCA Hall of Famer) in 1986 and 1987. In the summer of 1987, Schoenrock joined future mentor Brian Shoop as a coach Bryan Packers pitchers. (College Summer Team, Starkville, Mississippi). Schoenrock then accepted the head coaching position at Lincoln Memorial University and served two seasons there (1988, 1989) and was named the 1989 Tennessee Valley Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. This success led to “joining” Brian Shoop as his top assistant (when Shoop left his position as assistant coach at Mississippi State to become the head coach of Birmingham-Southern College) in the summer. 1989. During their eight years together in Birmingham. , the Panthers enjoyed remarkable success with a 322-139 overall record in those eight seasons and a trip to the NAIA World Series in 1995.
Schoenrock earned his first nomination in the very difficult Southeastern Conference (SEC) with a move to the University of Kentucky in the summer of 1989 to join ABCA Hall of Famer Keith Madison as a launch coach/recruitment coordinator. At Kentucky, Schoenrock mentored a youngster Brandon Webb, who won Major League Baseball’s National League Cy Young Award in 2007. Another mainstay of those Kentucky teams included future Major League infielder Andy Green (former San Diego Padres manager). Kentucky earned SEC Tournament berths in each of Schoenrock’s two years at Lexington.
In the summer of 1999, ABCA Hall of Famer and SEC Dean of Coaching Ron Polk came out of retirement from Mississippi State and agreed to take charge of rebuilding the program at the University of Georgia. Polk immediately summoned Schoenrock to Athens from Lexington to help with this rebuilding effort and after a return to the SEC Tournament in 2000, the 2001 Bulldogs won the SEC Championship. Georgia went on to host and win an NCAA Regional, beat Florida State in a thrilling Super Regional in Athens, and qualified for the 2001 College World Series in Omaha to put an emphatic stamp on their two years in Athens. .
With work in Mississippi State “open” again, Polk returned to Starkville in the summer of 2001 to lead the legendary program and Schoenrock accompanied him there for an impressive three-year two-regional run, hosting regional in 2003). Notable Bulldog pitchers Jonathan Papelbon and Paul Maholm (7and overall pick in the 2003 MLB Draft) honed their craft under Schoenrock in Starkville. Schoenrock’s experiences under Brian Shoop, Keith Madison, and Ron Polk led to his emergence as the lead candidate for the University of Memphis vacancy in the summer of 2004 and his tenure at Memphis began. .
In his 37 years as a college baseball coach, Schoenrock coached 110 players who transitioned to professional baseball, including 68 pitchers. Among those numbers are the 39 Tigers who had the opportunity to transition to the professional ranks during his 17 years in Memphis (including 26 pitchers), including recent Major League Tigers Jacob Wilson and Sam Moll. In addition, three Tigers (Chad Zurcher, 2011 C-USA Player of the Year, Jacob Wilson, 2012 C-USA Player of the Year and Erik Schoenrock, 2013 C-USA Pitcher of the Year) were elected by the conference coaches as Player or Pitcher of the Year.
Schoenrock teams also continue to excel off the pitch. His teams have posted 20 consecutive semesters with at least a 3.0 team GPA and have always been very active in the community partnering with The Down’s Syndrome of Memphis on their annual Step-Up Walk, The Forever Young Veterans Association , Ronald McDonald House’s annual radiothon. , and the Germantown Community Center after-school program at various Germantown elementary schools.
Schoenrock authored a pitching instructional book titled “The Total Pitching Program” in 1995 and has spoken at various national coaching clinics, including the prestigious ABCA National Clinic in 1999. In the summer of 1995, Schoenrock got a sabbatical from Birmingham-Southern College as he was hired as a pitching coach for the Bristol White Sox (a short-season subsidiary of the Chicago White Sox). He served for six years on the ABCA committee for the prestigious Lefty Gomez Award and was president of the American Athletic Conference baseball coaches from 2014-2017. He is currently the staff liaison for The Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the University of Memphis.
Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and raised (1st elementary through high school) in Fayetteville, Tennessee, Schoenrock was an all-district quarterback and pitcher and a 1980 graduate of Lincoln County High School. He received a BS in Secondary Education/Biology from Tennessee Tech in 1984 and a Masters in Secondary Education/Biology from Murray State University in 1987. He is married to Carol Cawood Schoenrock and they have two sons, Erik and Bret. Erik (former pitcher for the Tiger and San Diego Padres organization) is currently the head baseball coach at Southwest Tennessee Community College, while Bret attends Southwest Tennessee Community College and serves as the Director of Baseball/COO of equipment.
Major Leagues Coached: Brandon Webb, Andy Green, Jeff Keppinger, Jonathan Papelbon, Paul Maholm, Alan Johnson, Craig Tatum, Sam Moll, Jacob Wilson
|SCHOENROCK TRAINING TIMELINE|
|2005-present:||University of Memphis (head coach)|
|2002-04:||Mississippi State (assistant coach)|
|2000-01:||University of Georgia (assistant coach)|
|1998-99:||University of Kentucky (assistant coach)|
|1995:||Chicago White Sox organization (pitching coach)|
|1990-97:||Birmingham Southern (assistant coach)|
|1988-89:||Lincoln Memorial High School (head coach)|
|1986-87:||Murray State (graduate assistant)|
|1985:||Tennessee Tech (graduate assistant)|