Three coaches part of Hall of Fame class

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Three baseball coaches and a former assistant tournament director have been elected to the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) College coach Tim Wallace, South Suburban (Ill.) College coach Steve Ruzich and Suffolk County (N.Y.) Community College coach Eric Brown join former NJCAA Division II World Series assistant tournament director Thomas Rogers in this year’s Hall of Fame class.

The four inductees will be honored at the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series pre-tournament banquet on May 23 at Two Rivers Convention Center.

Wallace has led Spartanburg Methodist to the Division I World Series in Grand Junction six times since 2001. The Pioneers placed third in 2007 and fifth in 2009. He is 12th among active coaches with 984 wins and has the lowest number of losses (307) amongst coaches with 900 or more wins.

Wallace, who is also the Spartanburg Methodist athletic director, is in the school’s Hall of Honor. He’s had 16 players earn All-America honors and 68 sign professional contracts.

Ruzich is going into his 28th season at South Suburban. He is 22 wins away from 1,000 in his career with a 978-565 record (.634) and ranks 13th among active coaches in career victories.

He has led the Bulldogs to 10 Region 4 titles and two appearances in the JUCO World Series.

Ruzich has coached 12 All-Americans and had 22 players selected in the MLB draft.

Brown has coached the Suffolk County baseball program for 25 years, the longest tenure of any athletic program at the New York school.

He has led the Sharks to five appearances in the Division III World Series and is a five-time recipient of the Region 15/District F Coach of the Year award.

He has a record of 540-286-4.

Rogers has served as the Division II World Series assistant tournament director for 14 years. He was instrumental in finding a home for the tournament in Millington, Tenn., for those 14 years.

Rogers coordinated and assisted teams in all phases of the national tournament, according to a news release from the NJCAA.

Tickets for the JUCO banquet will go on sale in April. Former Major League manager Tony LaRussa, who was recently elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, is the featured speaker.

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