Rock bottom: ULM fires baseball coach Peddie – Monroe News Star
Bruce Peddie entered his third full season as ULM baseball coach knowing it was a big year for his tenure on campus.
Improvement and a berth in the Sun Belt tournament was expected from both university officials and a jaded fanbase.
ULM’s conference tournament hopes are gone. And so are Peddie’s chances of returning to the dugout in 2018.
Peddie was fired on Saturday amidst ULM’s worst baseball season in program history. The Warhawks finished the year 12-43 and clinched a dead-last finish in the Sun Belt with a 6-24 conference mark after getting swept by UL Lafayette.
ULM has now lost 22 straight baseball games to the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Peddie told the Warhawks during a morning team meeting and coached Saturday’s season finale.
ULM’s overall record under Peddie’s direction was 72-126
Peddie had one year remaining on a four-year contract that paid him $80,000 with a $1,000 bonus each year if the baseball program produced an APR score of 950 or higher.
ULM had its most success under Peddie in 2014, when he took over as interim coach midway through the season after Jeff Schexnaider was fired. Peddie led the Warhawks to a 15-19 finish and the program’s last appearance in the Sun Belt tournament.
Peddie was promoted to full-time head coach in May 2014, but only received a one-year contract. ULM and Peddie later agreed to a four-year deal through 2018 that December.
ULM finished 25-29 in 2015, Peddie’s first full season, but regressed to 20-35 last spring as attendance dwindled at Warhawk Field; once the rowdiest venue on campus.
Peddie hoped the addition of 16 new players this offseason would give the team the jumpstart it needed, but instead ULM is off to its worst start since 2005.
Despite an inauspicious start that included a 32-4 loss to McNeese State in the home opener, ULM sat just two games out of first place in the Sun Belt West standings entering the South Alabama series on April 7.
The Warhawks proceeded to drop 20 of their next 24 games and seven consecutive conference series. ULM’s lone series win in Sun Belt play was over Little Rock in late March.
While ULM’s hitting has improved in 2017, it continued to struggle at the plate with runners in scoring position. Its pitching staff plummeted to dead last in the Sun Belt in almost every statistical category due to injury and ineffectiveness.
Closer Anthony Herrera is the only Warhawk with an ERA under 4.00.
Peddie joined Schexnaider’s staff as hitting coach prior to the 2014 season. When Schexnaider was fired that March following a series loss at Troy, it fell to Peddie to finish out the year.
Prior to ULM, Peddie spent seven seasons at the University of New Orleans and the last four as head coach. Peddie’s tenure leading the Privateers was best remembered for the university’s decision to flip flop from Division I to Division II and ultimately back to Division I status.
Recruiting suffered as a result of UNO’s athletic instability and Peddie was fired following the 2013 season with a 41-160 record.
Peddie enjoyed his greatest success at Division II Shippensburg (Pa.), where his 11-years the Raiders were 331-241-3, made the NCAA Tournament five times and played in the 1996 Division II World Series.
Peddie played college baseball at Division II Mansfield (Pa.) and started his coaching career at his alma mater in 1989.
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