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Head coach Darin Hendrickson cheers on his team against SEMO on Wednesday, April 13, at the Billiken Sports Complex. Hendrickson is in his fourth year as skipper of the Billikens. Shah (Yuqing Xia) / Associate Photo Editor

In his four-year reign as head coach of Saint Louis University men’s baseball team, Coach Darin Hendrickson has led the program into one of its most successful eras in school history. Leading the team to a school-record 33 wins last year and the Atlantic 10 Title, Hendrickson has already posted an impressive 20-13 record before heading into the game last night.

“It’s not our record or how many wins that define our success but how hard we play each day,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson has led the team to back-to-back 30-win seasons and increased the total wins each year. Before this season, he had already notched 87 wins and led four players to the MLB Draft. He and his staff have worked to transform the program into the best in the A-10, and he has found success. Not only did the team claim the A-10 Championship in 2010 but also qualified for the 2010 NCAA Baseball Louisville Regional.

“That was a once in a lifetime experience, and I was lucky to be able to coach a team that made the Regional this early in my career. Hopefully we can live up to expectations and continue that success this year,” Hendrickson said.

Before his tenure as head coach, the baseball team had found success but not to the extent that it has recently. Under his leadership, the team has defeated nationally ranked opponents such as Ohio State and Kansas in major tournaments. Hendrickson credits his players for the team’s recent success while his players credit him.

“He’s intense every day, but he’s got that fire in him to go out there and lead us to win games,” senior infielder Jon Myers said.
“It’s a lot more intense playing college ball, but playing for him is always interesting. He’s fun to be with and a funny guy but serious about his job and serious about what he does . . . I’ve learned a lot from him,” freshman Pat McGlynn said.

Hendrickson finds it difficult on both his staff and his players to play a 56 game schedule while traveling across the country. “I’m proud of our team and proud of our kids and the way they compete each and every day and still maintain great GPAs,” Hendrickson said.
Prior to SLU, Hendrickson had coached at Central Missouri, Forest Park Community College and Fontbonne University, earning a career record of 577-257 before this season. He graduated from SIU Edwardsville in 1992 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science before earning a Master’s Degree in Sociology in 1995, but since then has followed his passion for baseball.
“Ironically, I actually planned on attending SLU Law School, but my LSAT score wasn’t good enough, so I decided to pursue coaching, my real passion,” Hendrickson said.

“I love the competiveness and watching players at this stage try to get the most out of their years here. I don’t think there’s a better experience a person can have than experiencing college athletics at the D-1 level,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson started his SLU career on a very strong note leading the team to 24 victories and sending two players to the 2008 MLB Draft. In the same year, Hendrickson notched his 500th career victory against Fordham.

“It’s been tough given our lack of facilities and resources, but my staff has done an amazing job recruiting guys. When it comes down to it, it’s not my staff and I who hit our spots, make the plays, hit the ball; it’s the players,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson and his team hope the team can live up to the high expectations set last season. “We want to win the A-10, and I think we’re on track to have a realistic shot of doing that again,” Myers said.

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Meet the SLU Skipper