Mike Byrnes Reaches Milestone Win #500 With Win Over Texas College

PINEVILLE, La. – The Louisiana Christian University baseball program defeated the Texas College Steers on Saturday afternoon by a final score of 19-1, giving the legendary Head Coach Mike Byrnes his historic 500th win at his alma mater Louisiana College / Christian University.

In an era where college coaches move onto greener pastures after the slightest resemblance of success, Coach Byrnes is an anomaly in the midst of his 24th season on “The Hill”.

“Wow 500! What an accomplishment on the field… If you know anything about Coach Byrnes, he would quickly tell you that 500 is great but he’s prouder of the young men he’s coached,” proclaimed Athletic Director Reni Mason. “Quite frankly he’s been a cornerstone of this institution for a quarter of a century!! We honor and celebrate him!”

He has molded thousands of student-athletes not only into great baseball players but also into role models for young men in society. Since his arrival in May of 2000, the team has seen nearly 30 former Wildcats suit up at the professional level including Scott Sumner, who became only the third player in school history to be drafted when he was selected in the 20th round of the 2005 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians.

Taking over a struggling program at the end of the 2000 campaign, the three-time American Southwest East Division Coach of the Year transformed the Orange and Blue into a force immediately, earning three consecutive trips to the NCCAA Tournament from 2001 to 2003 with the last two years featuring back-to-back berths in the World Series.

The Diamond Cats have made the postseason in 17 of his 23 (73.9%) campaigns and are well on their way to the third straight bid in the Red River Athletic Conference in 2024. He also has led the Diamond Dwellers to overall records of .500 or better 14 times and 20-plus wins 13 times.

He leads all active collegiate coaches at four-year institutions in the state of Louisiana, well ahead of the second-highest person, LSU’s Jay Johnson, who has won 427 contests in 12 seasons, but most of those wins came at three other stops (Point Loma, Nevada, and Arizona) while Byrnes has done it all with LC / LCU.

Nationwide at the NAIA level, coming into the season he was 98 shy of placing in the top-25, sitting behind Adam Neisius from Friends (Kansas) who began 2024 at 578.

He has transformed the stadium into one of the country’s finest facilities courtesy of one million dollars through private donations which helped build the fieldhouse and locker rooms as well as lay down a turf infield among other things.

During the school’s days in the NCAA Division III’s American Southwest Conference, fans consistently filled Billy Allgood Field to the point where LC led the league in average attendance in four separate seasons.

Between 2001 and 2021, the Orange and Blue notched 81 All-American Southwest Conference Team honorees on top of an additional 11 members of either the All-RRAC Team or Gold Glove recipients since moving to the Red River.

Not only has the club performed on the diamond, but the team has also excelled in the classroom during his tenure with over 200 Academic All-Conference selections as well as a handful of Academic All-Americans.



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