FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern Athletics Director Hank Small announced the hiring of former Buccaneer baseball player, Stuart Lake, as the new head baseball coach, Monday morning.
A 1994 graduate of CSU returns to his alma mater after having spent time at South Carolina, Mississippi, College of Charleston, and his most recent stop, The Citadel.
“I am very excited to have this opportunity to be the head coach at the school I got my degree from,” said Lake. “Having graduated from here, I am familiar with CSU and what it stands for. I am so thankful to Dr. Hunter and Hank for allowing me to help grow this program. I also really want to say ‘thank you’ to The Citadel athletics department and especially Coach Jordan for what they have allowed me to do over the past two years.”
Lake becomes the ninth head baseball coach in school history, and the third CSU/Baptist College graduate to coach the Buccaneers, including Ralph Ciabattari and Jamie Futrell.
“I am pleased to have an alumnus as our new head coach,” said Small. “He is so familiar with CSU, but also has a great amount of experience. He has worked with some of the best coaches, not only in the area, but the country, in Ray Tanner (South Carolina), John Pawlowski (C of C), Mike Bianco (Ole Miss) and Fred Jordan (The Citadel).”
In Lake’s 13-year coaching career, he has coached over 75 players who have gone on to play professional baseball with 31 of those being drafted in the first 10 rounds. Seven of those 13 were drafted in the first round. Three of his players have been named SEC Player of the Year and one named Southern Conference Player of the Year. Two of his players have been named to the Golden Spikes Award Watch List with one winning that coveted award. Lake has had 10 former athletes reach the Major League and Lake is one of the few who can ever claim to coach a player that eventually appeared in the Major League All-Star Game, World Series and the Super Bowl.
Lake spent the past two years across town as an assistant for The Citadel Baseball program, where was responsible for coaching the hitters and outfielders, and was very involved in recruiting prospective student-athletes.
“I’m so happy to be in the part of the state that feels like home,” said Lake. “What I really want for this program is to get involved with the community and alumni. I think we have a great opportunity to impact the community.”
Prior to The Citadel, Lake spent three seasons as an assistant for the Ole Miss Rebels, where he was responsible for the hitters and outfielders. Ole Miss enjoyed three of the school’s most successful seasons in history with 39 wins in 2004, 47 in 2005 and 44 in 2006. The Rebels hosted an NCAA Regional in all three of Lake’s years, as well as two NCAA Super Regionals. The 2005 edition of the Ole Miss ball club won the Southeastern Conference Western Division and the 2006 team won the SEC Tournament Championship.
In Lake’s first year at Ole Miss, the Rebels offense belted 14 more home runs than in the previous year and the team’s .444 slugging percentage was 33 points higher than the year before. In addition, the Rebels topped the 600-hit mark with 614 base hits.
In the 2005 season, the Rebels continued to improve offensively, producing more than 750 hits, scoring more than 500 runs and driving in 462 runs on the way to claiming the SEC Western Division title, the program’s first in 23 seasons. The Rebels also had six hitters hit over the .300 mark that year.
The 2006 season witnessed Ole Miss lead the extremely tough SEC in hitting as the Rebels batted at the .309 clip for the year and four Rebels finished in the top eight in the SEC in total hits for the season. The Ole Miss offense produced more than 700 hits for the second straight season as the Rebels won the SEC Tournament on its way to a second straight NCAA Super Regional.
Prior to his stint at Ole Miss, Lake spent one season at the College of Charleston. In his only year with the Cougars, Lake served as third base coach, hitting instructor and outfield coach.
Lake began his collegiate coaching career at South Carolina in 1999, where he coached the outfielders, coached first base and assisted with the hitters. During his time at USC, the Gamecocks won three SEC East Division titles, two SEC Championships, played in three NCAA Super Regionals and reached the College World Series Championship Game in 2002.
Lake helped two SEC Player of the Year winners during his stint as a Gamecock. One of those players, Kip Bouknight, was also the 2002 Golden Spikes Award Winner.
Prior to his collegiate coaching career, Lake coached at Mid Carolina High School (his alma mater) and at Brookland Cayce High School in Columbia. Brookland Cayce won the AAA State Championship in Lake’s second year in 1998. Lake also served as the head coach of the Edenton Steamers of the Coastal Plain League in 2000.
Lake is married to the former Tracie Smith of Clover, S.C. The couple has one son, Hayden (3).
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHARLESTON SOUTHERN MEDIA RELATIONS