TAHLEQUAH, Okla. --- Sergio Espinal announced Monday he will step down as head baseball coach at Northeastern State University, effectively immediately.
"After considerable thought and soul-searching, I have decided to tender my resignation," said Espinal, in a letter to Matt Cochran, interim athletic director. " I assure you it was not an easy decision to make.
"I feel this is a good time to further pursue my career goals. I have given the university my best in developing a premier baseball program. My years at Northeastern State have been rewarding and challenging. I cannot express the gratitude I feel for this institution, and the relationships my family and I have developed during my tenure are irreplaceable."
Cochran praised Espinal for his dedication and service.
"For more than a decade Sergio Espinal has been a great ambassador for Northeastern State and RiverHawks Athletics," said Cochran. "His commitment was unwavering, he worked well with our other coaches and he always had high expectations for his teams. We will sorely miss Coach Espinal, and we wish his family and him the best as they embark on their future opportunities."
Despite a 6-33 overall record in 2011, Espinal-led teams had many successes. In 2003, NSU led NCAA Division II in home runs. Two players, Cody Cisper and Joel Eusebio, were MLB draftees and Nick Zodrow became Northeastern State's first-ever NCAA Division II baseball All-American under Espinal's guidance. Several others have gone on, after graduating from NSU, to play in Independent Baseball Leagues throughout the country.
Espinal came to NSU from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. A native of New York, Espinal played collegiate baseball for legendary coach Gary Ward at Oklahoma State as a middle infielder. Espinal was a part of teams that earned four consecutive berths into the NCAA College World Series during the 1980s.
Espinal also spent time in the Chicago Cubs’ minor league system before returning to college to finish his undergraduate degree at the University of North Texas. He later earned his master’s degree from North Alabama while serving as a graduate assistant.
Cochran said a process will be established at Northeastern State to identify a new baseball head coach in the coming weeks.
Published: 5/9/2011 2:36:36 PM