After his Warrior baseball team turned heads with 74 wins, a conference title and two trips to nationals in his two years on the job, coach Jordan Bischel will be leaving one Midland for another.
Bischel was announced as the new coach at Division II Northwood University in Midland, Mich., Wednesday putting the cap on an impressive two years in Fremont. Bischel and his wife Katie are both Wisconsin natives with the opportunity to move closer to home being too good to pass up.
“I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Midland University for giving me my first chance as a head coach and beyond that the special relationship with my players,” Bischel said. “(Katie and I) just thought this was the best thing for our family.”
The decision was not an easy one mainly due to his feelings to both his team and MU at large, with Bischel fondly remembering several moments of his tenure including winning the GPAC Tournament championship in May. MU delayed the final out against Dakota Wesleyan with a pair of late errors but once the Warriors finally got the final out they celebrated with a dog pile Bischel and the team had been working towards for two seasons.
Midland finished the season with a school-record 43 wins (including one at nationals) after winning just 13 in the season before Bischel’s arrival from an assistant position at Division II Northwest Missouri State.
“I’m lucky to have been a part of these last two seasons,” Bischel said. “We have people leaving here with two seasons of great memories and not just of winning games but the relationships and great things they’ve done off the field at Midland.
“I really enjoyed working at Midland… these were unbelievable players that made my life a lot of fun. Like I always tell my players it’s important to leave things better than you found them. In this case I feel good leaving this program in better shape than I arrived, taking nothing away from the success (MU) had before I got here but it was a great two years.”
For its part, Midland announced the beginning of a ‘nationwide search’ in a press release Monday morning, with outgoing MU president (and Republican United States Senate candidate) Ben Sasse praising Bischel’s two years of work in Fremont.
“Coach Bischel has built a championship caliber program where success is achieved through hard work, discipline, and a positive attitude," Sasse said in the release. "His teams have taken Midland baseball to new heights, and the table has been set to achieve even greater things in the future.”
Bischel made a point of stating confidence in the current pitching staff’s readiness to maintain the team during the coaching transition, saying Midland ‘had a great coaching staff, not a great head coach.’
Northwood is banking otherwise, hiring Bischel after a 19-27 season that saw the Timberwolves go 10-21 in conference play. Northwood is part of a multi-campus private university (the Michigan campus was the first) that only awards business degrees. The Michigan campus has nearly 2,000 students and is the only D2 school of the bunch.
Bischel said he’s looking forward to the challenge of turning a second program around, saying one lesson he learned at MU will be the foundation of Timberwolves baseball in the coming years.
“The lesson I’m taking from here is that if you have really good players, they’ll make you look like a really good coach,” Bischel said. “No joke the players we had here were not only talented but they worked really hard and were committed. They made me look good.”