Portions of this story contributed by Webber International (Fla.) Athletics
BABSON PARK, Fla. – For the first time in its 26-year history, the Webber International (Fla.) baseball team will have a new face leading the program as its head coach. As Coach Brad Niethammer officially steps away as the head man of the program and moves into his new role as Director of Baseball Operations while also focusing on his position as Assistant Athletic Director at Webber, WIU's Director of Athletics Darren Richie has announced Collin Martin as the new head coach of Warrior baseball.
Brad Niethammer has been the only head coach in the history of Webber baseball, beginning his first year in 1994. He will retire with over 750 career wins, a career record of 765-659 (which puts him in the top 20 on the NAIA's list of winningest active coaches), a .537 winning percentage, the program's first and only Sun Conference Tournament Championship in 2018, three straight NAIA National Championship Opening Round appearances from 2017 through 2019, a USCAA National Championship in 2005, 16 30-plus win seasons and 14 postseason appearances.
On the national stage, Niethammer has been a big part of the Avista NAIA World Series. There, he served as both a volunteer for the American Baseball Coaches' Association (ABCA) and as a member of the tournament committee for the past five years. In 2019, the former skipper of the Warriors led the committee, stepping in for 2019 NAIA-ABCA President Kip McWilliams of Indiana Tech.
“Brad has been a strong leader representing his fellow coaches as an officer and President of the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Association," said Mike Higgins, NAIA Director of Championships. "He knows the game inside and out and also has tremendous administrative insight.”
"It's been a fun ride, but its good timing for a change," spoke Niethammer. "Collin [Martin] is the guy to take this program to the next level. He has a passion for the players, the game, and a knowledge of baseball to lead the Warriors in the right direction. I just want to thank Rex Yentes and Nancy Nichols, the two people who gave me the opportunity to start my college coaching career."
Webber's Director of Athletics, Mr. Darren Richie said, "Coach Niethammer has demonstrated true servant leadership as he guided this program for 26 years and mentored over 1,000 student-athletes along the way. He will step away from coaching baseball with 765 career wins but will continue to make an impact at Webber as an administrator."
Webber International has since announced the hiring of current assistant coach Collin Martin to fill the vacated role. Martin is a former player for Niethammer and is the son of Philadelphia Phillies' manager Charlie Manuel. For more information on Martin's hiring, click here.