NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association Releases 2013 Hall of Fame Class
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association has announced its 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame class.
This year’s inductees include former coaches Donald Green of Jefferson State Community College (Ala.), Stephen Hertz of Miami Dade College (Fla.), and Jim Walker of College of Southern Idaho. The 2013 class also includes longtime NJCAA Division I World Series Tournament Vice-Chairman and volunteer Bruce Hill of Grand Junction, Colo.
The four inductees will be honored at the pre-tournament banquet of the 2013 NJCAA Division I World Series on May 24 in Grand Junction, Colo.
Head Coach, 1967-96
Jefferson State Community College (Ala.)
For 28 years Donald Green piloted the baseball program at Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, Ala. He compiled a 622-428 (.592) career mark in the NJCAA, which ranked him in the top 20 all-time among inactive coaches in the association when he retired in 1996.
Green’s teams won the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) North Division 10 times and twice captured the Region 22 title. He was named the North Division Coach of the Year on nine occasions and was a two-time Region 22 Coach of Year recipient.
In addition to coaching, Green promoted baseball in the Alabama region, serving as president of the ACCC Baseball Committee for three years. From 1991 through 1996, he held the position of Athletic Director at Jefferson State.
A native of Birmingham, he was an accomplished athlete at Jones Valley High School. He attended Florida State University and Samford University on football scholarships, lettering three years at Samford, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. He later earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of Alabama.
He was inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2001 and the ACCC Hall of Fame in 2004.
Green passed away on April 14, 2011 after a long battle with cancer.
Head Coach, 1980, 1986-2012
South Georgia College
Steve Hertz spent a quarter century as the head baseball coach at Miami Dade College. During his tenure, his teams finished as either the champions or runners up of the Southern Conference 19 times (10 championships / 9 runners-up). Even more impressive, his teams advanced to the Region 8/Gulf District tournament 19 times during his 26 seasons as head coach.
His 2001 squad won the Gulf District title, advancing to the JUCO World Series where they finished fifth.
Miami Dade was consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally under Hertz and he was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year 10 times and Region 8/Gulf District Coach of the Year once.
He retired in 2010 with a career NJCAA mark of 945-325 (.750). He is one of just 36 coaches in NJCAA history with 900 or more career victories. Including a combined 15 years as the head coach at Coral Park and Southridge high schools in Miami, Hertz’s all-time coaching record stands at 1,245-420 (.748) over 41 years.
More than 150 players tutored by Hertz signed professional contracts, including four currently in Major League Baseball – Placido Polonco (MDC 1993-94); Andres Torres (MDC 1997-98); Jon Albaladejo (MDC 2000-01); and Jesus Feliciano (MDC 1998).
Hertz has also coached at the international level. He helped Team USA win gold at the 1999 Pan American Maccabi Games as an assistant coach. Returning to the same tournament in 2003, Hertz was head coach of Team USA and led the squad to the gold medal. In 2007, he led the Tel Aviv Lightning to the semifinals of the inaugural season of the Israel Professional Baseball League.
A notable baseball player during his time, he signed a professional contract with the Houston Col 45’s in 1963 and made his MLB debut that year at the age of 19 – the eighth youngest player that season. In the minor leagues he twice was an All-Star (1965 Western Carolina League and 1966 Florida State League). He concluded his professional career in 1969 at the Triple-A level with the New York Mets affiliate in Tidewater, Va.
Hertz is a member of the following halls of fame: Florida College System Activities Association (2007), Coral Park High School (2006) and Miami High School (1985).
Jim ‘Skip’ Walker
Head Coach, 1974-2004
Indian Hills Community College (Iowa)
Jim Walker led one of the most successful baseball programs in the western United States for 30 years. As the head coach at the College Southern Idaho, Walker guided the Golden Eagles to regional and national success.
Walker’s teams captured the Scenic West Conference/NJCAA Region 18 championship 12 times during his tenure. In addition, the Golden Eagles claimed eight NJCAA Western District titles, advancing to the JUCO World Series. At the national tournament in Grand Junction, CSI won a national championship in 1984 and also placed third in 1988, fourth in 1986 and 1994, and fifth in 1976.
In addition to his success with CSI, Walker has also helped Team USA to success on the diamond. In 1980 he was the assistant coach for Team USA at the World Games in Japan and the Friendship Games in Korea and Taiwan. In 1987 and ’88 he again was an assistant for Team USA squads that participated in the World Games in Canada and Venezuela. In 1998 he was an advisor for the Netherlands Olympic team.
Walker retired as the head coach at CSI in 2004 with an overall career record of 1,061-349 (.752). He is one of just 22 coaches in NJCAA history to reach 1,000 career victories. He was inducted into the CSI Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003 and the college’s baseball facility was named his honor the same year. In 2012 he was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Forever a baseball coach, Walker continues to be a part of the Golden Eagles program as an assistant coach. His son, Boomer, is currently in his eighth season as CSI’s head coach.
Tournament Vice Chairman, 1987-present
NJCAA JUCO World Series
Grand Junction, Colo.
A native of Grand Junction, Bruce Hill has helped advance significant improvements and success to the NJCAA Division I World Series over the past three decades. He first volunteered with the local JUCO Tournament Committee in Grand Junction in 1987 as a team host and marketing director. It didn’t take long before Hill was tabbed to his current position as Tournament Vice Chairman.
Hills passion and dedication to the JUCO World Series has been instrumental in the overall operation of the event each year. He has been a true ambassador for the JUCO World Series, Grand Junction and the NJCAA, volunteering his time traveling and advising college coaches and administrators in regards to the tournament.
Likely his greatest contributions took place during his tenure as City Councilman (2003-12) and Mayor for the City of Grand Junction (2009-11). His understanding and support of the JUCO World Series helped the tournament thrive in conjunction with community support. His leadership was paramount in the build-up and completion of the recent $8.3 million dollar renovation to Lincoln Park and Sam Suplizio Field, which has hosted the NJCAA’s premier baseball championship since 1959.
Hill is the owner and president of Superior Alarm, Inc., of Grand Junction. In 1997 he was honored with the “Citizen of the Year” award from the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce and the 2003 recipient of “Small Business of the Year” award. He most recently was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni to Colorado Mesa University in 2006 for his years of dedication and service to his community.
ABOUT the NJCAA
Since 1938 the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has been the governing body of two-year college athletics, offering athletic and academic opportunities to college students. Now entering its 75th anniversary, the NJCAA is the second largest national intercollegiate athletic organization in the United States with over 500 member schools in 43 states. Each year 60,000 student-athletes compete in one of 28 different sports and the organization sponsors 48 national championship events and nine football bowl games. NJCAA Headquarters has been located in Colorado Springs, Colo., since 1985. For more information visit www.njcaa.org.