Legendary Mississippi State baseball coach Ron Polk, the winningest coach in the history of the Southeastern Conference, will return to Wareham for the 2020 season after coaching with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks for many years.
In July 2009, Polk was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 1995. In 1988, he was presented with the Lefty Gomez Award, the highest award given by the ABCA.
Polk retired from Mississippi State in 2008 following his 29th season at the school. He currently ranks ninth all-time in NCAA Division I career head coaches victories.
Polk concluded his 35-year career as a head coach with a record of 1,373-700-2 (.662). In his career, which also included stints at Georgia Southern (1972-75) and Georgia (2000-01), Polk led his teams to a total of eight College World Series appearances, five SEC Championships and 23 Regional appearances. He is one of only three coaches in college baseball history to take three different programs to the College World Series.
At Mississippi State, Polk recruited and coached some of the game’s all-time greats including MLB standouts Jeff Brantley, Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro, Bobby Thigpen and Jonathan Papelbon.
A three-time National Coach of the Year, Polk held the position of Assistant Athletics Director for Special Projects at Mississippi State following his team’s College World Series run in 1997. While in that position, Polk spearheaded a successful campaign to expand Polk-DeMent Stadium in Starkville. He returned to coaching Georgia in 2000 where he spent two years before making the move back to Mississippi State for his final seasons.
Perhaps Polk’s most talented Mississippi State squad ever was the 1985 version. That club finished the year 50-15 and was SEC Champion before going on to appear in the College World Series. The 1985 Bulldog club featured future major league stars Brantley, Clark, Palmeiro and Thigpen.
IN his 35-years as a head baseball coach, Polk produced 35 All-American and more than 75 All-SEC performers.
In addition to Polk’s work in the collegiate ranks, the Boston, Mass., native has complete seven tours as a member of the coaching staff for the USA National Baseball Team, twice serving as head coach. Two of the teams he coached represented the United States in the Olympics.
Polk has also written many books on coaching baseball. He has authored “The Baseball Playbook”, the nation’s leading textbook for baseball, and is featured in the book, “6 Psychological Factors for Success: America’s more Successful Coaches Reveal the Path Competitive Excellence.”
Polk will primarily work with the position players this summer.