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Oct '14 24

Meet the Speakers of the EBCA Convention 2014: John Vodenlich (UW-Whitewater)

The European Baseball Coaches Association is holding its annual EBCA Convention from November 7 to 9 in Prague, Czech Republic. The Best Western Premier Hotel Majestic Plaza is hosting the convention. Mister-Baseball.com as usual is going to introduce the speakers at the baseball clinic:

EBCA 2014 Prague Speakers

John Vodenlich

John Vodenlich enters his 12th season at the helm of the UW-Whitewater baseball program. He has taken the Warhawks to heights unreached prior to his arrival on campus. While the Whitewater program has had longstanding success, Vodenlich has set a new standard, turning the Warhawks into a NCAA Division III college baseball power.

During Vodenlich’s 11 seasons as head coach, the Warhawks have won eight WIAC championships, qualified for the NCAA Championships 10 times and appeared in the NCAA Division III College World Series five times, including winning the 2014 and 2005 NCAA Division III National Championships. Vodenlich earned his 400th career victory during the team’s 2014 World Series appearance. The Warhawks knocked off SUNY Cortland (N.Y.) 9-6 to make Vodenlich the second coach in program history to reach the milestone.

Vodenlich has been on the coaching staff for all 11 of Whitewater’s winningest seasons, with nine of the 11 coming during his time as head coach. During the 2000’s, Whitewater had the 11th most victories in NCAA Division III. Off the field, Vodenlich has been honored as the WIAC Coach of the Year six times, was named the NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association in 2005 and 2014, and was honored as the NCAA Regional Coach of the Year in 2004, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014.

In 2007, Vodenlich was inducted into the UW-Whitewater Athletic Hall of Fame and was awarded with the WBCA College Coach of the Year in 2004, 2008 and 2011. He was tabbed the WBCA’s Man of the Year in 2005.Players coming to play under Vodenlich can expect to grow thanks to his determined player development exertions. Twelve student-athletes have developed into All-Americans during Vodenlich’s tenure.Since joining the Whitewater program as a player in 1989 and the coaching staff in 1994, 27 former Warhawks have signed professional contracts, the first being former Major League closer Bob Wickman, who Vodenlich caught at Whitewater.

In addition to his great impact on the game in the United States, Vodenlich also is an internationally known clinician, conducting coaching clinics in Germany, England, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary.

Before joining the coaching ranks, Vodenlich was one of the best players to ever take the field for Whitewater. Playing from 1989-1992, Vodenlich finished with a .397 career batting average, good for third all-time in school history. His .456 average in 1991 is the second best single season average in program history.Vodenlich was an ABCA All-American in 1991 and 1992, the first two-time All-American at Whitewater.Following his collegiate career, Vodenlich went on to play professionally in Europe, winning the Slovenian National Championship in 1994.Vodenlich joined Jim Miller’s coaching staff as an assistant coach in 1994 and stayed on the staff until 1998, when he was named the head coach at Edgewood College.

Prior to Vodenlich’s tenure at Edgewood, the Eagles had an all-time record of 33-133 and never had seen a winning season.Vodenlich needed just two seasons to change that, setting a school record for wins in his first season, but then shattering it the following season, giving Edgewood its first winning campaign in program history.Following the 1999 season, Vodenlich returned to Whitewater and rejoined Miller’s staff as an assistant coach.With Miller’s retirement coming following the 2003 season, Whitewater didn’t have to look far to find its seventh head coach in school history.It’s a hire the school certainly hasn’t regretted.Naming Vodenlich head coach for the 2004 season immediately paid off for the university as the Warhawks set a new school record for wins and made just their second trip to the NCAA Division III College World Series.

Under Vodenlich’s guidance in 2005, Whitewater set a new school record for wins with 45, fewest losses with 7 and made another trip to Appleton for the College World Series. This time around the Warhawks weren’t denied and won their first National Championship.Whitewater returned to the College World Series in 2008 and again in 2011. The Warhawks returned to Appleton in 2014, winning the program’s second-ever NCAA Division III championship to complete the institution’s “trifecta” of national titles during the 2013-14 academic year. UW-Whitewater’s football, men’s basketball and baseball teams all won national championships to become the first school at any level of the NCAA to win those three titles in the same year.With a bachelor’s in marketing and public relations from UW-Whitewater in 1992, Vodenlich earned his master’s in business administration from the university in 1994.

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