MIDLAND, MICH. – The Northwood University Athletic Department has announced the hiring of Jake Sabol as the head coach of the baseball program.
He becomes the eighth head coach in the 53-year history of the program. Sabol replaces Jordan Bischel, who was recently named Head Coach at Central Michigan.
"Jake is a proven winner, hard worker, and a high character person," said Northwood Athletic Director Dave Marsh. "He has been a success at all levels - as a Division I, drafted player at Central Michigan, as an assistant at Northwood, as a talent evaluator, and as a head coach at Alma.
"His approach as a head coach matches the approach we have had success with at Northwood the past several years, building a close knit, team-first program. We believe is his the right person to lead our program and continue the success that Coach Bischel brought."
Sabol brings a wealth of baseball experience in a variety of roles to Northwood. He spent the previous three seasons as the head coach at Alma College. In his three years with the Scots, Sabol led Alma to two of the three winningest seasons in the 118 year history of the program (28 – 2016, 24 – 2018). The Scots reached the MIAA Tournament twice under Sabol, marking the first time in program history the team qualified for the event. Alma won 67 games under Sabol and placed nine players on the All-MIAA team in Sabol's tenure. It was the second time in Sabol's career he worked at Alma – he served as the pitching coach for the 2013 season.
A familiar face at Northwood, Sabol spent two years as a graduate assistant coach at Northwood (20-14-15) following his first stint at Alma. He worked under both Joe Di Benedetto and Bischel in his time at Northwood.
Prior to taking over at Alma, Sabol was working as the director of scouting for Prep Baseball Report as well as an associate scout for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Sabol had a distinguished collegiate career at Central Michigan University. A four-year letter winner (2007-11), he was a part of two Mid-American Conference West Championships as well as the MAC Championship in 2010. As a senior, Sabol went 4-3 with a 3.18 ERA and was named the Chippewa Award winner, which is given to the player who best represents the Central Michigan University baseball program's mission statement.
After his playing career, Sabol was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 2011 draft. He spent two years in the minor leagues with the Tigers, going 3-3 with a 3.43 ERA in 10 starts in 2011 with the Gulf Coast League Tigers. In 2012, he joined the Traverse City Beach Bums of the Frontier League. Sabol was a key part of the regular season championship team in 2012 and was a Frontier League All-Star in 2013. He posted a 12-6 record with a 2.86 ERA in 30 career games for the Beach Bums.
Sabol graduated from Central Michigan in 2011 with a degree in Sports Management. He then earned his master's in Business Administration from the DeVos Graduate School of Management at Northwood in 2015.
"I could not be more thrilled for the opportunity to be the next head baseball coach at Northwood University," said Sabol. "The value of the student-athlete experience and the commitment to the baseball program is evident to those at the university, which is going to help us continue to build and maintain a championship-caliber program.
"I am looking forward to bringing a strong passion for the game of baseball to this program while we strive to achieve a tradition of excellence on the field, in the classroom, and in the Midland community. I am excited to get to campus, to get to know the players, and to start preparing for the 2018-19 season."
In addition to the appointment of Sabol as the new head coach, Northwood baseball has also announced the promotion of Nat Richter to a full-time assistant coach. Richter has been a part of the Northwood staff under Bischel the last four years and has been a key part of the best stretch in program history.
Northwood is coming off back-to-back GLIAC Championship seasons, having won 84 games over the last two years. The Timberwolves reached the NCAA Regionals both seasons as well. NU had never won a GLIAC title or reached the NCAA Tournament prior to 2017.