SHREVEPORT—After 12 successful seasons as the head baseball coach, Centenary's Ed McCann announced his resignation as the leader of the Gents baseball program on Friday afternoon.
"Centenary took a chance on me 12 years ago when no one else would give me the time of day. I have had the opportunity to work under four awesome athletic directors: Russ Sharp, Dr. David Bedard, Taylor Moore, and Dr. Tom Tallach. For that, I will always be thankful and grateful," said McCann.
McCann departs Centenary after completing his 12th year as the head coach of the Gents. During his years as the head coach and two as an assistant, McCann has guided the program to become an always-competitive post-season contender.
"We have had phenomenal success the last several years and I feel honored and blessed to have been a part of that success, including wins over # 5 Nebraska # 3 LSU, # 6 Arkansas, and # 1 Texas A&M. I feel that I accomplished everything possible as the program is in a much better situation than I inherited," said McCann.
The 2010 season was no different as he completed his helm as the leader of the Gents with a 28-26 record and a 17-9 league mark for a third-seed in The Summit League tournament.
Highlighting this season was the numerous accolades the Gents won under McCann. He guided right-handed pitcher Boone Whiting to All-American status by Ping!Baseball, Summit League Pitcher of the Year and First Team All-League as well as an LSWA First Team selection. McCann also coached four other Gents to All-League honorees and one more LSWA selection.
McCann's success was evident as Whiting and left-handed hurler Dakota Robinson each signed a professional contract after being selected in MLB's First Year Player Draft this season.
While at Centenary, McCann was named the Mid-Continent Conference Coach of the Year for the 2005 season after leading his shorthanded Gents to the championship game of the conference tournament as the fourth-and-final seed.
Further recognizing his success, McCann is responsible for a 9-8 victory over #5 Nebraska in 2001 and a 6-1 win over #2 LSU in 2005. McCann was best known to have his team play a competitive schedule against the best programs in the nation. Under his tenure, McCann has posted wins over teams from major conferences, including LSU, Nebraska, Michigan State, Iowa, Indiana, Connecticut, and Oklahoma State.
Away from building a strong program on the field, McCann helped plan and develop Peyton Shehee Stadium and the Mike and Judy McCarty Field House, which are both home to the Centenary baseball program.
A Las Vegas native, McCann attended Southeast Oklahoma State University where he graduated in 1977 with a double degree in physical education and English. McCann and his wife Debbie have two children: Brian and Chase.
As Centenary nears its transition into NCAA Division III, McCann feels the program will continue to stay strong and represent the College to the highest degree.
"My hope for the future as Centenary joins the ASC, is that the program will win a National Championship at the Division III level, and Centenary will continue on the right path with a balance between athletics and academics," said McCann.
Following his nearing departure, McCann will assume the role as head coach at Alabama A&M in Huntsville, Ala. The Bulldogs are athletic members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
"Alabama A&M is a challenge, one I have embraced, though I feel like the administration at Alabama A&M has chosen me to change the current situation," said McCann.
"A&M have great players in place, the program needs energy and leadership, and I feel I have that to give. I am a builder not only of young men but baseball programs as well. I am blessed to have the opportunity to tackle this challenge. Centenary was an initial challenge and we built it into a contender- that is my desire and goal at Alabama A&M!" said McCann.
Also announced is that former Associate Head Coach Mike Diaz will now assume the role as the Gents head coach for the 2011 season replacing McCann.
(Courtesy: Centenary Athletics Department)