Coach Jeff Hetzer is entering his 19th season at the helm of the Thomas More University Baseball Program in 2019 as the program's all-time winningest coach with a career record of 470-259-3. He is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. Thomas More has had excellent success with their baseball program and Hetzer has continued that tradition. The Saints have had 22 consecutive winning seasons and have won 20 plus games in 21 of the past 22 seasons, including the 2018 squad which finished 24-20.
In his most recent season in 2018, he led the Saints to a 24-20 record, being named the PAC Champions, and reached the first round of the NCAA Tournament. During the 2017 campaign, the advanced four-team PAC Championship Tournament and didn't lose a three-game PAC regular season series, finishing the season 27-12. In 2016, the Saints won the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Regular Season and Championship Tournament, while advancing to the program's seventh National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Champiionship Tournament and finished as regional semi-finalists. The 2015 team finished as PAC regular season champions and tournament runner-ups. In 2014 the team won the PAC Tournament title for the third time in program history and advanced to the program’s sixth NCAA Division III Tournament and finished as regional semi-finalists. His 2013 squad finished as PAC regular season champions and tournament runner-ups and earned an at-large bid to the program's fifth NCAA Division III Tournament, where it finished as regional semi-finalists. The 2011 squad won the team's second straight PAC Tournament title and advanced to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Regional Semifinals. The 2010 team tied the school record for wins (33-16) and won the PAC Tournament for the first time in school history, while advancing to the NCAA Regional Semi-Finals. In 19 seasons, Hetzer has had his teams ranked 15 times and nine times in the final Mideast regional poll. In 2008, Thomas More finished the regular season fifth in the Mideast Regional poll and won the PAC regular season by three games. In 2004, the Saints had a preseason ranking of No. 13 in the country, the highest in the program's history. In 2003 the Saints made it to the NCAA Regional Finals, losing 2-1 in 11 innings. Thomas More finished that season 33-10 and ranked No. 18 in the final poll.
Hetzer has had 104 players named all-conference, including 40 named first team since joining the PAC in 2006. He has had four PAC Player of the Year as well as one PAC Pitcher of the Year. During his tenure, Hetzer has had 39 Saints named all-region (ABCA), one Pitcher of the Year in the region (ABCA) and seven All-American (ABCA and D3baseball.com). Hetzer has had two post-graduate scholarship recipients as well as 13 all-district academic players and six Capital One Academic All-Americans. Hetzer has been named the ABCA Conference Coach of the Year in 2008, 2011 and 2015 as well as the PAC Coach of the Year in 2011, 2014, 2016, 2018.
Hetzer expects excellence both in the classroom and on the field. In the classroom his teams have had a Grade Point Average of 2.8 or better in all 37 semesters, including 29 of his 37 semesters the team has had a 3.0 or higher. As for baseball his goals each season for the team is to be invited to the NCAA Tournament. To achieve this goal, Hetzer's team will be marked by aggressive play and excellent fundamentals. He insists that his players be in top condition and play disciplined baseball.
Coach Hetzer graduated from Elder High School and then continued his academic and athletic endeavors at Wittenberg University. While at Wittenberg, Hetzer was an all-conference and all-region performer. He also helped lead the team to its first regional final and eclipsed the school record for team wins in a season. After two years at Wittenberg he transferred to Northern Kentucky University (NKU). At NKU Hetzer played for the late Bill Aker and was a team captain and once again an all-conference and all-region performer. He was also named to the conference all-academic team. Hetzer earned his degree in physical education with a minor in health and also earned his master's degree in education while at NKU. After graduating from NKU, Hetzer served as an assistant coach for four years at his alma mater, while also being the athletic facilities coordinator before being named head coach at Thomas More in the fall of 2000. Early in his tenure at Thomas More, Hetzer was an Assistant Men's Basketball Coach where he helped turn around a program which had won five games during the 2001-2002 season to 12 games during the 2002-2003 season. Then in 2004, Hetzer also was named the Interim Head Women's Basketball Coach, and led the team to the NCAA Sweet 16. Hetzer became the first coach in TMC history to win an NCAA tournament game for two different teams. In the summer of 2004, Hetzer was named the Assistant Athletic Director and promoted to Associate Athletic Director in 2013. He served a four-year term on the NCAA Division III Baseball Committee from 2010 to 2013.
Hetzer resides in Lakeside Park, Kentucky, with his wife Rebecca and their son, Ryan and daughters, Olivia and Abigail.
|YEAR BY YEAR COACHING RECORD AT THOMAS MORE|
|2003||33||10||0||NCAA Regional Finalist|
|2010||33||16||0||PAC Champions; NCAA Regional Semifinalist|
|2011||29||9||0||PAC Champions; NCAA Regional Semifinalist|
|2013||31||16||0||NCAA Regional Semifinalist|
|2014||25||19||0||PAC Champions; NCAA Regional Semifinalist|
|2016||31||12||0||PAC Champions; NCAA Regional Semifinalist|
|2018||24||20||0||PAC Champions; NCAA Tournament|
|Overall||470||259||3||5 Conference Championships|
|Win %||.644||7 NCAA Appearances|