June 18, 2014
The University of the Southwest announced the hiring of Steve Appel as the new Head Baseball Coach on Wednesday, introducing him as the newest member of the Mustang Athletic Staff.
“I am pleased to announce the naming of Steve Appel as the new Head Baseball Coach at the University of the Southwest,” stated Vice President for Advancement and Director of Athletics William Weidner. “Steve brings a demonstrated track record of success in the intercollegiate athletics baseball profession as a proven Head Coach. His baseball teams are known for being well prepared, well coached and extremely committed to being the best that they can be in both the academic and athletic arenas. His disciplined and enthusiastic approach will be welcomed by our current baseball student-athletes with great enthusiasm.”
Steve Appel comes to USW having most recently served as the Head Baseball Coach at Oklahoma Pan Handle State University in Goodwell, Oklahoma. While at OPSU, Appel transformed the Aggie baseball team into a disciplined program that was being built to succeed in the highly competitive NCAA Division II Heartland Conference. Under his leadership, OPSU baseball student-athletes also excelled in the classroom as the team GPA improved from 2.20 in 2011 to 3.30 in 2014. During his tenure as Head Baseball Coach, Appel was the catalyst for a number of facility enhancements that turned the OPSU baseball field into one of the top facilities in the Heartland Conference.
“I am extremely blessed and excited about being named the next Head Baseball Coach here at the University of the Southwest. My wife Jessica and I are excited about becoming part of a new family here at USW. I want to personally thank Mr. Weidner and the rest of the administration for the opportunity to mentor and coach these young men on and off the field,” stated Appel.
“I know we have a lot to do in the next few days to secure and communicate to new recruits and returning players that good times are ahead of us. Our intent is to come in and build a fundamentally sound baseball program that will win on the playing field, in the classroom, and in the community.”
Appel, a Socorro, New Mexico native, began his intercollegiate athletic playing career at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kansas where he received his associate’s degree before continuing his collegiate playing career at the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Connecticut. At UB, he served as team captain for the baseball program, earned his Bachelor of Science degree with Magna Cum Laude honors and was also awarded his Master of Science degree. Immediately following his collegiate playing career, Appel joined the coaching staff at his alma mater as an assistant pitching coach and began his progression in the baseball coaching profession. Appel was named the UB baseball program’s top assistant and pitching coach in 2006 and by 2009 had constructed a pitching staff that finished the season with a 3.25 ERA and was ranked 6th in the nation.
Following the 2009 season, Appel was selected by Oklahoma Pan Handle State University as their top assistant coach. After the 2010 season, he was named the Head Baseball Coach of the Aggies baseball team and began his efforts of building a program that would compete at a high level, earn the respect of its opponents and become a source of pride for the University and its community. Appel’s recruiting efforts throughout the states of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and the Southwest Region resulted in the establishment and growth of an Aggie baseball program that boasted 55-60 student-athletes on its roster during his tenure.
“Known as a tireless and energetic recruiter, Steve Appel is well versed with the local, state and regional recruiting areas that will greatly assist his efforts in building our Mustang Baseball program into one that will successfully compete for Red River Athletic Conference Championships and NAIA tournament berths on an annual basis,” stated Weidner, “His commitment to student-athlete success in the classroom and on the field of play will be a great fit with our athletic department core values as well as our University Mission Statement in this regard.”
“Steve and his wife Jessica will be a wonderful addition to our athletic department, the University and the Hobbs community. On behalf of our USW Athletic Department and the University of the Southwest, we welcome Steve Appel as the newest member of our Mustang Family.”