July 18, 2006
“This is an outstanding hire for Notre Dame baseball, and Dave and his family will be a tremendous asset to the entire Notre Dame community. The same record of achievement that he enjoyed as a student and an athlete has followed him in his coaching career. He has built competitive teams at each of his previous stops by focusing first on identifying, then developing, quality young men. That same fundamental approach is a perfect fit for now sustaining the national excellence that marks the Irish baseball program. I consider myself fortunate to have competed against him as an undergraduate, worked with him as an administrator, and now cheer for him as an alumnus, and I wish him every success in his new position.”
Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference and former Notre Dame baseball player (class of ’83)
“I have known Dave for 22 years and he is one of the finest people and coaches I have ever known. He will treat the players well, work with them in a positive way and continue to create an atmosphere that they will enjoy while playing at Notre Dame. When I hired Dave to my staff way back in 1984, he was a scrappy, lefthanded-hitting centerfielder who could run but didn’t get a chance to sign professionally. I didn’t have a full-time assistant and Dave came to St. Thomas as a graduate assistant coach. We had a tremendous year, won a lot of games, had a lot of fun and worked well together. I had an opportunity to watch him closely and he took to the profession very naturally while continuing to develop his coaching talents through time.
“Dave is an excellent ‘baseball man.’ He really knows the game and the players never will have to worry about being outcoached in a big game. They should have a lot of confidence in him as he evaluates the players and makes game strategy decisions. He is a great teacher of the sport in practice and I’m sure the players all will learn from him.”
LSU head coach and former Notre Dame head coach (1995-2006)
“I was very impressed with coach Schrage’s Evansville ballclub in the NCAA Regional that was played at our stadium. They had the best offensive output of any team we faced in one game all year long – and that is saying something when you consider some of the teams we faced in the ACC and during non-conference games as well. They scored 15 runs against us and then came back a few hours later and did the same thing against a very good South Carolina team that has a lot of experience in the NCAA tournament. That regional performance by Evansville showed coach Schrage’s ability in making his players respond to his coaching and execute the type of offensive gameplan he wants to have. I know the players at Notre Dame will be excited to have the opportunity to play for him.
“To do what he did at Evansville in a short matter of time – bringing them from the bottom of the league to the top of the Missouri Valley Conference – is amazing. I played in the MVC [at Creighton] and to do what they accomplished by winning the regular season and winning the tournament – in a tough environment at Wichita State, no less – shows his ability to recruit and to get the players to play at the level he wants to play.
“Having coached before at Notre Dame and having an understanding of what it takes to win championships at Notre Dame, I believe that coach Schrage has the ability to coach, communicate and get players to play the game the right way in order to continue on with the success that Notre Dame has experienced in recent years.”
University of Virginia head coach and former Notre Dame associate head coach (1995-2003)
“Without question, Evansville has become the class of this league [Missouri Valley Conference]. We have been the class of the league for a long time, but they have retaken that, no doubt about it. They play the game the way it is supposed to be played. They are well-coached, their players get good pitches to hit, they play very good defense, and their pitchers can command the strike zone and throw three pitches for strikes. Evansville is the team that deserves to go to the [NCAA] tournament.”
Wichita State head coach
(postgame comments on May 26, 2006, after Evansville defeated Wichita State 14-3 at the MVC Tournament)
“We are very excited about the hiring of coach Schrage. When talking with him, you can tell that he brings a sense of excitement and confidence that will really rub off on our program. He is a successful coach who understands our philosophies here at Notre Dame and has the capabilities of stepping in and immediately producing the results we are looking forward to seeing here with Irish baseball. He already has a good knowledge of our program, so you still will see the emphasis on pitching and defense – but we also like the fact that he is a coach who is looking to put as much pressure on the opposing team as possible. We have the talent and resources, we have a great new coach – the only thing to do now is go out and win, no excuses.”
Notre Dame infielder (will be a sophomore in 2006-07)
“Coach Schrage is the best man for the job. Out of all the individuals that the players spoke with, it was clear that he would fit in the best at Notre Dame and take the baseball program to the next level. All the players can’t wait to get to work with him and his staff.”
Notre Dame pitcher/first baseman (will be a junior in 2006-07)
“On behalf of the University of Evansville and our fans, I want to personally thank Dave for everything that he has done for our baseball program. He has not only achieved success on the field, but he has also been a great ambassador for our program and has represented not only the program, but also the athletics department, the University, and the city of Evansville with class in everything that he has done. Notre Dame is getting not only a great coach, but also a great individual, and I want to wish Dave and his family the best of luck.”
Evansville athletic director