Stanford D. Hyman
September 26, 1958 - September 5, 2009
Western Illinois University and the Leatherneck baseball program was dealt a tragic blow when head baseball coach Stan Hyman passed away on Sept. 5, 2009 after a three month battle with leukemia. Hyman served as the head coach of the Leathernecks for eight seasons. Under his guidance, the Western Illinois baseball program soared to new heights. During Hyman’s tenure at Western the Leathernnecks defeated nationally-ranked opponents such as Long Beach State, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. Texas Tech, Iowa, Kansas State, Michigan State, Illinois-Chicago, and Oral Roberts
In 2007, Coach Hyman led Western to its first winning season since 1989. In addition, the Leathernecks recorded the first winning record on the road in school history.
The Leathernecks finished in second-place during the regular season in the Mid-Continent Conference. 2007 saw Hyman bring home his second Mid-Con Coach of the Year award. Hyman also coached Western’s first Mid-Con Player of the Year since 1990, as Travis Check brought home the honor.
The 2006 campaign saw Hyman guide Western to a school-record 32 victories, a third consecutive second-place conference finish, and a runner-up finish in the Mid-Con tournament. In the championship game of the tournament, the Leathernecks dropped a heartbreaking 2-1 decision to Oral Roberts. The team garnered national recognition winning 20 of its last 26 games (10 in a row from May 7-25), while they also set 14 team records.
Hyman also set a milestone with his 300th career win in the team’s final victory of the season. The 48-year-old New York native had a flair for recording memorable wins. Hyman’s 300th win was against Oakland (12-5) in the Mid-Con Tournament in Tulsa, Okla.
Prior to the 2006 season, Hyman was instrumental in the building of a new baseball stadium by helping to solicit funding and donors for various parts of the project.
In 2005, Hyman guided the Leathernecks to 14 conference wins, the most of any Western team. Hyman also led the Leathernecks to the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament for the third straight season. Western defeated two Big Ten teams in Michigan State (3-0) and Iowa (4-1), along with Texas Tech (6-1) of the Big 12.
In 2004, the Leathernecks recorded 29 wins, the most since becoming a Division I program in 1982. The 2004 season also included several other milestones, including Western Illinois’ first-ever win over a top-20 opponent, and a victory against the Big Ten that snapped a 10-year drought.
Also in 2004, Hyman produced Western’s first player to sign a Major League Baseball contract since 1994. The Mid-Con’s 2003 Newcomer of the Year, Blake Schultz, became the first Leatherneck to go pro since Rick Short (Baltimore Orioles) and Jason Walker (Colorado Rockies) signed pro contracts in 1994. Schultz signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in June.
During the 2003 season, Western doubled its win total from the previous season, winning 25 games for the first time since 1985, finishing third in the conference, and reaching the playoffs for the first time in three years.
In his first season at Western, 2002, Hyman guided the Leathernecks to two of college baseball’s biggest upsets, against Big 12 teams Kansas State and Missouri.
In his last season at the Division III level, Hyman led Rutgers University at Newark to a 12th-place national ranking. His 2001 Rutgers-Newark team posted the longest winning streak in any NCAA division after starting the season with 17 consecutive victories, and defeated defending Division III national champion Montclair State.
Prior to his three years at Rutgers-Newark, Hyman became the all-time winningest coach at Albright (Penn.) College, recording a 116-59-1 (.662) mark from 1994-98.
Fourteen of Hyman’s former players have been drafted professionally or have signed free agent contracts, including two third-round picks in the Major League Baseball draft.
Three times in his 15-year head coaching tenure Hyman was selected as coach of the year. Hyman came to Western as the 39th winningest active coach in NCAA Division III, with an overall record of 178-106-1 (.624).
Prior to his coaching career, Hyman was a press agent from 1982-85, representing professional athletes such as boxer Roberto Duran and football great Bubba Smith. As president of the Los Angeles-based Hyman & Associates, he also represented recording artists, including Al Jarreau and Kim Carnes.
A former sportswriter and music columnist, Hyman’s work appeared in such publications as Rolling Stone, Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, Interview, and Dallas Morning News. Hyman is survived by his wife Robin, his daughter (Cara) and two sons (Mychal and Jordan).