Mike Stawski enters his fourth season as CUC baseball head coach in 2019 and his sixth season overall at Concordia-Chicago.
With Stawski at the helm, the Cougars have not failed to win the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference title or make an NCAA III Regional appearance, and his two most recent seasons have resulted in the program's first two appearances ever at the Division III World Series. A two-time American Baseball Coaches Association/ Diamond Midwest Region Coach of the Year and two-time NACC Coach of the Year, Stawski has led the Cougars to a 108-41 record as head coach, including a team-record 40 wins in 2018, and an overall record of 180-63 during his five years in River Forest.
Stawski's leadership and influence go beyond the baseball diamond as well. The team has been well represented on the list of conference Scholar-Athletes (15 in 2018). Individually, Mitch Wilson was the 2018 recipient of Concordia's A.W. Gross Distinguished Senior-Scholar award. Kevin Coppin was honored at the 2017 Division III World Series with the NCAA's Elite 90 award, given to the player with the highest cumulative grade-point average of all student-athletes at an NCAA championship event. Coppin earned a second prestigious award when he was selected as the 2018 NACC Man of the Year award.
Stawski came to CUC prior to the 2014 season as head assistant and pitching coach, and the Cougars’ staff prospered immediately under his guidance. In that first season, pitcher Dan Kluss earned the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) Pitcher of the Year award and was later named as a 2014 D3Baseball.com third-team All-American, while reliever Steve Cox set a school record with nine saves and pitched 22.2 innings in 20 appearances without allowing an earned run.
Under Stawski’s leadership, Cody Caballero (2015) and Eric Palmer (2016) also earned NACC Pitcher of the Year honors. In 2017, Brian Musielak pitched in both starting and relief roles while setting the team record for wins in a season with nine, and starter-turned-reliever Mike Formella enjoyed a tremendous run in the Cougars’ postseason, which resulted in him being named the most valuable player in the NCAA III Midwest Regional.
The 2018 season witnessed the culmination of an outstanding career in which Formella set season and career records in saves as well as the career record for wins. Formella was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Midwest Regional, the ABCA Midwest Region Pitcher of the Year and a second-team All-American by both the ABCA and D3Baseball.com. Alex Meyers earned a second-team All-NACC award and was later honored as a third-team All-Midwest Region pitcher by D3Baseball.com.
The head coach's position is the second for Stawski. After he began his career as a head assistant and pitching coach at Webster University in St. Louis, MO from 2007 to 2009, Stawski served as the head baseball coach at Spalding University in Louisville, KY. Stawski led the Golden Eagles to a record of 82-44 during his three-year tenure after the team had gone 32-75 over its previous three seasons. In his first two years, he increased Spalding's win total by 11 and 10 wins respectively. During Stawski's third season, he led the team to a 32-11 record and the championship of the United States Collegiate Athletics Association (USCAA). That year, Stawski's pitching staff led the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (SLIAC) in six major categories including ERA, hits and walks allowed. For his efforts, Stawski earned the conference's Coach of the Year honor.
Stawski and his wife Melissa have been married for nine years and have three children, Michael, Charlie and Danni.