HEAD COACH MIKE JEFFCOAT
A four-time Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year honoree, Mike Jeffcoat has led the Argonauts to being one of the premier NCAA Division II programs in the nation since being promoted from pitching coach on August 8, 2005. Heading into his 12th year as head coach, which is set for the 2017 season, Jeffcoat owns a career record of 392-207 for a .654 career winning percentage. Jeffcoat took over for his mentor and long-time head coach Jim Spooner, who was at the helm from 1983-2005, becoming the fourth coach in the program’s 32-year history.
Jeffcoat has recently led the Argonauts to a 2016 GSC Regular Season Championship, a 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship, five NCAA South Regional tournaments in the last seven years, and a .713 winning percentage from 2010-2015 against NCAA competition – the 13th highest winning percentage in NCAA Division II during that span. The Argonauts have made an appearance in the GSC Tournament for eight consecutive seasons and have posted eight-straight 30-win seasons, which stands as the longest active streak in the GSC.
In terms of individual recognition, UWF has seen 72 All-GSC honorees, 43 All-South Region selections, 21 All-Americans nods, three South Region Pitcher of the Year awards and 12 Major League Baseball draft picks have all come to fruition under the tutelage of Jeffcoat.
Jeffcoat has been named by his peers as GSC Coach of the Year in 2007, 2011, 2014 and most recently, in 2016. He enters the 2017 season as one of only two active GSC coaches with at least four GSC Coach of the Year awards. In Jeffcoat’s head coaching career, UWF owns a 37-29 record in postseason play.
The 2016 team set a new school record for conference wins, with 24, which is also the third most for a single season in GSC history. Under Jeffcoat’s pitching expertise, the Argonauts posted the nation’s best strikeout-to-walk ratio and walks allowed per nine innings average, while finishing in DII's top 10 in earned run average. UWF had eight All-GSC selections in 2016, which was the highest total amongst all GSC clubs. The 2016 squad ranked as high as No. 10 nationally.
UWF finished second in the GSC in 2014, finishing the year with a 34-11 overall record with a 22-7 GSC mark. West Florida had 12 All-GSC selections honored in 2014, which stands as the highest total in program history.
In 2013, UWF finished the season ranked No. 5 in the nation, and Jeffcoat reached the NCAA South Regional for the fourth straight season and for the fifth time in program history. In addition, the Argos broke their own GSC fielding percentage record of .971 (2011) with a .972 percentage in 2013.
In his sixth season as head coach, Jeffcoat led the team on a historic run to claim the program’s first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship, clinching the title with a 12-2 win over Winona State on June 4, 2011 in Cary, North Carolina. During the 2011 season, the Argonauts posted a 52-9 record and ranked in the top 10 nationally in runs scored, earned run average and fielding percentage. Jeffcoat was named National Coach of the Year by both the American Baseball Coaches Association and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in 2011.
The 2011 season featured numerous firsts for the program, including setting a school records in wins, conference wins (17) and consecutive wins (22). The team also earned the program’s first No. 1 national ranking, hosted its first NCAA regional, and advanced to its first national tournament.
Prior to the merger of the GSC East and West Divisions, the Argonauts claimed back-to-back GSC East Division Championships in 2010 and 2011. Over the course of those two seasons, Jeffcoat’s Argonauts posted a 28-6 record in conference play.
Jeffcoat led UWF to a 2007 GSC Tournament Championship in just his second season, allowing the Argonauts to make their first-ever NCAA Regional appearance. The Argonauts compiled a 43-19 record in 2007.
Before taking over as head coach prior to the 2006 season, Jeffcoat was UWF’s pitching coach for five years. West Florida has been widely considered one of the top pitching staffs in the nation since Jeffcoat joined the staff, and in 2003, his pitching staff finished the year with a team ERA of 2.70, leading all NCAA Division II schools in that category. UWF also had seven pitchers earn spots on the GSC All-Decade Team, announced in the summer of 2010.
In 1995, Jeffcoat made his debut as a head coach at Alabama Southern Community College, where he spent five years and compiled a record of 107-138 (.437). In just his first year as a head coach, he took the team to a second place finish in the conference and a third place finish at the state tournament. He coached two first team All-Americans at Alabama Southern, including Mitch Garner, who went on to play at UWF under head coach Jim Spooner.
Jeffcoat was a standout reliever for the Argonauts in 1990-91, totaling nine saves in two seasons. In 1991 he finished with an ERA of 1.99, which ranks 10th in school history among pitchers with 30 innings pitched or more. The 1991 team also led the Southern States Conference in ERA. The Argos set a new school record with 39 wins in 1990 and followed with 40 more in 1991, a mark that would stand until Jeffcoat led the 2007 team to 43 wins and the GSC championship as head coach.
Jeffcoat signed with the St. Louis Cardinals after graduating from UWF, and he pitched for the Cardinals’ rookie league affiliates in the Appalachian League and the Arizona League in 1991.
Before transferring to play at UWF, Jeffcoat pitched and played third base for two years at Chipola Junior College under head coach Bobby Pierce, who previously served as head coach at Troy for 13 years.
Jeffcoat returned to his alma mater in 1993 and served as a graduate assistant coach for two seasons. With his guidance, the Argonauts reached postseason play both years and grabbed UWF’s last Southern States Championship in 1994. After graduating with his master’s degree, he made a one-year stop at Pensacola Junior College as a pitching coach.
Jeffcoat received his bachelor’s degree in Sports Science from UWF in 1991 and his master’s in Sports Science in 1994. Jeffcoat is married to the former Ginger Tidwell and they have three children: Trent, Josef and Jordan.