Head Coach Shawn Stiffler enters his eighth season at the helm for VCU in the 2019-2020 season. Over his tenure, the Rams have climbed back into national prominance. VCU stands one of only 14 programs in the country with 35-plus wins over the last five seasons.
Stiffler was named the the sixth head coach of the VCU Baseball program in December 2012 following the passing of his mentor Paul Keyes. Stiffler was promoted after serving as the associate head coach for the first half of the 2012 campaign and serving as the interim head coach for the remainder of that season. Prior to being named head coach, he spent five seasons on Keyes' staff as the Rams' pitching coach and recruiting coordinator and was promoted to Associate Head Coach prior to the 2012 season.
"It has never been a more exciting time to be a part of this athletic department," Stiffler said. "I know that we have a tremendous opportunity to win here at VCU. Our staff will work tirelessly to continue the tradition of recruiting high caliber student-athletes, compete for championships at the highest level and graduate leaders into our community."
The reigning Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year has produced multiple highly decorated athletes. Under Stiffler's direction, VCU has had two ABCA All-Americans, four Freshman All-Americans, 15 ABCA All-Regional selections and 30 All-Atlantic 10 honorees including the A-10 Rookie of the year in 2016 (Michael Dailey) and the A-10 Player of the Year in 2017 (Logan Farrar). During his time as the Head Coach, 12 athletes have signed MLB contracts with seven being drafted in the MLB Draft and five more signing as free agents.
Stiffler made an immediate impact during his first two seasons, thrusting VCU baeball into a nationally-recognized program after putting up back-to-back Top-25 finishes. Stifler was named the 2015 ABCA East-Region Coach of the Year following a tremendous 2015 season, in which the Rams claimed the Atlantic-10 Conference Championship, advanced to the first Super Regional appearance in program history, and finished the season ranked #17 in the nation by the NCBWA. Following the season, four members of the 2015 ballclub (Daniel Concepcion, Heath Dwyer, Matt Lees, and Vimael Machin) signed contracts to play for professional organizations.
Under Stiffler, the Rams also won their first conference regular season title in the Atlantic 10 in 2017. Prior to that feat, the Rams hadn't won a regular season title since 2003 as a member of the CAA. VCU won yet another Atlantic 10 regular season title in 2019 after a 39-win season. In 2019, the squad posted a 39-19 overall record and a 19-7 record in A-10 play. After the impressive season, Stiffler was named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year and eight players earned All-Conference honors. Two of those players, Connor Gillispie and Zach Ching, were taken in the MLS Draft.
During his time as an assistant at VCU, Stiffler had great success as a recruiter. In 2009, he signed a class for the Rams that ws ranked in the Top-40 by Collegiate Baseball.
From the minute he stepped on campus as an assistant in 2007, Stiffler had an immediate impact on the program. He helped the Rams to the 2007 CAA title and 37 wins in just his first season. His mentorship of junior transfer Luke Pisker transformed into one of the most dominant seasons ever by a Black & Gold hurler with nine wins and 11 saves under his guidance. Pisker was later taken in the 17th round of the MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals. Three years later, Stiffler helped VCU claim its fifth CAA tournament title in 2010.
Prior to his arrival at VCU, the skipper found success as an assistant at his alma mater, George Mason. In his five years with the Patriots, Stiffler saw the team ERA decrease each season. In 2004, the team made a regional appearance, and recruited Miami Marlins prospect Justin Bour.
During his 11 seasons as an assistant, Stiffler, coached 29 MLB draft picks, 15 of which he personally recruited, 13 of those 15 were pitchers. He also coached nine All-Americans, two conference player of the year award winners, 44 All-CAA honorees, 10 All-Atlantic-10 honorees, and one Johnny Bench finalist (awarded to the best catcher in all of college baseball) during this stint
Stiffler earned a B.A. degree in communications from George Mason in December 2001, after a four-year career as a pitcher for the Patriots. He is a 1997 graduate of Somerset High School, where he earned honorable mention All-America honors from USA Today and was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 53rd round. He was also an outstanding basketball player at Somerset.
He currently resides in Richmond with his wife, Jennifer, and their children, Wade, Scout, and Penn.