Joe Roberts, Armstrong State

Joe Roberts, Armstrong State

Roberts coached baseball at Armstrong State from 1980-2013, accumulating an overall 1,322-640 head coaching record at Armstrong in 34 seasons, a .674 winning percentage. He is the all-time winningest baseball coach in NCAA Division II history.

During his Armstrong career, the Pirates ranked third only to Florida Southern and Central Missouri in NCAA Division II baseball victories since his arrival at Armstrong in 1980. Armstrong was ranked in 110 straight national polls over seven seasons and made three trips to the NCAA Division II World Series in 1988, 1989 and 1994. His 1990 squad was ranked No. 1 in the nation every week during the season.

Roberts earned nine Coach of the Year awards during his career, including Region Coach of the Year awards in 1988, 1989 and 1994. Armstrong had players sign professional contracts in a streak of 28 straight years from 1982-2009 and the Pirates have also graduated 163 of its players over the last 28 seasons.

A four-sport letterman at Lebanon HS in Indiana, Roberts attended Lake Sumter CC in Leesburg, Fla., and finished his collegiate career at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, S.C. He was the Dixie Conference MVP as a junior in 1974 and later was inducted into the St. Andrews Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.

Roberts began coaching Armstrong baseball for the 1980 season and directed the Pirates to two Big South Conference Division championships in 1985 and 1987, then five consecutive No. 1 seedings in the NCAA Division II Baseball Championships from 1988-1992. 

As an inaugural member of the Peach Belt Conference, Roberts and the Pirates captured PBC regular season titles in 1992 and 1993, adding league regular season titles in 2003 and 2012 while also capturing PBC Tournament titles in 2007 and 2012.

Armstrong advanced to NCAA Championships play 14 times since 1988, has had 46 All-Americans over that same time frame and the Pirates finished nationally-ranked in 20 of the last 26 final Collegiate Baseball DII Coaches Polls.

As a valued member of the ABCA, Roberts served as the national All-American committee chair from 1988-91 and 2005-12 while also serving as the national Collegiate Baseball Poll chairman from 1989 through this season. He also served on the NCAA Division II regional and national championship committees, was the ABCA's Division II President from 2000-05 and served as the ABCA Vice President from 2006-09 before his term as the organization's president in 2010.

A member of the Georgia Dugout Hall of Fame and a former president of the American Baseball Coaches' Association (ABCA), Roberts was elected to the ABCA Hall of Fame in January of 2013. He earned John F. Hodges Outstanding Achievement in Sports in Savannah (OASIS) Award in 2013 from the Savannah Sports Council.

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