#28 Steve Ruzich — Head Coach
Coach Steve Ruzich was an All-American catcher at the College of St. Francis. He graduated in 1985 and was drafted that summer by the Chicago White Sox. Steve had a short stint as a pro catcher before coming to South Suburban College as head baseball coach in 1987.
Steve Ruzich enters his 32nd season 1115 wins and 621 loses. Included in his tenure have been four sectional titles, eleven regional titles and two appearances at the JUCO World Series including a sixth place finish and eight regional runner-up finishes. In 2005, under the guidance of Coach Ruzich, the Bulldogs set a school record for most wins and winning percentage in a season going 51-11 (.823).
On May 23, 2014, Coach Ruzich will officially be inducted into the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in an opening ceremony for the 2014 World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado–annual home of the NJCAA Division I World Series–where Ruzich’s Bulldogs have made two past appearances. This recognition is a rare accomplishment–the NJCAA Hall of Fame began in 1982 and the Selection Committee has only chosen 89 members since that time.
2015 was a great season season for Coach Ruzich’s Bulldogs where we won our 11th Regional Title were 33-21.
His coaching awards have included N4C Coach of the Year, Region 4 Coach of the Year (eleven times), College Coach of the Year from the Pitch and Hit Club of Chicago (twice), Great Lakes District Coach of the Year and Diamond District Coach of the Year.
Steve’s student athletes’ graduation rate is 75%. Steve has coached eleven All-Americans including 2013 1st team Steve Letz and 2006 1st team Lee Fischer who was also voted best defensive player in the nation. “Coach Ru” also has had 24 players drafted by major league teams including six players that have reached the big leagues. Four are currently playing including Tim Brydak (Houston Astros), Ron Mahay (Minnesota Twins) and Tony Cingrani (Los Angeles Dodgers). 210 players have continued on to four-year college programs. As a player himself, Steve was named second team All-American Catcher, All-District Catcher and All-Area Catcher.
Being a youth instructor, Head Catching Instructor at Midwest Sports Complex and Academy Director at GrandSlam have kept him busy. Coach Ruzich is particularly known as the Director and Coordinator of parent-child baseball camps locally, which over 1200 participants have attended. Steve also works part time for the Chicago White Sox, instructing in their fundamentals area at home games at U. S. Cellular Field.
Steve completed his master’s degree in physical education at Chicago State University.
Coach Steve Ruzich resides in Joliet, Illinois with his wife, Patti and children Timothy, Nathan and Amanda.
Lee Fischer — Batting & Fielding Coach
Coach Lee Fischer enters his first season as an assistant coach. Fischer is a former Bulldog shortstop who played on the 2006 team that went 51-12, won 35 games in a row and advanced to the NJCAA Juco World Series. Lee was a first time all American and was named the best defensive player in the nation.
Lee went to the University of Missouri and played two years for the Tigers. After Missouri, Lee signed with the Chicago White Sox and played in their minor league system.
Lee will be the infield coach and works with the hitters.