SOUTH HOLLAND, IL – South Suburban College head baseball coach Steve Ruzich won his 1,200th baseball game on Saturday, March 20th, picking up the 8-6 victory against Carl Sandburg.
Ruzich has been the head baseball coach at South Suburban College for the last 35 years, compiling a win/loss record of 1,200 and 717. More importantly, he has sent over 325 student-athletes to four-year institutions throughout the entire country. Under Coach “Ru”, the Bulldogs have also had 24 players drafted, and produced five big leaguers.
“It has been an honor to be able to work and learn under Coach Ruzich,” assistant baseball coach Marty Joyce said. “Every day he brings energy and passion to the field that really motivates the guys to get better. The best thing about this program is that he makes it into a family atmosphere, and he cares about each individual guy.”
Inducted into the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014, Ruzich has led the Bulldogs to two NJCAA Division I World Series Appearances (1991, 2006), 11 Regional titles, and coached 15 NJCAA Division I All-Americans. He has also been named the N4C Coach of the Year, Region 4 Coach of the Year twelve times, Great Lakes District Coach of the Year, and Diamond District Coach of the Year.
“The 1,200 wins means how many great players I have been fortunate to be able to coach. These players have made this program where it is today.” Coach Ruzich said in a statement after the victory.
Before taking over the Bulldogs program at age 24, Ruzich played two years for Thornton Community College (now South Suburban College) after transferring back from Illinois State University. After moving on with his degree, Ruzich transferred to St. Francis University in Joliet, Illinois where he played under legendary coach Gordie Gillespie. He was then drafted in the 30th round of the 1985 MLB draft by the Chicago White Sox.