Following Florence-Darlington Technical College’s (FDTC) first visit to the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado, men Tech Stingers head baseball coach, Preston McDonald has been named the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and Diamond Sports National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) D1 Eastern Region Coach of the Year. He will be traveling to Indianapolis in January for the coach’s awards banquet.
McDonald was also named NJCAA D1 Eastern District Coach of the Year earlier this year. This is his eighth year as the men’s baseball head coach at FDTC.
“A coach of the year award is more of an award for the entire program,” McDonald said. “A head coach can’t win an award without having great players and assistant coaches and the team having an amazing season. It just puts in perspective that we had one of the top-10 teams in the nation.”
McDonald is a native of Sumter, South Carolina and has served as the head baseball coach for the FDTC Stingers since May 2009. At just 24-years-old, McDonald became one of the youngest NJCAA coaches in the country.
Earlier this year, the men Tech Stingers won the Region X Tournament in Burlington, North Carolina as well as the Eastern District Championship that was held at Francis Marion University. The success berthed FDTC an opportunity to compete in the JUCO World Series. The Stingers finished out the 2017 season ranked seventh in the country with 42 wins, the second most in school history.
“Having the opportunity to get to Grand Junction and play in the JUCO World Series was an amazing experience for our players and coaches and a huge step forward for our program,” McDonald said. “It’s something I’ve dreamed of since I’ve taken over here. It’s an exciting time to be a Stinger.”
Since arriving at FDTC, McDonald has coached 48 NCAA Division 1 baseball signees and more than 100 total former Stingers that have gone on to play baseball at four-year colleges. McDonald has also coached 11 players that have been selected in the MLB Draft. Most notably, Trent Autry who played on the JUCO World Series team was drafted in the 17th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks at season’s end over the summer.
Over the past eight seasons, McDonald has amassed a winning record of 273-165 for a .623 winning percentage. He has averaged more than 34 wins per season since he became head coach at FDTC.