Ben Spotts enters his sixth season leading the Royals in 2018, and has quickly built the EMU program to new heights.
In 2015, just his third season in Harrisonburg, Spotts led EMU to a 10-10 record in conference play, earning the program's first ODAC Tournament berth since 2002. He was named the ODAC Coach of the Year and put three players on the All-ODAC First Team: shortstop Justin Rodriguez, outfielder Joe Hall and reliever Austin Marzullo. Hall also won the ODAC Batting Title with a .423 batting average.
When his first full recruiting class graduated in 2017, they earned a career record of 70-84, which is one of the most successful four-year periods in program history. The 20-win season in 2015 was the third-most wins in history, and the 19-win season in 2017 tied for fourth.
In his first year, he laid a strong groundwork for the EMU program and helped the men to a 15-24 season, which was the most wins for the team since 2002. Then in 2014, he led Eastern Mennonite to a 20-19 mark, which was just their third 20-win season in program history.
Under Spotts' leadership, the Royals shaved nearly two full runs off their team ERA with many of same pitchers from the season before he took over. EMU's pitching staff also led the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in strikeouts per game. The pitchers lowered their ERA again last year, but the bigger story was the offense jumping their team batting average 40 points to .332. They set the program record with 469 hits in the season.
The post at EMU is the first head coaching gig for Spotts after spending 14 years at perennial powerhouse Bridgewater College.
During his time at Bridgewater as an assistant coach, the Eagles won five ODAC championships and made six regional appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Spotts was the recruiting coordinator for BC and recruited 17 All-ODAC First Team players and three ODAC Rookie of the Year award winners. In addition to recruiting duties, he served in numerous on-the-field and off-the-field roles and ran the Baseball-Academic-Tracking (BAT) program, overseeing the academic success of baseball players.
Spotts graduated from Bridgewater College with a degree in History and Political Science and has a master’s degree in Kinesiology/Emphasis in Athletic Administration and Coaching from James Madison University.
With that pedigree, Spotts understands what it takes to be a head coach and develop a successful program.
“The foundation of our success will be built on a commitment to hard work and a teaching of the fundamentals of the game," explains Spotts. "I am excited to play a role in the success of our players in the classroom and in the campus community. The opportunity to influence players in a positive way as they prepare to lead successful and rewarding lives is one I value greatly.”
Ben and his wife, Angie, reside in Bridgewater with their four children: Landon, Brady, Allie and Rylan.