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UTPB hires new baseball coach

Photo of Gabe Grinder
Photo of Gabe Grinder(UT Permian Basin)
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 12:17 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -After turning Ottawa University around in four seasons, Gabe Grinder has been chosen as the next Head Coach of UT Permian Basin Baseball. 

Grinder led the Braves to a Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference title and reached as high as No. 12 in the nation in 2022.  Under his watch, the Braves went 117-64 (.646) including 43-10 last season, which broke the school record set in 2021.

Grinder coached four NAIA All-Americans including a trio this season.  The 2022 squad reached the opening round of the NAIA National Championships after outscoring opponents 452-231.  This season they pitched to a 3.67 ERA as a staff and a pair of starters had an ERA under three.  In 2021 he led the Braves to their first KCAC Championship since 1994 and clinched back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in 15 years.  Their 37 wins marked just the fourth time in program history they reached 30 in a season.

“We are thrilled to introduce Gabe as the new baseball coach at UT Permian Basin,” Director of Athletics Todd Dooley said.  “Gabe is an experienced coach with a history of success.  His leadership style dovetails with our Pursuit of Comprehensive Excellence.  He will immediately impact not only our baseball program but our Athletics Department and University as a whole.”

In 2020, he guided the Braves to their first winning season since 2010.  The team went 17-9 before the year was shortened due to COVID.  They were one of the top teams in the NAIA at the time of the stoppage, finishing in the top 20 in the nation in triples, RBI, hits, runs scored, and batters struck out.

Prior to taking over the Braves, Grinder was the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for NAIA power, Oklahoma Wesleyan.  He helped them reach the 2017 NAIA World Series and rank as high as No. 5 in the nation.  In 2018, the staff led the nation in ERA at 2.33 and set the school record for strikeouts in back-to-back seasons.

Grinder also worked as the pitching coach at West Virginia Wesleyan College, Morningside College, and Southeastern University.  At Southeastern he had a pitcher set the NAIA all-time saves record and had another lead the NAIA in strikeouts.  He got his start in coaching at Johnson University in Florida where he helped start the program.  In 2012 he helped the Suns to a runner-up finish at the NCCAA National Championship.

Grinder also spent time coaching the Haysville Aviators, a collegiate summer league team in the Jayhawk League.  In three seasons he led them to 89 victories and in 2015 won the league championship.  Grinder started his pitching career at Indiana University of Pennsylvania before transferring to Southeastern University.  In 2009 he was third in NAIA with 14 saves and in 2008 earned a New York Collegiate Baseball League All Star nod.

He graduated from Southeastern University in 2011 with a bachelor’s in sports management.  He earned a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Liberty University in 2017.

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