Notre Dame names Shawn Stiffler as its next baseball coach

Shawn Stiffler reacts to a call on the field during a Virginia Commonwealth at Richmond NCAA college baseball game, April 20, 2019, in Richmond, Va.

SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame announced Tuesday morning that Shawn Stiffler is the new Irish baseball coach. He was the coach at Virginia Commonwealth University for the past 10 seasons.

Stiffler is the 22nd baseball head coach in Irish history. He brings experience and a history of winning with a 352-207 overall record.

“Notre Dame is the finest university in the country.” Stiffler said in a Notre Dame release Tuesday morning, “It challenges everyone to become the best version of themselves and I cannot wait to continue recruiting, developing and working with student-athletes with that type of mindset.”

Stiffler will be introduced during a Thursday afternoon press conference.

The 43-year-old coach replaces Link Jarrett, who left Notre Dame after three seasons for his alma mater, the Florida State Seminoles. During his tenure, Jarrett took the Irish to the NCAA Regional in 2021 and the College World Series in 2022.

► After three seasons at Notre Dame, Link Jarrett is headed back home to Florida State

► Notre Dame baseball competes in its first College World Series in 20 years

Stiffler started his coaching career in 2002 and spent four seasons as an assistant at George Mason, his alma mater, before taking an assistant job with the Rams for five seasons. Stiffler was named interim coach when Paul Keyes stepped down due to health reasons.

He kept the job for the next 10 seasons leading the Rams to their first Super Regional appearance in program history in 2015. During his tenure, the program won 34 or more games in each season. He also won the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year in 2019.

Notre Dame pitcher Jack Findlay (24) delivers pitch during the Notre Dame-Michigan baseball game on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at Frank Eck Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

Under Stiffler's leadership, the Rams won the Atlantic 10 Tournament in 2015, 2019, 2021, and 2022 and the conference regular season championship in 2017 and 2019.

“We are excited to welcome Shawn and his family to our Notre Dame community,” Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said in the press release Tuesday. “He’s a perfect fit to lead our nationally-respected program both on and off the field as his approach to coaching and culture mirrors that of our Institution.”

VCU played in the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons after missing 2020 due to the season being canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. VCU is coming off a 42-20 season in which it made the NCAA Regional Tournament winning against Georgia and North Carolina before losing two in a row to the Tar Heels. 

Next up for Stiffler is to compile a coaching staff. According to multiple reports Irish bench coach Rich Wallace and pitching coach Chuck Ristano will join Jarrett's staff at Florida State. 

Stiffler joins a Notre Dame program that reportedly has nine players that have entered the transfer portal, with freshman pitching sensation Jack Findlay headlining. He finished with a team-low 2.17 ERA in 49.2 innings in 20 appearances. Also, 15 players are listed as graduate students or seniors.