LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska Wesleyan University announced today the hiring of John Rypel as the new Head Baseball Coach for the Prairie Wolves. He becomes the 11th head coach in NWU Baseball program history.
Rypel comes to NWU from University of Alabama Birmingham where he spent the past season serving as the Director of Operations for the UAB baseball team.
He has a NCAA Division III head coach background having served as head baseball coach at two different NCAA III institutions amassing 132 victories.
Prior to UAB, Rypel was head coach at Calvin College, a Division III program in Grand Rapids, Mich. He won 74 games during his tenure, leading the Knights to three berths in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Tournament, including a trip to the finals in 2015. At Calvin, Rypel coached 14 All-MIAA players and two Mideast All-Region performers.
His first head coaching job was as Gordon College in Massachusetts where he won 58 games in four seasons, while breaking 23 school records. In his fourth and final season, Rypel led Gordon to a program-best 19 victories and its first winning season in two decades. He coached 14 All-Conference on one All-Region performer and the Scots placed 14 student-athletes on the conference All-Academic team. While at Gordon, Rypel also spent two summers as the head coach of the Marauders in the Myrtle Beach Collegiate Baseball League.
Rypel arrived at Gordon after spending four years as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Maryville College in Tennessee. During his tenure the pitching staff set seven school records on their way to two Great South Conference Championships. His final recruiting class produced the first player to be selected in the MLB amateur draft when the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Nick Dean in the 32nd round.
Rypel's playing days included stints at Cuyahoga Community College, King College and Shawnee State University. His summer baseball included successful seasons as a member of the Strongsville Americans in the Cuyahoga AAA Wood-Bat Summer League and the Vermillion franchise of the Erie Shore League. He earned his undergraduate degree from Carson Newman College and also holds a master's degree in sports science.
He inherits a Nebraska Wesleyan team that went 10-25 during the 2019 season missing out on the conference tournament a sixth straight season.