Skip Bertman
Biographical details
Born (1938-05-23) May 23, 1938 (age 84)
Detroit, Michigan
Playing career
1958–1960Miami (FL)
Position(s)Outfielder, catcher
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1965–1975Miami Beach HS (FL)
1976–1983Miami (FL) (assistant)
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
5 College World Series (1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000)
7 SEC (1986, 1990–1993, 1996, 1997)
Baseball America Coach of the Year (1986, 1996)
Collegiate Baseball Coach of the Year (1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000)
SEC Coach of the Year (1986, 1990–1993, 1996, 1997)
College Baseball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Stanley "Skip" Bertman (born May 23, 1938) is a former college baseball coach and athletic director at Louisiana State University (LSU). He led the LSU Tigers baseball team to five College World Series championships and seven Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships in 18 years as head coach. He amassed 870 wins, 330 losses, and three ties for a .724 winning percentage. His .754 winning percentage in NCAA baseball tournament competition is the highest among head coaches in college baseball history.

Playing career

Bertman spent his collegiate playing days as an outfielder and catcher at the University of Miami, in Coral Gables, Florida, from 1958–1960. While a player at Miami, Bertman earned his B.A. in health and physical education. He later received his master's degree from Miami in 1964.[1]

Coaching career


In 11 seasons as head baseball coach at Miami Beach High School, Bertman's team won a state championship and was state runner-up twice. Bertman was named Florida High School Coach of the Year three times. Based in part on these coaching credentials, Bertman went on to work as associate head coach at the University of Miami for eight seasons (1976–1983) under Ron Fraser. During this time, the Hurricanes won the national championship in 1982. In that 1982 College World Series, Bertman orchestrated one of the most famous plays in college baseball history—a phantom pickoff play known as the "Grand Illusion" which resulted in Wichita State's Phil Stephenson being thrown out at second base.[2][3][4]


Bertman was hired by athletic director Bob Brodhead to coach LSU in 1984, and he transformed LSU into a baseball powerhouse, guiding the Tigers to 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, 11 College World Series appearances, seven Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships, and five NCAA baseball national championships in 18 seasons. LSU won its first two College World Series titles in 1991 and 1993, each time defeating Wichita State in the championship game. In 1996, LSU defeated Bertman's alma mater Miami for its third national title. Its fourth title came in 1997 with a 13–6 victory over Alabama in an all-SEC championship final. LSU defeated Stanford in the 2000 championship game for Bertman's fifth and final CWS title.[4]

While at LSU, Bertman was honored as the Collegiate Baseball Coach of the Year five times, Baseball America Coach of the Year twice, and the SEC Coach of the Year seven times, including four straight from 1990 to 1993. Bertman's teams also drew large crowds to LSU's Alex Box Stadium, as the Tigers led the nation in collegiate baseball attendance in each of his final six seasons (1996–2001).[5]

United States national team

Bertman served as an assistant coach for the United States national baseball team which finished in first place at the 1988 Summer Olympics, where baseball was a demonstration sport. He then served as head coach of the national team in 1995 and 1996,[6] which captured the bronze medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics by defeating Nicaragua, 10–3.[7]

Administrative career

Bertman was named LSU's athletics director on January 19, 2001, responsible for an athletic budget of $52 million. He succeeded Joe Dean, a former Tiger basketball standout who held the position for 14 years.

On June 4, 2006, Bertman' successor as LSU's baseball coach, Raymond "Smoke" Laval resigned after the Tigers went 35–24 overall and 13–17 in the SEC, failing to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1988. Laval led the Tigers to the College World Series in 2003 and 2004, but tailed off in his final two seasons, losing the 2005 regional championship game at home to Rice.

Bertman speculated that he would consider a return to the dugout if he could not find a suitable candidate to replace Laval after the 2006 season, but the job was eventually given to Notre Dame coach Paul Mainieri.[8] Mainieri led the Tigers to the 2009 College World Series championship, the sixth baseball national championship in school history and the first not won with Bertman as head coach.

Bertman presided over two football national championship seasons as athletic director. The Tigers won the 2003 BCS championship under coach Nick Saban. When Saban left at the end of the 2004 season to coach the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League, Bertman moved quickly to hire Oklahoma State coach Les Miles. Miles led LSU to a consensus national championship in 2007.

Other success in Bertman's tenure included five consecutive trips to the NCAA women's basketball Final Four (2004–2008) under four different coaches, an appearance in the men's basketball Final Four in 2006, a trip to the Women's College World Series in softball in 2004, and six NCAA outdoor track championships (three men's and three women's).

The LSU Board of Supervisors approved Bertman's three-year contract extension. Bertman's new extension, which was approved without discussion, called for him to be paid $425,000 annually beginning July 1, 2007, and ending June 30, 2010.[9] Bertman, who served as Athletic Director since leaving his coaching position after the 2001 baseball season, stepped down in 2008 to become athletic director emeritus as dictated by his contract. As athletic director emeritus, Bertman's role primarily involves fundraising.[10]



Bertman was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.[12] He was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 and the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.[12] He was elected to the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003, and was a member of the inaugural class of the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. In a Baseball America poll published in 1999, Bertman was voted the second greatest college baseball coach of the 20th century, behind Rod Dedeaux of USC.[13]

In 2001, the section of South Stadium Drive between River Road and Nicholson Drive—site of the original Alex Box Stadium—was renamed Skip Bertman Drive.[4] Bertman's No. 15 jersey was also retired by the LSU baseball team.[12] On May 17, 2013, during a pre-game ceremony that also celebrated the 20th anniversary of Bertman's 1993 National Championship team, the field at Alex Box Stadium was officially dedicated "Skip Bertman Field." The stadium itself was renamed to Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.[14]

Head coaching record

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
LSU Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (1984–2001)
1984 LSU 32–23 12–12 3rd
1985 LSU 41–18 17–7 T–1st NCAA Regional
1986 LSU 55–14 22–5 1st College World Series
1987 LSU 49–19 12–10 5th College World Series
1988 LSU 39–21 16–11 5th
1989 LSU 55–17 18–9 2nd College World Series
1990 LSU 54–19 20–7 1st College World Series
1991 LSU 55–18 19–7 1st College World Series
1992 LSU 50–16 18–6 1st NCAA Regional
1993 LSU 53–17–1 18–8–1 1st College World Series
1994 LSU 46–20 21–6 2nd College World Series
1995 LSU 47–18 17–12 5th NCAA Regional
1996 LSU 52–15 20–10 1st College World Series
1997 LSU 57–13 22–7 1st College World Series
1998 LSU 48–19 21–9 2nd College World Series
1999 LSU 41–24–1 18–11–1 3rd Super Regional
2000 LSU 52–17 19–10 2nd College World Series
2001 LSU 44–22–1 18–12 2nd Super Regional
LSU: 870–330–3 (.724) 328–159–2 (.673)
Total: 870–330–3 (.724)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ "Stanley "Skip" Bertman Bio". Louisiana State University. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  2. ^ Durso, Joseph (June 17, 1982). "Plays; A Pickoff That Wasn't". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  3. ^ Richards, George (June 7, 2017). "Trick play by the Miami Hurricanes remains a college baseball highlight 35 years later". Miami Herald. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Macaluso, Joe (May 21, 2013). "From Humble Beginnings". The Advocate. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  5. ^ Higgins, Ron (June 27, 2014). "Skip Bertman and Ron Polk should take a bow each time a SEC baseball team wins a national championship". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  6. ^ "Transactions". The New York Times. September 16, 1994. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  7. ^ Schwartz, Jerry (August 3, 1996). "Cubans Slug Their Way Past Japan to Gold Medal". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  8. ^ Kelly, Jason (June 29, 2006). "Marriage (or 2) made in heaven". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  9. ^ "LSU athletic director Bertman gets contract extension". USA Today. Associated Press. April 20, 2007. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  10. ^ Price, John (February 21, 2007). "Bertman signs one-year extension, will retire in 2008". Houma Times. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  11. ^ Gafford, LaMar (January 19, 2015). "5-time NCAA champion Skip Bertman speaks at LC banquet". The Town Talk. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c Higgins, Ron (May 21, 2016). "Skip Bertman statue gets approval from LSU Athletic Hall of Fame committee". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  13. ^ "Miami's Fraser, LSU's Bertman called to College Baseball Hall". USA Today. Associated Press. July 3, 2006. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  14. ^ Rosetta, Randy (May 17, 2013). "Field of honor: LSU officially renames the diamond at Alex Box Stadium in Skip Bertman's name". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved July 15, 2017.