The Fellowship of Christian Athletes presented Ball State head baseball coach Rich Maloney with the Jerry Kindall Character in Coaching Award this past weekend.
The award is presented annually at the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention to a college or high school coach who "best exemplifies the Christian principles of character, integrity, excellence, teamwork and service."
"FCA congratulates coach Maloney on his well-deserving honor," FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson said in a statement. "Coaches have the opportunity to impact more people in one year than most do in a lifetime, and Rich Maloney has lived up to that charge. It's for this reason that, 62 years after our inception, FCA is committed to honoring coaches who exhibit the qualities of a godly leader who can truly change lives through their service."
Maloney was the head coach at Ball State from 1996 to 2002 and spent 11 seasons at the University of Michigan before returning to Ball State in 2013. Last season, the Cardinals won the Mid-American Conference West Division with a 15-9 record (32-26 overall) and seven Ball State baseball players were named Academic All-MAC.
Over Thanksgiving Break in 2015, Maloney took his team to the Dominican Republic to perform community service and play a few exhibition games. There, the Cardinals passed out food in a sugarcane village and visited an orphanage. Before the trip, Maloney said the off-the-field lessons his players would learn from the trip were just as important as any on-field lessons he could teach them.
“We’re supposed to educate what’s really out there in the world,” Maloney said. “That’s the whole idea of higher education. So, for me, [the trip to the Dominican Republic] provides our kids an opportunity to learn at a different level than they will on the baseball field or in the classroom.”
Ball State's baseball season begins Feb. 17 against Maryland in Clearwater, Florida.