Head coach Matt Senk in the dugout during a game in 2012, the same season as Stony Brook’s famous underdog College World Series run. Senk’s contract was recently extended through 2024. EZRA MARGONO/STATESMAN FILE

For 29 seasons, head coach Matt Senk has been the driving force that has led Stony Brook’s baseball team. On Friday, Sept. 27, Stony Brook Athletics announced that Senk’s contract would be extended through the 2024 season.

“I am extremely thankful for the opportunity given to me by our university and athletic administrations,” Senk said in a press release. “I’m looking forward to the upcoming seasons and very appreciative of the confidence and belief in myself to continue leading our baseball program to future success.”

The extension comes on the heels of an incredibly successful 2019 season for Stony Brook Baseball. Senk led the team to a 31-23 record, including a 15-9 mark in America East play to capture the Seawolves’ fifth regular season title in conference history. As the No. 1 seed, Stony Brook swept through the America East tournament to earn their sixth conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth. From last year’s team, outfielder Michael Wilson was selected in the 16th round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers and shortstop Nick Grande was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 17th round.

Senk, a former catcher at Cortland State, took over the program in 1991 when the team was still in Division III and known as the Stony Brook Patriots. He recruited a little-known shortstop from Pine Bush High School named Joe Nathan who became the school’s first MLB draft pick when he was selected in the sixth round of the 1995 draft by the San Francisco Giants.

Nathan eventually converted to pitcher, where he made his mark in baseball history as one of the premier closers of the 21st century. Nathan ended his career with 377 saves (eighth most all-time), as well as six All-Star appearances and the highest save percentage in MLB history amongst pitchers with at least 250 saves. In August of this year, Nathan was inducted into the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame.

Senk gained national attention in 2012 when he led Stony Brook to the College World Series in a run that is recognized as one of the greatest underdog stories of college baseball. He was named Coach of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) after the team finished 52-15 and became the first Northeast school to reach the College World Series since 1986.

“He’s obviously done a wonderful job,” former New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Senk during Stony Brook’s 2012 season. “I think it’s amazing what they’ve accomplished and it’s in our backyard.”

Senk has played a role in developing 27 players that have been selected in the MLB Draft. Five of them have reached the major leagues, most recently New York Mets reliever Daniel Zamora, who made his debut on August 17, 2018. The Stony Brook baseball team will look to capture their second consecutive America East crown when they take the field for Senk’s 30th season in the spring of 2020.

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