Jim Boehne will not be back for a 20th season as McKendree University’s baseball coach.
Boehne, who was hired in summer 1997 and coached his first season with the Bearcats in 1998, led McKendree to 589 victories. In the last two years, however, the Bearcats were 24-73 overall and 15-49 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
It is not clear whether Boehne, a 1981 graduate of Carlyle High School, resigned or was terminated by the university. Boehne, 52, could not be reached for comment.
In a prepared statement, McKendree Athletics Director Chuck Brueggemann said:
“Baseball coach Jim Boehne is leaving McKendree after 19 years of service. McKendree is grateful for his leadership and contributions to our institution. Coach Boehne has had a profound impact on countless student-athletes as well as our athletic department. We appreciate his good work and his commitment to teaching. His contributions to McKendree during our transition from the NAIA to Division II of the NCAA have been most beneficial. We wish Mr. Boehne continued success and thank him for all that he has accomplished.”
In 19 seasons, Jim Boehne led the McKendree University baseball team to 589 victories at the NAIA and Division II levels. He was a seven-time American Midwest Conference Coach of the Year and the Bearcats qualified for the NAIA World Series in Oklahoma City in 2009.
Boehne came to McKendree after spending eight seasons as an assistant coach at New Orleans (1990-97) and three seasons as an assistant Louisiana Tech (1987-89).
Boehne was 15-4 in two years as a pitcher at Louisiana Tech and was a 17th-round draft choice of the Boston Red Sox in 1985. He did not sign and never played professionally.
One of Boehne’s players, however, reached the highest professional level.
Brian Dinkelman, a left-handed-hitting infielder from Centralia, was an eighth-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2006 and played 23 games with the team in 2011. He batted .301 (22-for-73) with one double and four RBIs.
Dinkelman, 32, no longer is playing professionally.
Dinkelman broke or tied 25 career records at McKendree and set five NAIA records, including most hits with 373. Dinkelman was the American Midwest Conference Player of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and was the NAIA Player of the Year as a senior in 2006.
Boehne recorded his 500th win at McKendree on April 4, 2011, against Williams Baptist in Walnut Grove, Ark. Boehne’s 2009 squad qualified for the NAIA World Series in Oklahoma City and finished 37-21-2. The Bearcats lost to Texas Wesleyan 9-8, then defeated Southern Nazarene 12-11. McKendree was eliminated with a 11-10 loss to Texas Wesleyan.
Boehne led the Bearcats to AMC championships in seven consecutive seasons (2000-06), He was a seven-time AMC Coach of the Year.
Boehne helped lead Carlyle to the Class A state championship in 1981. The Indians defeated Quincy Notre Dame 7-3 in the quarterfinals, Decatur St. Teresa 9-2 in the semifinals and Aurora Central Catholic 3-1 in the title game. Carlyle was coached by Gary Wheeler.