Saginaw Valley State Head Coach Walt Head is in his 31st season as skipper of the Cardinals baseball team. Coach Head holds a 844-606-6 record after the 2012 campaign and is one of the winningest coaches in NCAA Division II history.
Coach Head took SVSU to their third straight GLIAC Tournament appearance in 2012 after a 20-16 conference record and 26-26 overall record. The Cardinals put together the best fielding percentage in the GLIAC, while the pitching staff sported the third lowest earned run average in the conference at 3.92. Mike Saunders posted a top-5 ERA in the nation with a 1.23 ERA, good enough for a First Team All-GLIAC selection.
He led to the Cardinals to a 25-24 record in 2011 and a second consecutive GLIAC Tournament appearance. SVSU went 22-23 in 2010, qualifying for the GLIAC Tournament after a two year absence. The Cardinals posted a 19-28-1 record in 2009, with a 13-19-1 mark in GLIAC play, which marked the first time Coach Head has had a losing season since 1990, when his team went 17-22. It was only his third losing season in 27 years at the helm.
SVSU posted a record of 31-13 in 2008 with a 17-9 conference
record, which was good for a fifth place finish in the GLIAC. He
was 34-14 in 2007. His team qualified for the GLIAC Tournament and
finished third with a conference record of 18-10 in 2005. Head is
the dean of the Cardinal athletic coaching staff and is the longest
tenured coach in the GLIAC.
He has led SVSU to the NCAA regional playoffs three times, as well as back-to-back GLIAC titles in 2000 and 2001.
In 2003, the Cardinals claimed a share of the GLIAC Championship by tying Grand Valley in the conference tournament.
Among Head’s accomplishments are two NAIA District 23 titles, the 1995, 2000 and 2001 GLIAC titles, the 1996 and 2003 GLIAC Tournament title and the 1995 and 2001 GLIAC "Coach of the Year" honors. The 1997 squad finished the season with a school-record ten-game win streak, matched in 2000. He also owns 27 victories over NCAA Division I teams.
Head knows that hitting the books goes hand-in-hand with hitting the baseball. In 2000, his team won the "Highest Team GPA" award with a 2.96 total grade point average. A former major league scout for the Baltimore Orioles (1972-77) and the Toronto Blue Jays (1977-83), Head also enjoyed a successful amateur coaching career before coming to SVSU. Head posted a 512-91 record at the Connie Mack level with Carpets by Jim Smith in Flint. He won six state championships and was the first coach in Michigan to win a Connie Mack national championship. Head also served as Head Coach of the 1978 National Sports Festival baseball team, which won the gold medal.
A graduate of Flint Ainsworth High School, he and his wife, Sue, live in Montrose. They have three children: Steve, Scott and Christy.