J. Stanley "Skip" Bertman (born May 23, 1938 in Detroit), is a former college baseball coach and athletic director at LSU. He led the LSU Tigers baseball team to College World Series Championships in 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, and 2000.
University of Miami
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 and, after Bertman left to become head baseball coach at LSU, the Hurricanes went on to win the championship again, in 1985.
Bertman was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
Louisiana State University
Bertman began coaching at LSU in 1984 and would transform LSU into a baseball power house, guiding the Tigers to 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, 11 College World Series appearances, 7 SEC Championships and 5 NCAA Baseball National Championships in his 18 seasons as the LSU Head Coach. His 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). He also served as head coach of the 1996 U.S. Olympic team, which captured the bronze medal in Atlanta.
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. Bertman's No. 15 jersey was also retired at LSU.
Bertman has been inducted, in June 2002, into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in January 2003, and was a member of the inaugural class of the College Baseball Hall of Fame on July 4, 2006.
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." It will now be known as Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
In a Baseball America poll published in 1999, Bertman was voted the second greatest college baseball coach of the 20th century, trailing Rod Dedeaux of Southern California.
In six years as LSU's director of athletics, Bertman added to his impressive list of on-the-field achievements. Under his direction, LSU enjoyed arguably the greatest athletics year in the history of the institution in 2003–04. Three teams won national championships, nine teams finished in the nation's top ten, and fourteen teams ranked in the top 25. LSU teams also enjoyed improved grade point averages across all sports, making the LSU student-athlete experience a success on and off the fields of competition.
Bertman oversaw a massive upgrade to LSU's athletics complex throughout his tenure. Working hand in hand with the Tiger Athletic Foundation, Bertman has already helped oversee the completion of the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes while launching renovations to Tiger Stadium and the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, the construction of a new Football Operations Center and in 2009, the opening of new stadiums for the baseball and softball teams. Construction is in progress on new practice facilities for the basketball and gymnastics teams.
Bertman also moved to implement a seat contribution program in Tiger Stadium to fund facility improvements and ensure the financial stability of the LSU Athletics Department for the next decade.
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 fired his successor as LSU's baseball coach, Raymond "Smoke" Laval, 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 before the disastrous 2006 campaign.
Bertman speculated that he would consider a return to the dugout if he could not find a suitable candidate to replace Laval, but the job was eventually given to former Notre Dame coach Paul Mainieri. Mainieri would lead 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 despite losing triple overtime games to Kentucky and Arkansas. Other success in Bertman's tenure included five consecutive trips to the NCAA women's basketball Final Four (2004–08) 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 softbal in 2004, and six NCAA outdoor track championships (three men, three women).
The LSU Board of Supervisors approved Bertman's three-year contract extension. Bertman's new extension, which was approved without discussion, called for the former coach to be paid $425,000 annually beginning July 1, 2007, and ending June 30, 2010. 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 involved fundraising.
Personal Bertman and his wife Sandy are the parents of four daughters; Jan, Jodi, Lisa and Lori. The Bertman's have four grandchildren; Sophie Faith and Isaac Stanley, the children of Emile and Lori Bertman Guirard, and Samuel Aaron and Ezra Marc, the sons of Drew and Lisa Pate.
Bertman led Team USA to a bronze medal in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. The team finished the Olympic Games with a 6–1 record on a victory over Nicaragua.
National Collegiate Baseball Championships: 2000, 1997, 1996, 1993, 1991 SEC Championships: 1997, 1996, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1986 Career record (1984–2001): 870–330–3 (.724)
NCAA tournament record: 89–29 (.754), highest winning percentage in NCAA history
National Coach of the Year: 2000, 1997, 1996, 1993, 1991, 1986
College World Series appearances: 2000, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1987, 1986