Joe Scheuermann2016 Eddie Robinson Award
The Delgado Community College baseball program has established itself as an elite program nationally among the junior college ranks. The Dolphins have advanced to the National Junior College World Series in each of the last three seasons while winning 10 Region XXIII Conference championships in the last 11 seasons. In addition, more than 300 players from the program have gone on to play in four-year collegiate baseball programs in the last 25 years.
The tremendous on-field success has come despite a very limited budget reduced even further due to state budget cuts in recent years – the program relies heavily on donations and fundraising. “Rags” Scheuermann Field at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium, recognized as an exceptional baseball facility, has reached its status with all maintenance being handled by the Delgado players and coaching staff. Access to the stadium is provided to more than 20 local high school programs AT NO CHARGE in order to support the community and the development of thousands of local baseball players each season. In addition, the team performs more than 300 hours of community service annually. On the academic side, the 2016 team had a 3.0 team GPA with nine sophomores earning their associate’s degrees this May – 28 baseball student-athletes have graduated over the last three years.
Based on on-field success with limited resources as well as the team’s academic performance and service to the community, Joe Scheuermann, the head coach of the Delgado baseball program, has been selected to receive the Eddie Robinson Award by the Sports Awards Committee of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame. The award is presented annually to an athlete, coach, team or athletic administrator in Louisiana who demonstrates the qualities most associated with Grambling legend Eddie Robinson: outstanding achievement in athletics, academics, sportsmanship and citizenship by maximizing the use of limited resources.
“Coach Robinson established himself and his program as fine examples of how to do more with less, while still presenting a quality product both on and off of the field,” said Scheuermann. “To just be mentioned in the same breath as Coach Robinson, much less earning an award that bears his name is a tremendous honor for myself, my family, and our program.”
This past year, the Dolphins posted a 37-16 overall record. After winning the Region XXIII Conference title, Scheurmann’s squad defeated Eastern Oklahoma State College and Maple Woods Community College (Mo.) to earn the program’s fifth overall trip to the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo. A 12-2 victory over Darton College (Albany, Ga.) in Grand Junction was the 900th victory in Scheuermann’s 25-year coaching career at Delgado.
“The commitment that our players make both on and off of the field and the discipline they show is only a small part of the formula that we have used to be successful at Delgado,” said Scheuermann. “It goes without saying that there is more to winning than the score and titles, but winning off the field…in the community, in the classroom, and in their future endeavors as well. Our kids have made the most with very limited resources, which makes me the most proud as their coach.”
The Delgado baseball program had its start in 1972 when Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Famer “Rags” Scheuermann, Joe’s father, established an athletic department for the state’s oldest and largest community college. When the senior Scheuermann retired in 1990, his son took over the reins of the program. The entire Scheuermann family is involved in the team’s success on and off the field today.
“I came to Delgado because of my family and it’s the reason our program’s tradition has continued to be successful,” Scheuermann continued. “Every day, I’m motivated to carry on the tradition that my dad started…one that is now three generations strong. Our family tradition is recognized not only by the players in the program, but their families and the community as well. It’s those family roots that we have built our successes around through the years. We’ve never made lack of facilities or lack of funds an excuse.”
Over the last 44 years, the Delgado baseball program has truly grown to be a part of the local community. Each year, the team’s roster features players from well over 30 local high schools and dozens of Louisiana zip codes. This local flare greatly impacts its family ties, with parents, grandparents, relatives, alums and friends all being able to support the Dolphins….the community’s home team.