Justin James, surrounded by his team, grips PLNU’s West Regional Champion trophy in May. Photo credit: plnusealions.com
Point Loma Nazarene baseball head coach Justin James has been named a Division II West Regional Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
The award, voted on by the ABCA All-America and Coach of the Year committees, went to seven other coaches representing other regions in the U.S.
James led PLNU’s team to the Division II College World Series, where they fell to top-seeded North Greenville to close the tournament. North Greenville’s coach, Landon Powell, won the national Division II Coach of the Year honor.
“It’s very humbling to get some of these awards and to have the season we had,” James said. “Like anything, it should go to many others that put in the immense time to be a great team.”
James specifically highlighted the contributions of assistant coaches, Steve Sanchez and Riley Regala.
“The year we had and the awards are all because of the players’ and my assistants’ dedication to go above and beyond to get better at anything,” James said. “Coach Sanchez and Regala are phenomenal coaches and are loyal to the program to help our guys improve.”
The award comes after James, who earned his 100th win as PLNU head coach this season, was named PacWest Coach of the Year. He led PLNU to its first PacWest title in program history, while setting team and conference records for wins in a single season.
The 51-10 Sea Lions also won the program’s first regional crown as a member of the NCAA, before making their maiden NCAA Division II championship appearance.
James, who just completed his fourth season atop PLNU’s baseball program, has the highest winning percentage (.631) in program history.