Incredible System Of LSU-Eunice’s Jeff Willis 0

By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

Head Coach Jeff Willis of LSU-Eunice is one of the most remarkable stories in college baseball history.

In 19 seasons as the skipper of the Bengals, his teams have won 7 NJCAA Div. 2 national championships (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2018, 2021).

Only two other coaches in college baseball history across all divisions have won more in Ed Cheff of Lewis-Clark St. (16 NAIA national titles in 34 seasons) and Rod Dedeaux of Southern California (11 NCAA Div. I championships in 45 years).

Possibly even more remarkable is that he has led LSU-Eunice to a 902-196 overall record in 19 seasons with a .821 winning percentage.

He enjoys the second highest winning percentage in the history of college baseball over all divisions (NCAA Div. I, II, III, NAIA or junior colleges) by a coach, active or retired.

Willis only trails Lloyd Simmons, former head coach at Seminole State Community College (OK) who had a slightly higher winning percentage of .826 (1,804-380 in 30 years of coaching).

Not bad for a guy who scoured the country 20 years ago trying to find a coaching job anywhere in college baseball after the school he was working at was about to cut back his salary from $12,000 a year to $6,000. He and his wife Lindsey lived in a trailer and barely made ends meet.

Too many meals were Ranch Style Beans or bologna and cheese sandwiches.

Forced to look elsewhere for a job in baseball, he sent resumes to every open college baseball job in the country which ultimately became a stack of papers 10 inches high. Nobody called him back for months.

Only one school ultimately called him for an interview — LSU Eunice.

The story of Jeff Willis is an amazing one that you will never forget as he turned a baseball program that was three years old at LSU-Eunice into a national powerhouse. When he got there at the age of 24, there were no scholarships, no assistant coaches and no toilets anywhere near the field

Turning young men into great people in life is the centerpiece of his system which may be the best ever devised for a college baseball coach.

To read more of this story, purchase the Jan. 7, 2022 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. This special feature story delves into his remarkable system at LSU-Eunice as he explains the 4 cornerstones of his program (develop men, deserve to win, compete in everything and selflessness) and how each area is taught. Willis also explains his innovative point system for rating players which has 120 categories, why the transfer of blame is a cancer with teams, plus much more.