GREENSBORO - An era in North Carolina A&T baseball will come to an end this summer. Effective July 31, Keith Shumate will no longer be the head baseball coach at N.C. A&T. Shumate offered his resignation to Director of Athletics Earl Hilton on Tuesday.
"This is certainly a sad day for North Carolina A&T Athletics. We're losing a great baseball coach and an even greater human being from our staff," said Hilton. "While we hate to see him depart, we support Keith's decision. He has a fantastic knowledge of the game, and we have certainly benefited from it over the years. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors."
Shumate came to N.C. A&T in 1997. The year before Shumate's arrival, the Aggies went 4-45. In 15 seasons under Shumate, the Aggies broke the school record for wins six times, including last season's 31-wins that earned the program its first ever 30-win season.
"I am extremely grateful to the players, coaches, fans, alumni, administration and colleagues with whom I worked for over the past 15 years," said Shumate. "I felt strongly that God sent me here when no one wanted the leadership of a struggling baseball program. My time here has been one of service while we built a program. "
Shumate leaves behind a remarkable legacy. In 2005, he led the baseball program to its second MEAC Championship with a 10-9 win over Norfolk State. The MEAC title game has featured the Aggies 4 out of the last 6 years.
Rebuilding the program became possible because of Shumate's ability to recruit outstanding players. Shumate has coached 11 players who have signed professional baseball contracts. Five of those players were drafted in the Major League Baseball Draft. Shumate has also coached three All-Americans, three Louisville Slugger Freshman All-Americans and 17 different players have earned first-team All-MEAC honors under Shumate.
Two different players earned MEAC Player of the Year honors, and in 2010 Esterlin Paulino won MEAC Pitcher of the Year and Kelvin Freeman earned MEAC Rookie of the Year. Shumate currently has 294 career wins.