Mark "Lunch" McKenzie
Mark “Lunch” McKenzie enters his 20th year as the head baseball coach at Concordia University, St. Paul in 2019 and is the second-longest tenured head coach at Concordia.
COACHING TEAM SUCCESS FIRST
The 2005 NSIC Coach of the Year became the program's all-time wins leader in 2008 and carries a 409-318-1 overall career record, while leading the team to a 253-201 record in Northern Sun play. His 2009 team also holds the school wins record, finishing 35-18 overall while the 2014 and 2016 Golden Bears won a program record 20 Northern Sun games.
He guided the Golden Bears to NSIC Championships in the 2003 and 2008 seasons, winning the conference tournament each season while reaching the NCAA Central Region Tournament for the first time in school history. The program's 2003 NSIC Championship and 2008 NCAA Tournament appearance were the first men's teams in Concordia's Division II & NSIC history (1999-00 to present) to accomplish the feats for the athletic department. The Golden Bears again reached the NSIC Championship game in 2016 and 2018, falling to St. Cloud State in 2016 and Augustana in 2018.
DEVELOPING FUTURE STARS
McKenzie has had three Golden Bears drafted since 2009 with Jake Schmidt (41st round, Chicago Cubs) in 2009, Bryan Lippincott (19th round, Washington Nationals) in 2012, and Gus Varland (14th Round, Oakland Athletics). Schmidt and Lippincott were both NCAA statistical champions as well, with Schmidt leading all Division II pitchers in strikeouts per game while Lippincott was the NCAA batting champion (all levels). While Lippincott won the national batting title, the program has also produced a pair of NCAA Central Region batting titles and three Northern Sun batting champions.
Schmidt, Lippincott, and Varland are three of Concordia baseball's seven All-Americans, as Brenden Furrow, Matt Borman, Chris Herbert and Kyle Dalton also received All-America recognition. Lippincott was also the two-time Capital One Academic All-American of the Year for the sport of baseball.
Major awards have been a part of the program under McKenzie, as the team has featured an NSIC Player of the Year (Lippincott), three NSIC Pitchers of the Year (Schmidt, Borman, Varland), four NSIC Newcomers of the Year and an NSIC Freshman of the Year along with three NSIC Tournament MVP awards.
McKenzie has also coached two Central Region Gold Glove winners, 67 All-Conference players and 135 NSIC All-Academic student-athletes.
In his time at Concordia, he's had 18 players with professional baseball experience on their resume's.
McKENZIE BRINGS MAJOR OUTSIDE EXPERIENCE TO THE PLATE
In 2010, McKenzie was recognized by Baseball Canada as the 2010 Cito Gaston Humanitarian Award winner which exemplifies commitment to furthering the development of baseball in Canada by a non-resident. Past winners of the award include MLB All-Stars Joe Carter, Jon Olerud and Moises Alou.
Lunch has coached baseball for 51 years at many different levels including Little League, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, American Legion, High School and College. He has also completed 20 tours of duty with USA Baseball and the Olympic Development Program, working in various capacities ranging from scouting and cross checking to being an assistant coach as well as the head coach.
As the head coach, his 1998 USA Baseball National Team won the World Championship and Gold Medal. The team was named Baseball Team of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee. That same year Lunch was awarded the USOC Developmental Coach of the Year honor.
Coach McKenzie has been the hitting coach for three USA Baseball National Teams, the 16U team in 1997 and 1998 as well as the 18U team in 2008. The 1998 team set the 16U record for the highest team batting average at .428 (aluminum bats) while winning the Gold and the 2008 team holds the 18U record for team batting average at .330 (wood bats) while taking home the Silver.
In addition, Coach McKenzie has been a part of 12 Gold Medal teams as well as two Silvers and a Bronze in international competition.
An accomplished clinician, Lunch has spoken at numerous clinics and banquets around the country and in Canada including the ABCA National Convention in San Diego and Reggie Jackson’s Hall of Fame Dinner in Cooperstown, N.Y.
He has also become a mainstay speaker at the USA Baseball NTIS Symposium in Raleigh, N.C.
In 1997, McKenzie was named to the USA Baseball National Board of Coaching Education, a position he still holds. This six-member panel is in charge of creating the curriculum that is used to instruct new coaches interested in becoming Junior Olympic and National Team Coaches.
McKenzie’s teams have won 37 championships over the years including four state and five regional championships.
THE LUNCH LINE to the PRO's
Lunch has won dozens of coaching awards over the years. More than 300 of his players and students have moved on to college baseball and 88 have moved on to professional baseball including 24 first round draft picks - highlighted by 10 first rounders in the 2009 draft. He's had 22 former players move on to play in the Major Leagues.
Coach McKenzie lives in Minnetonka and has three children, twin brothers Paul and Marcus, and a daughter, Kelly. Paul was a catcher for the Golden Bears, playing for his father, while Marcus pitched at the University of Minnesota before a professional career with the St. Paul Saints among other professional teams. Marcus is currently the associate head coach on the baseball staff.
Kelly is a 2012 graduate of Minnetonka High School and is pursuing her MBA at Concordia. She spent four seasons with with the CSP softball team and another as a member of the women's basketball team. She is named after former Minnesota Twins manager and two-time World Series Champion Tom Kelly.