TIGERVILLE, SC—North Greenville University head baseball coach Tim Nihart has retired from the Crusader baseball program, Athletic Director Jan McDonald announced Wednesday.
Nihart has been the Crusaders’ head baseball coach for 10 years after coming to Tigerville in 1998. He compiled a record of 145-358-1 at NGU.
Nihart cited health issues as one of the major contributing factors in his decision,
"I've had some health issues including a mini-stroke last June," said Nihart. "When you have those physical things happen it wakes you up and causes you to re-evaluate, look at life, and make some adjustments. Something had to come off the plate and baseball was one of the big stresses."
Nihart, a former radio broadcaster, will remain a full-time faculty member at North Greenville as a Professor of Communications. Additionally, Nihart is the director of Marietta Baptist Camp in Marietta, SC.
"I'm looking forward to spending more time in the classroom and taking the classroom to the next level," noted Nihart.
Nihart has had a distinguished baseball career. He played in the Minnesota Twins organization and was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at his alma mater, Lindenwood University, last fall.
"Baseball has been a huge part of my life for so long, but I felt a peace about this being the time to get out of baseball. In ten years at North Greenville the objective was to build a program that could keep going for a lifetime, and I believe we have done that. We've built facilities and set the program up for success. I'm excited for the program and believe it will move forward with a great young team coming back."
Nihart cited his players and former players as reasons he did not want to retire. "I didn't want to disappoint my players and former players. I've had good relationships with them and kept in contact with a lot of former players. However, I think the Lord has been preparing me to retire for about ten months."
NGU Director of Athletics Jan McDonald said of Nihart, “Coach Nihart has made tremendous improvements for our baseball program and facilities. He is an outstanding Christian leader on and off the field who has shared Christ with thousands of people through the game of baseball. I appreciate his years of service to Crusader athletics and am pleased that he will remain a part of the NGU family as a full-time faculty member.”
Nihart said the main thing he wanted to accomplish when he came to North Greenville was to use baseball as a vehicle to share the Gospel. "We have gone all over the southeast doing free baseball clinics and telling people about Jesus. We have gone to the Dominican Republic. Many people have come to know the Lord through the North Greenville baseball program."
McDonald hopes to name a new head baseball coach by mid-June.