Updated: March 3, 2014 1:19PM
South Suburban College baseball coach Steve Ruzich was selected recently for the National Junior College Athletic Association Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
He will be officially inducted on May 23 in an opening ceremony for the 2014 World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., annual home of the NJCAA Division I World Series, where Ruzich’s Bulldogs have made two past appearances.
This recognition is a rare accomplishment. The Hall of Fame began in 1982, and the selection committee has only chosen 89 members since that time.
“I am honored to be selected to the Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame,” Ruzich said.
“This is such a prestigious award. I am just very grateful to be recognized for the career I have been able to have with the help of some great coaches and players.”
He heads into his 28th year at SSC where he has compiled a record of 978 wins and 565 losses.
Included in Ruzich’s tenure have been four sectional titles, 10 regional championships, two Midwest championships and two appearances at the Junior College Division I World Series.
His coaching awards have included North Central Community College Conference coach of the year, 10 Region IV coach of the year awards, two college coach of the year awards from Pitch and Hit Club of Chicago, Great Lakes District coach of the year and Diamond District coach of the year.
Ruzich has coached 12 All-Americans, 22 players have been drafted by MLB teams, five players have reached the big leagues, 251 players have continued on to four-year college programs, and more than 80 percent of his players have graduated.
He was an All-American catcher at University of St. Francis and was drafted in 1985 by the Chicago White Sox.
After a brief professional baseball stint, Ruzich took over the SSC baseball team in 1987 and now also serves as SSC’s athletic director.
He is well-known as a director and coordinator of local parent-child baseball camps that have attracted thousands of participants.
Ruzich also has worked for the White Sox as an instructor in the Fundamentals area at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.