Despite having an affinity for Indiana high school baseball, college baseball has always brought Doug Schreiber the most joy.
So it's no surprise the prep coach is returning to the college ranks.
The former La Porte High School standout and former Purdue University head baseball coach returned to the college game recently, as Schreiber was hired as Purdue University Fort Wayne's head baseball coach.
“That is where my passion is,” Schreiber said by phone on Friday of coaching college again. “I thoroughly enjoyed coaching at McCutcheon the last two years. I felt very strongly I was blessed to have that opportunity. I felt like I became a better coach and a better person for that experience. But my passion is definitely helping young men with their development of baseball and life skills. This is just an age where I feel very comfortable, helping them as they kind of break away from home a little bit and start making some decisions on their own."
Schreiber, a 1986 La Porte High School graduate, has been the head coach the last two years at McCutcheon High School in Lafayette, finishing with a 43-14 record and claiming the North Central Conference championship this year. He was selected NCC Coach of the Year.
Prior to the prep ranks, Schreiber served as Purdue University head coach for 18 seasons from 1999-2016. He was named the 2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year, guiding the Boilermakers to a regular-season and conference title. Schreiber is Purdue's all-time winningest coach, going 485-510 at his alma mater. Thirty-four Boilermakers were chosen in the Major League Baseball Draft under his tutelage.
He added numerous factors attracted him to this position, including the chance to return to major college baseball and the quality of the university.
“No. 1, it was an opportunity for me to get back into Division I baseball,” Schreiber continued. "Purdue University Fort Wayne is an outstanding school. Right now, they've got record enrollment. Housing is full. There's certainly a buzz around the community about the university and what they're doing. I've always thought about Fort Wayne as a baseball city and a baseball area. So it was just a great opportunity for myself and my wife to be able to make a change in our life and become part of the Fort Wayne community. And really take on the challenge of building the program back up.”
Doug Schreiber is the son of renowned La Porte High School baseball coach Ken Schreiber, who paced the program with over 1,000 wins and a record seven state championships.
With Fort Wayne being only about 100 miles from Schreiber's hometown of La Porte, he said that greatly influenced his decision to take the job.
“I've had some other opportunities here and there to maybe go back into college coaching," Schreiber added. "But the fact that this position was in Indiana was big on a lot of fronts. But again, I feel like being a part of Indiana high school baseball growing up, and then, coaching the last couple of years, and just having roots here, whether that's in La Porte or West Lafayette. We need to be strong in the state of Indiana as far as our recruiting here at Purdue Fort Wayne. So that definitely played a big part in it. My wife and I enjoy living in Indiana and we're very much looking forward to being part of the Fort Wayne community, too.”
Schreiber inherits the program from Bobby Pierce, who resigned after 11 seasons on July 2 to become an Arizona high school athletic director. Last year, the Mastodons were 7-45.
When Pierce left, Schreiber had a friend text him, letting him know the position was going to be open.
"I kind of looked through and I didn't know a whole lot of people at Purdue Fort Wayne," he said. "I thought I might know some people in the athletic department, but I really didn't know. But I knew some people who obviously knew people here at Purdue Fort Wayne, so I was able to connect through those contacts. I was fortunate to be able to get an interview, and then, be offered the position. It kind of came about quick. I'm just very appreciative and grateful for the opportunity.”
With being thankful, Schreiber wants to make the most of this chance, saying he wants his program to be defined as dedicated and dogged, and hopefully, contend for Summit League titles annually.
“Obviously, we want to be a consistent competitor in our conference and in our region,” he added. “We want to build the program to the point where we're competing for conference championships and those types of things every year. The program will reflect a lot of the core values that we'll teach, that's going to be a positive attitude, a strong maturity level, a lot of passion. We're going to respect the game, so we're going to play it the right way. We're going to play hard. We're going to have an unbelievable work ethic.”