Coach has developed data-driven and tech-savvy Major League Baseball-ready pitchers

Tanner Spencer
UMary, Head Baseball Coach

BISMARCK, ND– After making an immediate impact on a pair of NCAA Division II baseball programs as an assistant through incorporating technology into player development, Tanner Spencer will now have an opportunity to impact an entire team as a head coach. The University of Mary has selected Spencer as the Marauders new head baseball coach to continue the program’s resurgence it experienced last season.

Spencer will be introduced in person and answer questions from the media at the Marauders Athletic Luncheon Friday, December 20, 2019, that starts at 11:45 a.m. in Chick’s Place on campus.

Spencer joins the Marauders after spending last season at Minot State University as the assistant head baseball coach. Tasked with overhauling the team’s pitching development, he helped the Beavers set a school record for victories and pitching strikeouts. He had a similar effect the previous year at his alma mater, where the University of Nebraska Kearney also set a school record for strikeouts while lowering the Lopers team earned run average in 2018 by nearly two runs over the previous season as he served as pitching coach.

Similarly, last spring, UMary improved by a dozen wins and jumped six slots in the 2019 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) standings under the direction of first year head coach Mark Moriarty. The Marauders dropped their earned run average (ERA) from 7.24 in 2018 to 5.65 in 2019, and strikeouts-per-nine-innings jumped from 5.3 to 8.1. Professional baseball took notice and the Minnesota Twins hired Moriarty to develop their minor league pitchers, providing the opportunity for Spencer to become a first-time collegiate head coach.

“Tanner Spencer is an extraordinary young coach who has the ability to connect with his players and achieve impressive results,” said Marauders Director of Athletics Dale Lennon. “His understanding and appreciation of how technology can be used to develop players mirrors what Coach Moriarty has already started with our program and the two share many similar philosophies. Tanner is ready to be a head coach and continue to build on our baseball program’s forward momentum.”

“I would like to thank Monsignor Shea, Dale Lennon and the entire search committee for giving me the opportunity to serve the University of Mary baseball team,” said Spencer. “Humbled and honored to be selected as the next Marauders head baseball coach, I’m looking forward to continue building the culture and player-centered program that Coach Moriarty and the entire coaching staff have laid the groundwork for.

“I’m tremendously excited about the current group’s ability to compete right away and their level of ‘buy-in’ on player development as we continue to elevate the program into a consistent competitor at the top of the Northern Sun. I look forward to using the platform of baseball to help develop virtuous  young men who will be impactful and positively represent the University of Mary far after their graduation.”

Spencer joined Minot State as the assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator in 2018. In his one season with the Beavers, MSU advanced to the finals of the 2019 NSIC tournament, set a school record for wins, broke the school record for strikeouts by nearly 100 and had a pitcher named to the All-NSIC Second-Team. Three players were offered professional contracts.

A native of Craik, Saskatchewan, Spencer played two seasons at the University of Nebraska Kearney. After the end of his playing career, Spencer spent the 2017-18 season as the pitching coach and the strength and conditioning coach. The Lopers experienced an increase of 14 wins over the prior season, lowered the team’s ERA by nearly two runs and broke the school record for strikeouts. Three times the Lopers earned MIAA Pitcher of the Week honors and UNK landed a pitcher on the All-Conference Second-Team. Additionally Alex Achtermann was the Conference and Region Player of the Year and was drafted by the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball (MLB).

In 2017 and 2018, Spencer served as the pitching coach for the Moose Jaw Miller Express in the Western Major Baseball League in Canada. Responsible to help recruit the roster for the summer league team, three players were Major League Baseball draft picks and ten eventually played professional baseball.

Spencer graduated from Nebraska Kearney with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and has a master’s degree in sports management from Minot State. He and his wife Kylee currently reside in Minot, ND.

Spencer becomes the eighth Marauders baseball coach since the program began in 1994-95.

The Marauders will conduct their first official practices for the 2020 season in early January. The season opener is January 31 against Colorado Christian University and Rogers State University in the 4Him Classic in Cleburne, TX.