SAINT LEO, Fla. - The Saint Leo baseball program and Head Coach Sean O'Connor have announced that ABCA Hall of Fame coach, and former Kentucky head coach Keith Madison will headline the 2013 'Opening Night with the Lions', which will be held on January 31, 2013 at University Campus.
"Having Coach Madison on our campus is a great honor," Head Coach Sean O'Connor said.
"He is one of the great names in college baseball for his accomplishments on and off the field."
Madison, the winningest coach in the history of Kentucky baseball, walked away from Kentucky in 2003 after 25 seasons and 737 career victories. He coached 85 players who were drafted or signed professional baseball contracts, 17 who eventually reached the major league level. Among those are current major leaguers 2006 Cy Young Award winner, Brandon Webb (Arizona), Joe Blanton (Oakland) and Scott Downs (Toronto).
A native of Brownsville, KY, Madison became UK's 22nd head baseball coach on June 7, 1978, at the young age of 26. When he left, he was the third-winningest coach in SEC history behind legends Ron Polk and Skip Bertman. In 25 seasons Madison certainly left his mark, not only on the Kentucky baseball program but also on the national college baseball scene.
On the national scene, Madison was recognized in 1995 for his knowledge, integrity and passion for college baseball at the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention when his peers elected him the organization's fourth vice-president. He eventually served as the president in 2000. That year, he ran the national convention in Atlanta, drawing the largest turnout in history with over 3,500 in attendance.
Madison has also worked with USA Baseball, serving as the national team's pitching coach during the summer of 1999. Coach Madison was honored in 2005 by being inducted into the inaugural class of the University of Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2006, he was inducted into the Kentucky High School Baseball Hall of Fame; and in 2007, he joined an elite group of coaches as he was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
After a successful coaching career, Madison spent almost two years working in the University of Kentucky Development Office as a Major Gift Officer. After a brief stint with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Madison became the National Director for Baseball with SCORE International. Through "SCORE" he sends bimonthly motivational and devotional messages to almost 1,000 coaches and also recruits coaches and athletes to join him on short-term baseball/mission trips to the Dominican Republic. In November of 2010, Coach Madison helped to lead 230 coaches, professional baseball players and businessmen on a trip to the Dominican Republic where they conducted free clinics to over 10,000 young Dominican baseball players.
Besides being National Baseball Director of SCORE International, Coach Madison is also on the Board of the American Baseball Coaches' Association, publishes Inside Pitch magazine and serves as a consultant for Baseball Factory. He was awarded the Lefty Gomez Award in January of 2013 for contributions in amateur baseball both in the states and internationally.