Keith Veale named to NAIA Hall of Fame Class of 2020
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio – Mount Vernon Nazarene University is pleased to announce head baseball coach Keith Veale has been selected for induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2020.
“Thank you so much to those who took the time and made the effort to nominate me for this outstanding award,” said Veale. “Thank you to those on the committee for recognizing what we have done here at Mount Vernon. A special thank you to my wife Toni, and my children, Elyia and Kodi, who sacrificed and shared in this wonderful journey.”
Veale continued, “I have been privileged and blessed to spend my career at a Christian, NAIA university. To be able to coach baseball in an organization like the NAIA which values the development of character and honors institutions of faith has always made the NAIA appealing to me. There are just some really good people in the NAIA.”
Veale, who has lived in Mount Vernon with his family for more than 30 years, is by far the longest-tenured baseball coach in Mount Vernon Nazarene history, and has amassed an impressive track record of success with the Cougars. Over a 30-year career at the helm for MVNU baseball, which began in 1990, Veale has a record of 1,016-525 and a winning percentage of .659. He is one of eight active head coaches in the NAIA with 1,000 or more career wins, and is seventh in the NAIA among active coaches in career wins. Veale is one of 33 active coaches at four-year institutions with over 1,000 career wins.
“Keith Veale has quietly influenced generations of baseball players at MVNU,” said Dr. Henry W. Spaulding II, president of Mount Vernon Nazarene University. “He has poured his life into those who played for him. His expertise and passion for athletics has made a major contribution to the university. I would like to congratulate Coach Veale on his induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame.”
Veale’s MVNU teams of the 1990s were some of the best seen in the NAIA in that time span, and were the class of the American Mideast Conference. The Cougars won the AMC every year from 1995 to 1998, a four-year span of dominance in which the team would go to the NAIA World Series for the first time in program history. In 1996, Veale’s team ended the season with a 43-3 record, and their .935 winning percentage still stands as the NAIA record for a single season. Veale’s 1997 team reached the NAIA World Series, the height of that era of dominance.
Veale led the Cougars to four more AMC titles, winning the league in 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2011, while again reaching the NAIA World Series in 2004. Veale’s teams won the AMC Tournament in 2010 and 2011 before departing for the Crossroads League. MVNU won the Crossroads League Tournament in 2012 to continue their run of success; the Cougars then won the regular season and tournament Crossroads League championships in 2014, followed by another conference regular season title in 2015. In that span, MVNU reached the opening round of the NAIA Baseball Tournament each year from 2010 to 2015. Veale also led the Cougars to five NCCAA World Series Championships, winning that tournament in 1995, 1996, 1997, 2005 and 2008.
“MVNU is a better place because of Keith Veale’s influence and example,” said Tracy Waal, vice president for student life at MVNU. “He is a man of strong moral character and has earned the respect of many both on and off campus. He is dedicated to pursuing excellence, building strong character and seeing personal growth in his players. He has influenced hundreds of lives through his years at MVNU. His players and colleagues have the utmost respect for him and often seek his wisdom and knowledge in situations. He is truly an outstanding coach, professor, colleague and friend.”
Veale was named AMC Coach of the Year eight times, winning the award every year from 1994 to 1998, then winning three more times in 2003, 2004 and 2007. Veale has been named Crossroads League Coach of the Year twice, in 2014 and 2015, and was named NAIA Region Coach of the Year three times, in 1996, 1997 and 2007.
“I am very thankful for Coach Veale’s commitment to MVNU and our Athletic Department,” said MVNU Athletics Director Chip Wilson. "He has had tremendous success on the baseball field, but his investment in developing young men in his baseball program has been the most impactful. He is very deserving of this honor. Thank you coach for your continued leadership at MVNU.”
Veale will be inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame during the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention, to be held January 2-5, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee. Former MVNU baseball player Brandt Miller will also be honored at the ABCA Convention for his 2019 Rawlings NAIA Gold Glove award. Further information about Veale’s induction will be announced at a later date.
To read more on Veale’s accomplishments, visit http://www.mvnucougars.com/article/3003.php.
Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 31 states and 22 countries/U.S. territories.
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