Season number 22 for UNCW head coach Mark Scalf was a special one for the long-time Seahawk. His club won its eighth regular season title, earned an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament and helped him pass the 700-career wins mark.
In 2013, UNCW posted a 38-23 overall record and topped the CAA with an 18-8 mark. Eight Seahawks earned All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and Michael Bass earned five All-America honors. The season was highlighted by a 9-8 win in Chapel Hill, N.C., over top-ranked North Carolina.
In CAA play, Scalf moved to the top of the league with 298 career wins against conference foes. For his efforts, Scalf was honored by the league’s coaches as Co-Coach-of-the-Year honors for the sixth time, tying the conference record.
In the MLB draft, pitcher Justin Livengood and Bass, an infielder, were both selected by the San Diego Padres in the 10th and 27th rounds, respectively.
In 2012, Scalf directed the program back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008. UNCW captured its first CAA tournament crown since 2006 and was the top-seed in the CAA tournament after cruising through the league with a 24-6 record. The Seahawks extended their streak of conference tournament appearances to 27.
UNCW posted a 39-23 record, marking its most wins since the 2008 club's school-record 44 wins. The 39 wins were sixth most in the program's history.
A pair of Seahawks was selected in the 2012 MLB draft with outfielder Andrew Cain going to San Francisco in the 24th round and pitcher Tyler DeLoach in the 26th round to Anaheim.
In 2011, UNCW continued its streak of reaching the CAA tournament with an 18-12 record and a third-place finish. The Seahawks are the only school in the conference to participate in each postseason championship tournament since the inaugural event in 1986.
The Seahawks made their fourth appearance and second straight in the CAA Championship game in 2010 after staving off elimination three times before falling to VCU in extra innings in the final game of the tournament. It was the second straight year UNCW fought off elimination three times and reached the finals.
Scalf, who already was UNCW's all-time winningest coach, reached another milestone in his career that season when the Seahawks topped Towson, 12-6, for his 600th career victory.
UNCW was also highly regarded by professional baseball scouts as five Seahawks were selected in the 2010 draft, including Cody Stanley, who was picked in the fourth round by the St. Louis Cardinals.
With just one senior on the 2009 squad, the Seahawks bolted to a 17-3 start and reached the CAA championship game for the third time. UNCW also returned to the national rankings, reaching as high as 26th. In the CAA Tournament, the Seahawks faced elimination three times and fired back with a pair of wins, including a 5-3 win over nationally-ranked and top-seeded George Mason.
In 2008, the Seahawks set school and conference records for wins on their way to their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance. UNCW posted 42 wins entering the NCAA Cary Regional and ran off 25 wins in the Colonial Athletic Association. For his efforts, Scalf earned his fourth CAA Coach-of-the-Year honor.
In 2007, the Seahawks rallied to win eight of their last nine Colonial Athletic Association games to earn a share of the regular season title with an 18-11 mark.
Scalf, who concluded his 16th season with the Seahawks in 2007, earned his 500th career win, all at UNCW, with an 8-7 win over Elon on April 17. The Seahawks also fashioned wins over nationally-ranked Texas Christian and NC State as the program played a total of nine games against ranked opponents.
In 2006, the Seahawks became the first team in the CAA to post four-straight seasons of 40 or more wins, while winning a then school record 42 games.
Scalf was recognized by his peers as the CAA's Coach-of-the-Year in 2005 after the Seahawks blazed through the conference schedule with a 21-3 mark, winning the regular season title by six games. It marked the third CAA Coach-of-the-Year award for Scalf, who also collected the honor in 1995 and 2000.
In his 24-year association with the program as an assistant coach and head coach, Scalf has recruited 52 All-Conference players, including 1989 CAA Player-of-the-Year Trent Mongero, 1994 CAA Co-Player-of-the-Year Battle Holley, 1996 CAA Player-of-the-Year Bryan Britt and 2008 honoree Mark Carver.
Many of Scalf's players have moved on to the professional ranks. A total of 45 players were either drafted or signed pro contracts, including fifth-round selection Chris Hatcher (Florida) and ninth-round pick and 2007 South Atlantic League MVP John Raynor. Both players were selected in the 2006 draft when UNCW set a school record with six players being drafted that year. In 2008, Bradley Holt became UNCW's highest draftee when the righthander went in the supplemental portion of the first round (33rd pick overall) to the New York Mets.
Scalf lettered four years at second base for UNCW in the late 1970s and returned to his alma mater in 1984 as an assistant coach, serving under Bobby Guthrie for eight seasons. In that span, Scalf was an integral part of regular season conference championships in 1987 and 1989.
By concentrating on recruiting and conditioning as an assistant, Scalf showed he was ready to head up the program and when Guthrie stepped down on May 28, 1991, Scalf was tabbed to be the new skipper.
In Scalf's debut season in 1992, the Seahawks established 17 school records, went 3-2 in the conference tourney and came close to reaching the championship game for the first time.
By the assessment of his peers, Scalf worked magic in 1995, guiding the Seahawks to a second-place finish in the league and a 30-25 overall scorecard. He was honored as CAA Coach-of-the-Year for his efforts.
In 1996, Scalf coached the Seahawks to the CAA championship game and featured CAA Player-of-the-Year selection Bryan Britt.
In 2000, the Seahawks set a then-school record for wins as a member of the NCAA with 36 while going 13-8 in the CAA during the regular season. Scalf was named CAA Coach-of-the-Year for the second time in six seasons.
Scalf led the Seahawks to their first-ever 40-win season and the program's first NCAA bid at the 2003 Baton Rouge Regional. UNCW reached the championship game against host LSU, taking the five-time NCAA champions to extra innings before falling 9-8 in 11 innings.
In 2004, the Seahawks recorded their second straight 40-win season at 40-23, advanced to the NCAA Kinston Regional finals and placed six players on the All-CAA team.
A 1980 graduate of UNCW's physical education department, Scalf broke into the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant at UNC Chapel Hill in 1981. He was a full-time assistant in 1982 when the Tar Heels captured the Atlantic Coast Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA post-season playoffs.
Scalf has also been involved in summer leagues, coaching the New Market, Va., "Rebels" of the Valley League in 1984, and directing the Wareham, Mass., "Gatemen" of the Cape Cod League in 1985.
In 2003, Scalf was selected by South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner to serve on the staff for USA Baseball during the team's summer tour. Scalf later served as an assistant on the 2007 staff under the direction of former Long Beach State skipper Mike Weathers. Both squads won silver medals.
Scalf and his wife, Allyson, have two daughters, Madison and Jordan.