Brian Schmack joined the Crusaders’ coaching staff as the team’s pitching coach prior to the 2007 season. Prior to the 2011 season, Schmack was promoted to associate head coach.
Schmack’s pitching staff helped guide the Crusaders to a school record-tying 35 victories in 2012 and the program’s first Horizon League regular season and tournament titles. Valpo earned a berth in the NCAA Division I Tournament for the first time since 1968 as well.
The Crusaders posted a 3.42 ERA on the season, tops in the Horizon League, and ranked sixth nationally with a 2.29 walk per nine inning ratio. Valpo’s hurlers were also among the top-50 programs in the country in walks/hits per innings pitched (WHIP).
The 2011 season saw the Crusaders advance to the Horizon League Tournament’s championship game.
In 2010, Schmack saw starting hurler Bryce Shafer earn Horizon League Pitcher of the Year honors after he posted a 7-4 record with 121 strikeouts for the Brown and Gold. Shafer went on to be drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. Left-hander Jon Gulbransen was also signed by the Chicago White Sox organization as a free agent following the 2011 campaign.