By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – Former Green Bay Bullfrogs Manager Jordan Bischel has been a winner every place he’s coached, so his latest move shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Bischel, a 1999 Notre Dame Academy graduate who played collegiately at St. Norbert College (SNC), recently accepted the head baseball job at the University of Cincinnati (UC).
The Bearcats, who finished 24-33 last season as members of the American Athletic Conference, will begin play in the Big 12 Conference this summer.
Bischel’s latest move comes on the heels of a successful five-season run as head coach at Central Michigan University (CMU).
Bischel led the Chippewas to four Mid-American Conference (MAC) championships – two regular season and two tournament – and three NCAA regionals.
CMU went 177-80 (.689) during his tenure.
Before his hires at UC and CMU, Bischel spent four seasons at Division II Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, where he turned that program around.
He helped lead the team to a 137-76 overall record and was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in both 2017 and 2018.
He also had success at Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska, where the team was a combined 74-45 under his leadership in two seasons.
Bischel also managed the Bullfrogs – now known as the Rockers – for four seasons (2009-12) and spent another season managing the Wisconsin Woodchucks in the Northwoods League.
He also served as the pitching coach for three seasons at Northwest Missouri State and was an assistant coach at John Carroll University in Ohio and SNC.
Bischel was an academic all-conference first baseman and pitcher at St. Norbert (2000-03) and earned all-conference honors and served as the team captain as a senior.
Overall, Bischel has a 314-156 record (.668) as an NCAA coach, including nine winning seasons and eight conference championships (four at Central Michigan, four at Northwood).
“Jordan Bischel is the perfect fit to lead the University of Cincinnati baseball program, and we are thrilled to welcome him and his family to UC,” UC Director of Athletics John Cunningham said in a statement. “As a head coach, he has won conference championships and consistently guided his teams to the postseason. He’s a proven program builder and winner who has found success at every level. He is a leader who will demand the best on and off the field of our student-athletes. We couldn’t be happier to have him as our head coach.”
In five seasons as head coach at CMU, Bischel sported a 102-32 MAC record and posted three consecutive 40-win full seasons.
“It’s an incredible honor, humbling and a great opportunity to be the baseball coach at the University of Cincinnati,” Bischel said at his introductory press conference on June 21. “We (my family) wanted to stay in the Midwest. My job is being a baseball coach, and this is a baseball city. In the Big 12, if you’re competing for a conference championship, you’re competing nationally.”
According to UC’s athletic department website, Bischel signed a six-year contract to become the 33rd head coach in program history.
“I’m not going to have a rule book of 110 things my players have to do, but I do have one rule – ‘Do the right thing,’” Bischel said. “In my 11 years as a head coach, I’ve learned if you do the right thing, other things will follow – the winning will take care of itself.”
He said Bearcats baseball will be similar to what he tried to install at CMU.
“Our pitchers are going to attack hitters and throw strikes and we’ll play sound defense,” Bischel said. “Baseball can be boring – they finally put the pitch clocks in – and three hours of watching strikeouts and walks isn’t a lot of fun for me. We’ll play fast fastball.”
Bischel said a manager he used to coach against gave him the ultimate compliment – something he said he hopes to continue at UC.
“He said to me, ‘Your team was the most difficult team to prepare for the entire season,’” he said. “We want other teams to hate playing us because of how we get after you. We want to play with energy, enthusiasm and excitement. If you come to a game next year and we aren’t the most energetic team you see all season, you can come directly to my office, and we’ll get that fixed. My teams have sometimes been compared to softball teams with how energetic we are.”
Bischel said he always thinks about things he can do better.