Mohl Named Winner of Tom Walter College Baseball Inspiration Award
July 25, 2013
NORMAL, Ill.- Illinois State pitching coach Bill Mohl was honored as a co-recipient of the College Baseball Inspiration Award, as announced Thursday by CollegeBaseballInsider.com.
Mohl's wife, Sarah, was diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer in August of 2012. While she received treatment, Mohl began raising money to fund cancer research. Four weeks into the 2013 regular season, Mohl notified the team that he needed to leave to be by her side. That night, Illinois State rallied for a 17-6 win over No. 28 Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. Sarah passed away on March 25, 2013.
"I am very honored to receive the Tom Walter Award," Mohl said. "It has been a tough year on me and my son, Hunter. I want to thank my family, Coach Kingston, the coaching staff, our players and the Illinois State administration for all of their support. I couldn't be more appreciative and grateful."
Mohl returned to the team April 5 and Illinois State responded by winning 24 of its final 28 games en route to the first outright Missouri Valley Conference title in school history. The Redbirds won a program-best 12-consecutive games during the 39-win season. Under Mohl's guidance, ISU fired a school-best 10 shutouts and senior pitcher Chris Razo (8-2, 1.71 ERA) became the first Redbird hurler to win Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year honors. Fellow pitchers Dan Savas (10-0, 1.79 ERA) and Jeremy Rhoades (1.54 ERA, 6 saves) joined Razo as All-MVC First-Team selections.
Off the field, Mohl dedicated his time and energy to raising awareness for cancer research. The Redbird baseball program raised $12,000 for the Vs. Cancer Foundation, a charity that raises money for childhood cancer research, and the entire roster shaved their heads to support the cause. Additionally, Mohl has raised more than $25,000 for cancer reach through Pelotonia, a non-profit organization that funds cancer research.
"Our team is grateful that Billy has been recognized for this prestigious award," head coach Mark Kingston said. "The impact coaches can have off the field is a great responsibility. Billy showed players and coaches alike how to handle tragedy with dignity and perseverance. We continue to support him and his desire to cure this terrible disease."
Mohl, a former standout pitcher at Tulane, is entering his fifth season as pitching coach at Illinois State.
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