Former UConn Avery Point baseball coach Roger Bidwell ’76 (ED), ’85 MA, has been named to the National Junior College Athletic Association Baseball Coaches Association 2017 Hall of Fame class.
Bidwell, a Ledyard, Conn. native, was head coach of the Avery Point baseball program for 34 years, posting a 1,007-378-7 record. He joined the program in 1982 at the age of 25, and coached through the 2015 season.
Some of his accomplishments include 13 NJCAA Region 21 Division II championships and six appearances in the NJCAA DII Baseball World Series, which included a runner-up finish in 2010 when the Pointers finished the year 41-10. His coaching during that championship was recognized with Coach of the Tournament honors.
In his first six seasons from 1982 through 1987, Bidwell won the Connecticut Small College Conference Championship, and quickly established himself as one of the best coaches in the region.
In the Constitution State, Bidwell earned a handful of awards. In 2004 and again in 2011, he was named the Connecticut American Legion College Coach of the Year. Bidwell was also recognized by the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance in 2011, as he was given the Gold Key Award at the 70th annual Gold Key Dinner. Then in 2012, the Pointers’ skipper was named to the Niantic American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame.
Under Bidwell’s guidance, more than 150 of his players went on to four-year schools, with 34 of them going on to play professionally.
When he retired as head coach of the Avery Point baseball team in 2015, Bidwell was the sitting chair of NJCAA Region 21’s Baseball and Standards and Ethics committees.
Bidwell is currently athletic director for UConn Avery Point. Avery Point is the only regional campus fielding NCAA-caliber teams – baseball, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball – outside of Division I NCAA competition. The Avery Point teams compete at the NJCAA level without athletic scholarships but with all of the same demands for practice, academics and expectation of success as their counterparts in Storrs.