UConn baseball head coach Jim Penders has a resume chock-full of accolades: six NCAA tournament appearances, four conference Coach of the Year awards and more victories than any other manager in program history.
In November, he’ll add another honor to the list: a member of the Manchester Hall of Fame.
Penders, who graduated from East Catholic High School in Manchester before playing baseball at UConn, is one of four new inductees in the Hall’s Class of 2019.
At East Catholic, Penders was not only an All-State catcher on the diamond, but was also elected senior class president. He went on to play four seasons behind the plate for UConn, culminating in a senior season in which he batted .354 and drove in 46 runs, earning First Team All-New England honors.
After his collegiate career and a brief stint as a political fundraiser, Penders returned to UConn in 1997 in an assistant coach role. Seven years later, he was named head coach, a position in which he has remained and flourished for the last 16 years.
In that span, Penders has turned UConn into a perennial powerhouse, amassing a 564-392-5 overall record, the most wins in program history. Last season, the Huskies racked up 39 wins en route to an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament and a Regional Final appearance for the second-straight season. Since then, five UConn players were selected in this year’s MLB Draft, the most since 2011.
The Penders family has certainly left its mark on the town of Manchester. Jim’s father, Jim Penders Sr., who also played ball at UConn, coached the East Catholic baseball team for 43 years. He won a measly 600 games in his coaching career, including four state championships. Now, his son is well on his way to surpassing that mark at the helm of the Huskies.
The induction ceremony will take place on Nov. 9 at the Manchester Country Club. Three months later, Penders will begin his 17th season as head coach at UConn.