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MSU's Berry to be inducted into N.D. Sports Hall of Fame

Mayville State University baseball coach Scott Berry, pictured in 2010, will be inducted into the N.D. Sports Hall of Fame this Saturday. Carrie Snyder / Forum News Service

Mayville State University baseball coach Scott Berry has had one heck of a classroom over the past 37 years and counting.

The place is now named after him: Scott Berry Field.

Over nearly four decades, the coach has used the field to help teach both baseball and life lessons to players before they walk across the graduation stage each May. For Berry, that's been the most rewarding part of his coaching career.

"Because I'm in the education business, seeing young men grow on our campus and walk out with a diploma in their hands is the thrilling part," Berry said. "Everyone has their own calling, which really warms my heart."

Berry will be enshrined into the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame this Saturday at the Jamestown Civic Center, receiving the Cliff Cushman Award along with fellow 2018 inductees Brooks Bollinger, Laura Roesler and Dan Carr. The ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a social, auction and banquet.

Over his career, Berry has accumulated a record of 1,082-573-1 (.638) to turn the Comets into an NAIA powerhouse. He's even had 25 players sign a professional contract, including 12 play in the minor leagues.

"It's such a wonderful honor and so humbling," Berry said. "You just shake your head to be in the company of the greatest coaches and athletes the state has produced. It's hard to wrap your mind around it."

Berry grew up in a large family in LaMoure where baseball was very important. His father was even an North Dakota amatuer baseball hall of famer.

After leaving his hometown of approximately 800 people, Berry played college baseball for Mayville State and legendary coach Al Meyer, receiving all-conference honors in both his junior and senior seasons.

"I was recruited to go to school there and play ball," Berry said. "Coming from a small town it was extremely attractive to play for a historic baseball program in a small community."

Berry joined Meyer as an assistant in 1981 and became the head coach the next season. Four years later, a 17-year dynasty was born.

Mayville has won 23 conference titles, including 17 straight from 1986 to 2002 and 27 NAIA postseason appearances. The Comets have made the NAIA World Series three times, including a fifth-place finish in 2002.

"Having your program being nationally recognized is a good opportunity for your kids to be able to put themselves in that position," Berry said.

Berry has been named conference coach of the year 23 times, District 12 coach of the year nine times and NAIA region coach of the year four times. Overall, 44 of his players have been NAIA scholar-athletes and 26 have been an All-American.

The coach has also been inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association hall of fame in 2017.

Some of Berry's favorite memories have been the 2002 NAIA College World Series run and all the bus trips he's taken with the team over the years.

Over the last two seasons, Berry's teams have gone 46-12 and 31-13 so the veteran coach isn't slowing down yet.

"You just roll up your sleeve and go to work. You grow while holding down a job and raising a family," Berry said, who has a wife, four kids and two grandchildren. "All I know is it appears to be one big blur and it's almost 40 years."

Mitchell Johnson

Hometown: Enumclaw, WA; College: Central Washington University

(360) 918-1853