Mark Woodworth, a 1994 graduate of Wesleyan University, enters his 18th season as Wesleyan’s head baseball coach and member of the faculty. He is part of a unique tradition, as he is only the third coach at the school in the last 75 years. An adjunct professor of physical education, he led Wesleyan baseball to NESCAC titles in 2014 and 2015.
In 2015, he was named the NESCAC Coach of the Year for the third consecutive season for Wesleyan winning back-to-back NESCAC championships and reaching the NCAA regional tournament. The Cardinals recorded 30 wins for the second-straight year, had the best ERA and fielding percentages in school history, and led the nation in WHIP. In 2016, the Cardinals won their fourth-straight Little Three title and finished tops in the NESCAC West for the fourth-straight time.
Wesleyan has appeared in the NESCAC Final Four tournament nine times, including seven of the last 10 seasons. During that time, Woodworth has sent seven players on to professional baseball, including three from the 2015 team.
Woodworth brings a wealth of experience accrued over 30 years of baseball coaching, including 24 at the college level. Before his stint as head coach at Wesleyan, he served as an assistant coach at Amherst College, as well as the head baseball coach at Wentworth Institute of Technology. From 1996-97, he was an assistant coach at Wesleyan, while earning his Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree.
In 1995, he coached four future major leaguers as an assistant for the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League, and was also a player in the league for the Wareham Gatemen in 1993. He helped run the annual tryout for the Cape League for 20 years, and has placed eight Wesleyan players in the Cape. Additionally, six of his former players now work in front offices of Major League baseball teams.
At Wesleyan, Woodworth also teaches and serves as the director of intramurals, as well as assists the soccer and football teams in various capacities. He is also the New England coordinator for the Div. III national coaches poll.
As a player at Wesleyan, Woodworth was a four-year starter at shortstop, graduating as the all-time Wesleyan leader in games played, and sixth in career hits. He was captain of the 1994 Wesleyan team which broke school records en route to winning the NCAA New England title, before playing in the NCAA Division III World Series. The Cardinals finished their run with a berth in the national championship game, finishing runner-up, while posting a previously best-ever 30-8 record. In November 2009, the 1994 team was inducted into the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame.
Woodworth is a native of Norwell, Mass. and a 1990 graduate of Norwell High School. He was a three-sport captain, earning All-South Shore League honors in baseball, soccer and basketball, and was named the South Shore League Small Athlete-of-the-Year in 1990 by WATD-FM. He also participated in numerous summer baseball leagues including American Legion, the Cranberry League, and the Boston Park League.
Woodworth’s purpose as a coach is to teach the lifetime skills of focus and being in the moment through the medium of baseball, which in turn gives baseball great value. An emphasis is placed on enjoying the game, learning to improve technique, creating and implementing a plan, and working hard with inspiring teammates. The result for players who love the game is playing relaxed, confident and aggressive baseball while competing under pressure.
As a supplement to his baseball teachings, Woodworth has combined his two previous books, The Rhythm of Baseball, and The Code of the Game into the Wesleyan Baseball Playbook, about technique, feel and the mental game.
He is married to the former Robin McLellan, a 1997 graduate of Wesleyan University. They have a 12-year-old daughter, Lily Grace Woodworth, and a 10-year-old son, Dylan Samuel Stiles Woodworth.