March 25, 2015

Former baseball players endow University of Montevallo athletic scholarship

MONTEVALLO, ALABAMA — On October 31, 2014, a group of former University of Montevallo baseball players, led by Hall of Famer Mike Dunn, got together in Helena, Alabama, and decided to start a baseball athletics endowment for their college coach, Robert “Bob” Riesener. What happened next is another one for the record books. In just 88 days, the group raised $25,000; the amount required for an official endowed scholarship at UM! Their achievement represents a true testament to what Coach Riesener has done for not only the University of Montevallo but for hundreds of young men who played baseball under his direction for three decades.

Athletic Director Emeritus Riesener began his University of Montevallo career as head baseball coach in 1973. During his 30-year tenure as the Falcons’ head baseball coach, Riesener compiled a 937-671 record and led Montevallo to four Southern States Conference Championships, four National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) District 27 titles and one NAIA Southeast Independent Sectional title. Riesener sent more than 20 players to professional baseball and had more than 20 student-athletes attain All-American honors. His proudest achievement is the fact that more than 90 percent of his players who finished their eligibility graduated.

To be awarded to a fifth-year senior (baseball), the Coach Riesener Scholarship was established to assist a student-athlete working toward finishing a college degree. The recipient will be put on the baseball staff as a student assistant to help coach while completing the degree.

A 1990 University of Montevallo Hall of Fame inductee, Riesener raised more than $2 million for scholarships and capital projects as director of the Falcon Club. He also served for 10 years as the NAIA district baseball chair, for six years as area baseball chair and for seven years on the NAIA BCA Executive Committee, finishing as president in 1995.

Following his coaching career, Riesener has been inducted into the University of West Alabama Hall of Fame, the Linden High School (N.J.) Athletic Hall of Fame and the Union County (N.J.) Baseball Association Hall of Fame.