Mike Byrnes took over a struggling Louisiana College baseball program in 2000. Since then, the baseball program has reached heights never before seen in the program’s history. Since being named the Wildcats’ head coach in May of 2000, Byrnes has transformed LC’s Billy Allgood Field into one of the best facilities in the American Southwest Conference. Through private donations, Allgood Field has undergone a face-lift that has resulted in more than $1 million in improvements. Four falls ago, the Skip Converse Field House was competed, providing the Wildcat players with a state-of-the-art locker room.
Since Byrnes assumed the reigns, LC has won over 300 games with two berths in the National Christian College Athletic Association’s National Tournament and nine berths in the American Southwest Conference Tournament and have reached the postseason in 12 of Byrnes’ 15 years as head coach. In Byrnes’ 15 years of service at LC, 17 players have signed professional contracts and the Wildcats have led the nation (NCAA Division III) in average attendance four times. The Wildcats have also set 30 new team records under Byrnes.
On the academic side, Byrnes’ Wildcats have had more players named to the ASC All-Academic team. In total, 140 Wildcats have made Academic All-Conference, 87 have earned All-ASC honors and two have been named to the All-America team. Byrnes and his coaching staff have won the title of ASC East Division Coaching Staff of the Year in 2010, 2011, and 2013.
Byrnes’ coaching successes have not been limited just to college, or even baseball. Before taking over at LC, Byrnes put together quite the resume as a high school coach over a 14-year career in the Central Louisiana area. He was also the head football coach at Tioga (La.) High School for seven years. During his time on the gridiron, his teams produced a combined win-loss record of 49-24 and won two district championships. He also coached the Tioga High Powerlifting team to three state championships in 1989, 1990 and 1991. He was named Louisiana Powerlifting Coach of the Year in each of those three seasons.
Of course, Byrnes’ greatest success as a high school coach came when he was the head baseball coach at Tioga. During his six years at Tioga, the baseball team went a combined 125-46 and on back-to-back state title in 1986 and 1987. In 1986, Byrnes was named Central Louisiana Coach of the Year. In 1987, he was named Louisiana Baseball Coach of the Year and was chosen to coach the East All-Stars in Louisiana High School Athletics Association’s All-Star Game. Byrnes has also served as an associate scout for the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs from 1982-1994.
Byrnes is a 1978 graduate of Louisiana College and is married to the former Colynda Hayes. They currently live in Tioga, Louisiana, and have two sons (Mike III and Matthew), five grandchildren (Briley Sue Byrnes, Berkley Claire Byrnes, Michael John Byrnes, IV, Matthew Joseph “Deuce” Byrnes, II, and Atlee Emma Byrnes.