The 2019 campaign marks Bob Rients' 20th season with the UMD coaching staff and his 14th as the Bulldogs' head coach.
During his head coaching tenure, Rients (pronounced "rents") has directed UMD one NCAA II Tournament berth to date (in 2016), one Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship (also in 2016) and 10 NSIC/North Central Conference playoff berths (2015-17, 2010-11, 2006-08). In addition, he's produced three All-Americans, six All-Region selections and 31 All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/All-North Central Conference honorees.
Rients, the NSIC Coach of the Year in both 2016 and 2010, took the Bulldog program to unprecedented heights three years ago. Not only did his troops capture their first NSIC crown since 2003, they also advanced to the NCAA II Central Region Tournament for the second time in team history. The Bulldogs set a number of single-season records that spring, including marks for overall (39) and conference (29) victories, longest winning streak (18 games), hits, runs scored, doubles, home runs, runs batted in, batting average, slugging percentage, stolen bases, and pitching strikeouts. Six individuals secured spot on the All-NSIC first and second teams and three were named All-Americans. Headlining that list was unanimous National Player of the Year (across five organizations) and senior first baseman Alex Wojciechowski and senior third baseman Kyle Comer. Wojciechowski became the fifth Bulldog to ever be selected in the Major League Baseball Draft as the Philadelphia Phillies chose him with in the 15th round (437th selection overall). Senior lefthander Bo Hellquist agreed to a free agent deal with the Minnesota Twins that summer as well.
Rients, who has compiled a 306-328 overall record and a 137-117 NSIC mark (UMD belonged to the now-defunct NCC his first three years at the helm), became just the third head coach in the storied history of Bulldog baseball on August 4, 2005, succeeding Scott Hanna, who stepped down three months earlier following a 27-season head coaching run.
A native of Elysian, Minn., Rients first arrived on the Duluth campus in the fall of 1997 after transferring from the University of Minnesota-Crookston. He lettered two years (1998-99) with the Bulldogs as an outfielder before moving on to the coaching arena. Until his promotion to head coach, Rients was responsible for coordinating UMD's recruiting efforts as well as overseeing the pitching staff and monitoring practice sessions starting with the 2000 season. As an assistant coach, he was part of one NSIC championship team and NCAA II Tournament qualifier (both in 2003).
Rients earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from UMD in 2000.