KWC's Lillpop passed 500-win mark this season

Kentucky Wesleyan College head baseball coach Todd Lillpop surpassed the 500-win mark for his career this season, wrapping up his 23rd year at the helm for the Panthers.

KWC finished 18-32 in 2024 but won three of its last four regular-season matchups, including a 5-2 victory over Cedarville on May 2 that pushed Lillpop to his latest milestone. The Owensboro native and former three-year Wesleyan starter is one of 54 active NCAA Division II coaches to reach 500 career wins, and he’s one of only 31 to achieve that feat with one program. Combined with his 67 wins as a player from 1997-99, Lillpop has been a part of 48.5% of all wins in KWC baseball history, according to school statistics.

“I’m extremely fortunate that I was able to coach really good players and have great assistant coaches over the years,” said Lillpop, who sports a 502-557 overall record at Wesleyan. “They are the ones who put in all the hard work. I have been blessed to be able to coach at my alma mater. I hope the culture that my coaches and I have built here lasts forever. This is home to me, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without this education and this baseball program.

“The support I have from my wife, kids and parents has been unbelievable. They are my true support system.”

Lillpop, who starred for four years at Apollo High School, joined the Wesleyan staff in 2000 and assumed head coaching duties in the 2002 campaign. Only two years later, Lillpop helped the Panthers earn their first 30-win season in 16 years with a 31-25 finish. From 2014-21, Wesleyan recorded eight straight winning seasons, including a Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament title and NCAA Regional berth in 2017 — the first time the Panthers advanced to the NCAA tournament since 1988. Wesleyan is one of only two teams to have qualified for the conference tournament in 10 consecutive seasons.

Over the course of his career, Lillpop has coached two All-Americans, one Academic All-American, two G-MAC players of the year, two G-MAC freshmen of the year, one G-MAC pitcher of the year, 13 all-region selections and 68 all-conference players. Lillpop earned the G-MAC Coach of the Year award in 2022 when the Panthers, after starting 0-16, won 26 of their final 38 games and reached the G-MAC tournament semifinals.