The founder of Surry Community College’s baseball program will now be leading all of Division III baseball for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
Mark Tucker, who started SCC baseball in the fall of 1995, has been named Chairman of NJCAA Division III baseball. Within three years of starting the program, Tucker had the Knights in the College World Series in 1998 as a head coach. From 2005 to 2008, Tucker served as Surry’s head baseball coach and the school’s athletic director. The Knights reached the College World Series again in 2017 with Tucker at the helm as Surry’s AD, a position he has held for the past 16 years.
“He will do a good job. No matter what Mark has touched in his professional career, he puts the best effort into everything he does and he has been very good for us in Region 10,” said Lind Hartsell, Region 10 Commissioner and NJCAA Division II Baseball Chairman. “I know he has been good for Surry as well and will do a great job from a national landscape as Chairman of Division III.”
Tucker certainly brings a ton of baseball experience to the chairman position. A 1988 graduate of Surry Central High School, Tucker played four years of baseball as a pitcher/first baseman at Lenoir-Rhyne College (now University), earning all-conference honors his junior season. He then spent one year as a graduate assistant for coach Jim Morris at Appalachian State University. There, Tucker earned his master’s degree before starting the baseball program at Surry. At Surry, Tucker guided the Knights’ baseball team for 14 seasons before assuming athletic director duties full-time at the college.
“It just shows you the confidence the NJCAA has in Region 10 because you very rarely see two chairs in the same sport in different divisions from one region,” Hartsell said. “Region 10 is blessed, but you have to wear a different hat when you are a national chair. You have to do what is best for your sport in that division. Coach Tucker will do a great job and I am excited for that venture in his life.”
Tucker became Region 10 Assistant Men’s Director four years ago and he has served on the NJCAA Division III Baseball Committee for the previous three seasons. He also has served as Region 10’s Division III Chairman since 2015, as Region 10 Division I Baseball Chairman from 2009-2014, as Region 10’s Division II Golf Chairman in 2020-2021, and he has served on the NJCAA Region 10 Executive Committee since 2014.
“I appreciate Mark’s excellent contributions at Surry Community College as the Knights’ athletic director and in the NJCAA Division III as a leader among his peers,” said Dr. David R. Shockley, President of SCC. “His appointment to Chairman of NJCAA Division III baseball is a well-deserved honor.”
As chairman of the NJCAA Division III Baseball Committee, Tucker will provide leadership for the group responsible for things such as weekly poll rankings, selecting All-Americans, and selecting an at-large team that didn’t automatically qualify for the College World Series. He will also serve as the organizer and tournament director for the NJCAA World Series.
“We try to provide leadership and exposure for the sport,” Tucker said. “These guys have just been great to work with and to bring a lot of positivity and exposure to Division III baseball around the country.”
Just as Surry Community College has been good to Tucker over the years, Tucker and baseball have been equally beneficially for the Dobson-based school.
“There’s no doubt about that. When I started in 1995, I think there were eight schools in Region 10, which is Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. I think now there is 24 schools that have baseball programs,” Tucker said. "It has been just incredible to see the growth within the region through the years. And it has certainly provided a lot of opportunities for kids that probably would not have had an opportunity to play baseball or any other sport, for that matter that is offered. There were so many kids in our area that had an interest in playing baseball and they wanted an opportunity to play beyond high school.”
Choosing a college is an important decision, and we’re pleased that you’re interested in Surry Community College.