Michael “Mike” Jacobs, 64, died December 3, 2019, after suffering a heart attack at the baseball field that bears his name on the University of Mobile campus. The beloved coach left a legacy as a man of faith and integrity who invested his life in the young men he coached, in his family, and in service to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Coach Jacobs was inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2018. The native of North Platte, Nebraska, and longtime resident of Mobile, Alabama, founded the university’s baseball program in 1990 and coached all 30 seasons since the Rams’ program was established. He was named athletic director on July 1, 2019, leading one of the largest athletic programs in the NAIA. In 2011, the university’s baseball field was named Mike Jacobs Field in his honor, after he compiled 700 wins. Overall, he earned 993 wins and was 10th among active coaches in career wins in the NAIA. He led the Rams to three streaks of 40 or more total wins, and reached the 30-win plateau 17 times. He guided the Rams to seven conference championships and a berth in the 2001 NAIA World Series.
He has won Conference Coach of the Year three times in his career; in 1998, 2001 and 2008.He has coached 20 total All-Americans, 88 First-Team All-Conference performers, 10 NAIA Scholar-Athletes, 13 conference Gold Glove winners, and 102 conference All-Academic performers. He has seen 35 players go on to sign professional contracts.
Prior to his time at Mobile, he spent six years – two as an assistant and four as the head coach – at UMS-Wright Preparatory School in Mobile with a 65 – 34 record. He led them to a second place finish in 1987 and in 1988 a state championship and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2013. He also coached at Evangel Christian and Central Baptist.
Before he began his illustrious career as a coach, Coach Jacobs was a four-year letterman at University of South Alabama under Eddie Stankey from 1973-77. He played in the outfield for the Jaguars and was the team’s leading hitter in 1976. In the summer between his junior and senior season, he played collegiate summer league baseball in the Central Illinois League, one of the most prestigious leagues at the time. His success there led to him being the only unanimous selection to the All-Tournament Team.
He was an active member of People of Mars Hill Church in Mobile.
He is survived by his wife, Joy; their two sons, Josh (Kara) and Jeff (Amy), and eight grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. at Mike Jacobs Field on the University of Mobile campus. The family requests guests bring a lawn chair for the outdoor service and wear casual, game-day attire. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the University of Mobile Baseball Program, 5735 College Parkway, Mobile, Alabama 36613 or umobile.edu/givenow and designate baseball.