Mike Jacobs

Mike Jacobs, University of Mobile baseball coach, athletic director, dies at 64

Mike Jacobs, baseball coach and athletics director (AD) at the University of Mobile, has died at the age of 64 of an apparent heart attack.

A Mobile native, Jacobs founded the UM baseball program in 1990 and won 993 games in 30 seasons. He won seven conference championships and reached the NAIA World Series in 2001.

The baseball field at Mobile was named in Jacobs’ honor in 2011. Jacobs was named AD in June 2018.

In a statement, UM President Lonnie Burnett called Jacobs a “legendary coach” and a “spiritual mentor to hundreds of players over the decades of his career.”

“The University of Mobile has suffered a great loss tonight. Our longtime baseball coach and, more importantly, our great friend Mike Jacobs passed away after suffering a heart attack. Coach Jacobs’ last hours were spent here on campus doing what he was called to do. I first met Mike in 1980 when we were both coaching high school baseball. I have never met a man with more class and dignity on and off a ball field. Not only was he a legendary coach, but he was a spiritual mentor to hundreds of players over the decades of his career. He was a kind and thoughtful person who went to great lengths to make others successful. I can honestly say that I have never heard a person speak a disparaging comment about Coach Jacobs.

“We grieve tonight and pray for his wife Joy and his family. We can take great comfort in the fact the Mike is the only one among us who is feeling no pain. Because of Mike’s faith in Christ—  a faith he freely shared — I am confident he is in the presence of his savior. Moreover, because of Mike’s life and testimony, many young men will someday be reunited with him in eternity. Many of those current young men were with us in the halls of the hospital tonight as they came to pay their respects to their beloved leader.”

Jacobs was inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2018.

But coaching baseball was only part of Jacobs’ life’s work.

“I’ve always felt like this was a ministry for me, that God brought me here not only to coach baseball, but to mentor young athletes and prepare them for what life is going to bring them when they leave here. I try to be an example of what I feel God wants these students to see,” Jacobs said in an interview for the university.

That impact is reflected in the news coverage of his death and comments spreading across social media. One of those honoring Jacobs was UM Assistant Professor of Accounting Rusty Roberts, who serves as chaplain to the UM baseball team.

“Mike Jacobs was a man who loved Jesus intensely and pointed everyone he came in contact with to Him…He loved baseball. It was his job and his life. He loved every guy who came through his program. He showed those guys what it meant to be a godly man who served Jesus, his family and others,” wrote Roberts. “He loved his wife, Joy, and his two sons and their families, and every time you talked with him, he would bring them up in conversation.

“But tonight I don’t mourn as one who has no hope,” Roberts continued. “I mourn knowing that Mike has seen Jesus face-to-face and has heard, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’ Mike, you finished well!”

Jacobs is survived by his wife, Joy, sons Josh and Jeff and eight grandchildren.