July 5, 2012


Senk, Stricklin share CBI Coach-of-the-Year Honors


RICHMOND, Va. – Stony Brook’s Matt Senk and Kent State’s Scott Stricklin, who guided their programs to their first College World Series appearances, have been named the 2012 CollegeBaseballInsider.com National Coaches of the Year.


Senk and Stricklin were chosen from a group of finalists that included Andy Lopez of Arizona, Mike Martin of Florida State, Doug Schreiber of Purdue, Steve Smith of Baylor and Ray Tanner of South Carolina.


“Matt Senk culminated his 22nd year at Stony Brook with the most memorable finish in program history,” said Phil Stanton, co-founder of CollegeBaseballInsider.com. “The Seawolves won a Regional as a No. 4 seed and did what most thought was impossible, capturing a Super Regional title at LSU.”


Stony Brook posted a school-record 42 wins in 2011, but went 1-2 in the America East Tournament and did not earn a bid to the NCAA Tourney. The Seawolves were a determined squad in 2012, rolling through the regular season. Stony Brook won the conference regular season crown with a 21-3 mark and swept through the America East tourney to earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.


The Seawolves thumped host Miami in the first round of the Coral Gables Regional before falling to UCF in the second round. Stony Brook rebounded to defeat Missouri State and beat UCF twice to claim its first Regional crown.


The next stop was Baton Rouge, where LSU never had lost a Super Regional series. SBU dropped a heart-breaking 5-4 decision in 12 innings in the opener, and many thought its chance for the upset was gone. But the Seawolves bounced back to capture the next two games to advance to Omaha for the first time, the second No. 4 seed to reach the College World Series.


Senk directed the Seawolves to 52 wins, the top mark in the nation, and was named America East Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. Stony Brook had seven players selected in the 2012 MLB Draft, including Travis Jankowski, who became the school’s highest pick as the San Diego Padres took him with the 44th overall selection.


Kent State found similar success under Stricklin.


“Scott Stricklin accomplished what many thought could not be done,” said Sean Ryan, co-founder of CollegeBaseballInsider.com. “He took a Northern team on the road for a Regional and Super Regional, winning both to take his team to its first College World Series.”


The Golden Flashes were the top seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament after going 24-3 in league play. KSU went 4-0 to capture its fourth straight conference title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.


Kent State was the No. 3 seed in the Gary Regional. In the most memorable game of the Regional round, the Golden Flashes outlasted No. 2 Kentucky 7-6 in 21 innings in the opener. Kent State showed no signs of fatigue, defeating top-seeded Purdue and downing UK a second time to win its first Regional crown and extend its win streak to 20.


The next road trip was to West Coast and a Super Regional series at No. 5 Oregon. The Golden Flashes took the opener 7-6, but dropped Game 2 by a score of 3-2. In the finale, the Flashes rallied for a dramatic 3-2 win and a berth in their first College World Series.


After falling to Arkansas in its Omaha opener, Kent State rebounded to eliminate Florida, the top overall seed in the tournament. Its season ended against South Carolina.


Stricklin guided the Golden Flashes to 47 victories, a program record. Stricklin also ensured that his team was successful in the classroom as well as on the field. Kent State was recognized for having the highest grade point average (3.093) among the eight teams at the College World Series. The program recorded a perfect 1000 Academic Progress Rate (APR), the third straight year it has been recognized.


Lopez led the Wildcats to their fourth national championship. Arizona posted a record of 48-17, winning a share of the Pac-12 crown at 20-10. The Wildcats won their final 11 contests, including 10 straight victories in the NCAA Tournament.


In his 33rd season leading the Seminoles, Martin guided Florida State to the College World Series for the 15th time. The Seminoles reached 50 wins for the 24th time in program history, all under Martin.


Schreiber led the Boilermakers to their first Big Ten title in more than 100 years. Purdue captured both the regular season and tournament crowns in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers won a program-record 45 victories and hosted their first NCAA Regional.


After being picked to finish fourth in the Big 12, Smith led the Bears through the conference with a 20-4 mark. Baylor posted a 49-17 overall mark and was the No. 4 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Bears won the Waco Regional.


After two consecutive national championships, Tanner led the Gamecocks back to Omaha and a second-place finish in the 2012 tourney. South Carolina posted a record of 49-20 overall and 18-11 in the SEC.


Honorable mention goes to Elliott Avent of NC State, Ed Blankmeyer of St. John’s, Matt Fincher of USC Upstate, Gary Henderson of Kentucky, George Horton of Oregon, Eric Madsen of Utah Valley, Kevin O’Sullivan of Florida, Chris Pollard of Appalachian State, John Savage of UCLA, Dave Van Horn of Arkansas and Tracy Woodson of Valparaiso.


Previous CBI Coaches of the Year

2011 – David Esquer, California

2010 – John Savage, UCLA

2009 – Brian O’Connor, Virginia

2008 – Paul Mainieri, LSU, and Mark Marquess, Stanford

2007 – Tim Corbin, Vanderbilt, and Rob Childress, Texas A&M

2006 – John Cohen, Kentucky

2005 – Pat Casey, Oregon State

2004 – David Perno, Georgia

2003 – Elliott Avent, North Carolina State


(photos courtesy of KSU & SBU Media Relations Offices)