Karl Kuhn interview

karlkuhnCoaching journey…

Everybody takes a different path, and mine started right after playing at the University of Florida. I went back to my old high school in Gainesville and I coached there for two years. Then I went back to my old junior college, Valencia, and I coached there for a year. While I was doing that, I met Brian Reese, who had just gotten the job at Bethune-Cookman. He put me in touch with Randy Mazey, who was leaving Clemson after getting the head job at Charleston Southern. I was Randy Mazey’s first assistant at Charleston Southern for three years and we ended up winning a conference championship. Once we did that we both moved on and ironically enough, Brian Reese had left Bethune-Cookman for Arkansas-Little Rock. I went with him out there and we inherited a program that went 6-23, had seven pitchers on the staff and played at a city park. In seven years we kind of rewrote the record books at UALR, raised over a half-a-million dollars for a new field and one Thanksgiving, Brian and I actually put in a brand new AstroTurf infield ourselves. We were the jack of all trades.

Along the way, our basketball coach at UALR was Porter Moser, who played at Creighton around the same time Brian O’Connor played baseball there. I was going on a recruiting trip to Notre Dame and Porter told me to say hello to [O’Connor], and that’s how I met Brian O’Connor. We became great friends on the road, he helped me out with a couple players, and we actually played in the Notre Dame San Antonio tournament the year they went to the College World Series. He eventually got the head job at Virginia and called me up and I’ve been here ten years.

On drills…

Ever since I got into coaching I’ve always used the READ THE REST

Understanding the new RPI

The Rating Percentage Index (RPI) was adopted by the NCAA many years ago with the intent to rank teams based on their strength of schedule. Recommended changes to the RPI formula have been approved by the Division I Baseball Committee and will take effect at the start of the 2013 season. It will still be calculated using three statistical parameters:

  • Division I winning percentage (25%)
  • Opponent’s Division I winning percentage (50%)
  • Opponents’ opponents’ Division I winning percentage (25%)

The new formula will value each home win as 0.7 and each road victory as 1.3, a change from the customary 1.0 of the past. Conversely, each home loss will be weighted as 1.3, and each road loss will count 0.7 against a team’s RPI.

Neutral site games will continue to be weighted the same value of 1.0.

The new method is not quite as extreme as basketball’s (1.4 for home losses and road wins, 0.6 for home wins and road losses), but the overriding factor with baseball is that the vast majority of games are played outside. Further, baseball schedules are also filled with three-game series as opposed to single games against opponents.

“To be honest the whole thing is a little confusing to me, we just try to go out and win every game we play,” said Clemson head coach Jack Leggett. “They showed us what it would be with the new RPI and what is was before and it wasnt that big of a difference.”

Leggett is right; in 2011, Clemson finished ranked No. 7 in the RPI, and would have stayed there if the new RPI had already been implemented. For the most part, “southern” schools from BCS conferences weren’t affected by the change. So who was?

The adjusted winning percentage was exemplified in a breakdown of 2011 RPI’s in college baseball. Inside Pitch researched the breakdown and found the following facts: Continue reading

Kevin O’Sullivan interview

osullivanInside Pitch caught up with Univeristy of Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, who is married to wife Barbara Jo and has a daughter, Payton Tyler O’Sullivan, to discuss just how he’s made the Gator chomp so vicious.

Inside Pitch: When did you realize you were going to be a coach?

Kevin O’Sullivan: After I graduated from the University of Virginia I basically had two career paths: physical therapy or med school, or get into the coaching side of things. I graduated in December, so I had the spring semester at home in Jupiter (Fl.), where I did some substitute teaching and got into high school coaching and from that point on, I knew it was what I was going to do.

A big influence on me was Bob Shaw. He lived in my hometown and took me under his wing. It was very eye opening, an opportunity that most people don’t get. After practice, we’d go get something to eat and we’d break it down: pitching, bunting, base running, infield play, you name it. He was such a knowledgeable guy in all phases of the game and to this day, I still remember writing notes down on napkins, going home and thinking about some of the things we spoke about. Continue reading

Omaha through the years

photo by Lou Pavlovich, Collegiate Baseball

1980 national champion Arizona Wildcats
photo by Lou Pavlovich, Collegiate Baseball

Year- 1950
Total attendance- 17,805 (Rosenblatt Stadium)
Participating teams- Alabama, Bradley, Colorado State, Rutgers, Texas, Tufts, Washington State, Wisconsin
Most outstanding player- Ray VanCleef, Rutgers (Texas won title)

Year- 1980
Total attendance- 95,406 (Rosenblatt Stadium)
Participating teams- Arizona, California, Clemson, Florida State, Hawaii, Miami (Fl.), Michigan, St. Johns
Most outstanding player- Terry Francona, national champion Arizona

Year- 2011
Total attendance- 321,684 (TD Ameritrade)
Participating teams- California, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Virginia
Most outstanding player- Scott Wingo, national champion South Carolina