Kevin McMullan interview

McMullanKevin McMullan is in his 10th season at UVA, seventh as associate head coach. Considered to be one of the top assistant coaches in all of college baseball, “Coach Mac” has prior experience in the Atlanta Braves organization and at St. John’s, East Carolina, and his alma mater Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Things that make a “top assistant”….

Being surrounded by the right staff that gives you the opportunity and autonomy to do your job. Great players always make great coaches; the ability to identify the right guys for our place at Virginia. The buy in- from our players, that they understand what we’re about as a program and what they are coming into- there’s no gray area. I think when the players get there and you start asking them to make adjustments or trying to do something a little different, there all in from the get-go since you’ve been recruiting and sharing with them how we run the program.

On drills…

#1- Practical practice, It’s not necessarily a specific drill but we try to simulate the game pace in everything we do, whether it be base running live reads or the pace of handling the ball off the bat or fungo. We try to make everything game-like so when the games start, guys have been there over and over with their repetition and their preparation.

On coaching journey…

In my first job at my alma mater (Indiana-Pennsylvania), I think I learned more about READ THE REST

Vanderbilt’s Scott Brown

scottbrownTHE JOURNEY

I think the first thing about being a “top assistant coach” is your loyalty to the head coach and then to be able to implement your personality into the overall culture that the head coach wants presented.

I’ve had the luxury of working under/alongside and playing for some great coaches. I started at Cortland State, a Division-III school in upstate New York that is a national contender each year. I played Steve Owens (who’s now the head coach at Bryant University) and I picked up a lot from him as far as your work ethic and the energy you bring every day, paying attention to small details as a player, and most importantly a mentality and passion that he has for everything he does. Continue reading

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

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