An assistant to Lopez for 12 seasons at Florida and Pepperdine, Steve Kling enters his second season on the staff at Arizona and his 14th overall with Lopez. Kling will serve primarily as the hitting instructor, but his duties will not be limited solely to the offense. He will also be heavily involved in the day-to-day operations, scheduling and planning of the program, recruiting and scouting, as well as serving as the co-director for the Andy Lopez Baseball Academy summer camps.
Named as the 1996 Assistant Coach of the Year by Collegiate Baseball, Kling has helped lead Pepperdine to the 1992 national championship and two Florida teams to the College World Series. Including UA’s College World Series run in 2004, four teams with Kling on the coaching staff have appeared in the Omaha, nine have garnered postseason berths and five have won conference titles.
Kling’s offenses in Gainesville posted 23 team single season records at Florida, including a .332 team batting average, 132 home runs, 545 runs scored and 159 doubles in 1998 alone. During a six-year span at Florida, the Gator offenses averaged a .314 batting average, 83 home runs and 446 RBI per season.
Individually, his players racked up 12 career marks and 12 single season records, including batting average, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI and stolen bases.
Prior to Florida, Kling was an assistant at Pepperdine and helped the Waves take home to the 1992 College World Series title, as well as three West Coast Conference titles in four seasons.
While at Pepperdine, he added to his coaching resume in various collegiate summer programs. He served as the head coach for Red Oak (Iowa) in the Jayhawk League and as an assistant coach for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod League. In 1993 he was the batting practice pitcher for the American League Central Champion Chicago White Sox.
Kling began his coaching career as the varsity baseball coach in 1984 at Torrance High School in Southern California. He finished a five-year run at Torrance with a 76-46-1 (.622) record and two Bay League championships. In 1986 he was named the league coach of the year.
During his time as the head coach at Torrance he also served three seasons as the volunteer assistant under Lopez at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Upon leaving Torrance in 1989, he was named an assistant coach Porterville Community College a position he held for two years before leaving for Pepperdine. During his time at Porterville, he served as a player/manager for the Kindersly Royals Baseball Club, a team in the Saskatchewan Major League Baseball of Canada, and as an assistant at Red Oak, the summer league team he would latter manage.
A graduate of Thomas Edison State, Kling most recently was a Personal Recruiting Director for The Baseball Factory, a program that trains, markets and prepares high school baseball players for collegiate opportunities.
Kling and his wife, Diana, are the proud parents of Joseph Tyler Kling and make their home in Tucson.