Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Shaun Cole Named Pitching Coach of the Year
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: September 20, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Sept. 20, 2012

TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona baseball assistant coach Shaun Colehas been named the unanimous winner of the Collegiate Baseball Pitching Coach of the Year award presented by Edge Charting systems.

Cole will be presented with the Pitching Coach of The Year award at the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention next January in Chicago. Head coach Andy Lopezwill also be honored at the convention after being named the National Coach of the Year this past summer.

In 2012, Cole developed the Wildcats' staff into one of the best in the nation. Led by ace Kurt Heyer, who finished as the national leader with 13 victories, Arizona's starting rotation was rounded out by 11-game winner Konner Wade and eight-game winner James Farris, and not one of the three ever missed a start. Heyer and Wade's double-digit win totals marked the first time since 2005 that a pair of UA pitchers had 10 or more wins in the same season.

The starting trio combined for a 31-8 record, a 3.30 ERA and 16 complete games on the season - most at the school since 1989. They struck out 291 opposing batters and walked just 85 in 395.3 innings pitched (67 percent of team innings) over 57 total appearances. If the trio were a team, it would have ranked No. 2 nationally in fewest walks per innings pitched (1.94), fourth in strikeout to walk ratio (3.42) and ninth in WHIP (1.18).

To round out the staff, Cole molded a formidable bullpen with veteran Stephen Manthei and a pair of freshmen - Mathew Troupe and Tyler Crawford. The freshmen duo combined for a 7-2 record, a 3.27 earned run average and eight of the team's 10 saves. They struck out 62 and walked 26 over 74.2 innings pitched in 39 appearances. In the postseason, the freshmen tossed 9.0 total innings, and surrendered just one run (1.00 ERA). Troupe earned three victories, including two at the College World Series.

The Wildcats finished 2012 with 48 victories, their most in a single season since 1989. Arizona was a perfect 47-0 when leading or tied after eight (8) innings of games in 2012. The Wildcats were also 46-5 when leading/tied after seven (7) innings, and an equally impressive 46-6 when leading or tied after six (6) innings of play.

Arizona led the Pac-12 with 443 strikeouts and its pitchers finished No. 21 nationally with a 2.64 walk to strikeout ratio. Arizona's pitching staff also finished No. 14 in the nation in fewest walks per nine innings pitched and issued only 168 walks - the lowest total at Arizona since 2002, despite the fact the staff threw more innings than any team since 1986.

In 10 postseason games UA pitchers combined for a 1.91 ERA and a 10-0 record. Wildcat hurlers struck out 56 and walked just 16 in 94 innings of work (1.5 per 9 IP). Opponents hit a lowly .239 against the Wildcats and scored just 28 runs in those 10 postseason games.

Arizona closed the College World Series with a team ERA of 1.13 over five games (eight runs in 48 innings), which was the fourth-lowest ERA ever for a CWS champion. During the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats allowed 20 earned runs in 94.0 innings for a 1.91 ERA.

In the process, Arizona became just the fifth national champion in Division I baseball history - and first since 1957 - to get at least 7.1 innings from its starter in every game of the College World Series. No team had made it to the College World Series and had its starter go at least 7.0 innings in every game during the NCAA Tournament since at least 1993.

Meanwhile, Arizona's pitchers issued just 11 walks at the CWS, the fewest by a national title team in 15 seasons. Wade became the first pitcher to throw a complete game shutout without a walk at the CWS since 1972. He also was the first pitcher to toss a pair of complete games at the CWS since 2004.

Arizona, which won a share of the Pac-12 Championship and claimed its fourth national title in 2012, begins its fall practice season on Oct. 8. The Wildcats will play an exhibition game in Tempe, Ariz., against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim instructional league team on Oct. 4 at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

History of the Award
In 2002, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and John Pinkman launched a joint effort to recognize the nation's best collegiate pitching coaches. Their goal was to raise visibility to the work coaches do not only to teach, but as importantly to expand everyone's knowledge about approaches that work. Over the last decade, the award presentation has become a cornerstone event at the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention each January which annually draws close to 4,000 baseball coaches from throughout the world.

Past Winners
2011     Phil Cundari (Seton Hall University)
2010     Mark Calvi (South Carolina)
2009     Jerry Weinstein (Sacramento City/Colorado Rockies)
2008     Dan Spencer (Oregon/Texas Tech)
2007     Scott Forbes (North Carolina)
2006     Gordie Alderink (Grand Valley State)
2005     Tom Holliday (Texas/Carolina State)
2004     Derek Johnson (Vanderbilt)
2003     Mark McQueen (VCU/Richmond)


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