SCOTT STRICKLIN BY THE NUMBERS:
• ONE NCAA COLLEGE WORLD SERIES APPEARANCE
• ONE NCAA SUPER REGIONAL BERTH
• FIVE NCAA REGIONAL BERTHS
• FIVE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT TITLES
• FOUR REGULAR SEASON CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
• 30 MLB FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT PICKS
• 40 ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTIONS
• THREE-TIME MAC COACH OF THE YEAR
• 2011 ABCA MIDEAST REGION COACH OF THE YEAR
• 2011 USA BASEBALL COLLEGIATE NATIONAL TEAM ASSISTANT COACH
The numbers don't lie: ninth-year Kent State head baseball coach Scott Stricklin is simply a winner.
A winning percentage of .656 (314-165 in eight seasons), five NCAA Regional berths, five Mid-American Conference Tournament titles and four regular season conference crowns have highlighted Sticklin's tenure. He has also represented his country and collegiate baseball, serving as an assistant coach for USA Baseball’s 2011 Collegiate National Team.
Stricklin has developed his student-athletes into standouts both on the baseball diamond and in the classroom. A total of 30 Kent State baseball players have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft under Stricklin. Off the field, the team has registered a perfect 1,000 score the last three seasons in the NCAA's Academic Performance Rate report. Kent State is one of only 16 schools and the only public school to have a perfect score the past three years. The team posted its highest grade point average ever of 3.264 in the fall of 2012, including 27 players with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
For his efforts, Stricklin was rewarded with a six-year contract extension in September 2012.
"I want to thank President Lefton, Senior Vice President (Gregg) Floyd, Mr. Nielsen and the entire University Administration for their commitment to our program," said Stricklin. "I am very proud to be the head coach at my alma-mater and thrilled at the support the University has shown not only to me, but our entire coaching staff. We are looking forward to working on getting back to Omaha and a long run of continued success."
Stricklin, 41, brought Kent State to new heights in 2012. 47 wins was a school record and a trip to Omaha was the first College World Series appaearance in program history. The CWS followed the Flashes' first NCAA Super Regional Championship, first NCAA Regional Championship and the fourth consecutive MAC Tournament title. After leading the team to the record books, Stricklin was honored for the second-consecutive season as the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings NCAA Mideast Coach of the Year and the MAC Coach of the Year. He was also named College Baseball Insider.com Co-National Coach of the Year at the conclusion of the 2012 campaign. The Flashes ranked fifth in the nation at the end of the season, the highest ranking in team history, after upsetting the number one seed, Florida, in College World Series play and being one of five teams remaning in the tournament. Kent State was honored in Omaha for having the highest team GPA of all the eight participants.
Stricklin garnered ACBA Mideast Region Coach of the Year and MAC Coach of the Year honors after leading Kent State to its finest season to-date in 2011. He earned Region Coach of the Year honors for the first time in his career, becoming just the second Kent State skipper to garner such recognition and first in 18 years. Former Flashes manager and current Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall was named Region Coach of the Year following the 1992 and '93 campaigns.
Kent State, which finished the 2011 campaign ranked No. 26 in the nation according to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, won both the MAC regular season and tournament championships and captured a berth in the 2011 NCAA Championship Austin Regional. After earning the program's first-ever national tournament No. 3 seed, Kent State tallied an 11-inning 4-2 win over Texas State and followed it with a 7-5 winner's bracket final triumph over regional host and No. 5-ranked Texas to earn the school's second-ever berth in a regional final. The Flashes became the first squad to win three straight MAC Tournament crowns and first since 2005 to win the conference's regular season and tournament titles in the same season. Kent State's mark of 45-17 matched the 1992 squad for most victories in program history. Eight Golden Flashes earned All-MAC selection -- the most during Stricklin's tenure -- while five members of the 2011 Kent State squad were selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
The Golden Flashes captured their second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth in 2010. After wrapping the regular season up with its fourth MAC East Division crown in five years, Kent State won five elimination games in three days to capture the MAC tournament title and earn a trip to the NCAA Los Angeles Regional.
The Golden Flashes had one of their best seasons in school history in 2009. Ranked 18th in the preseason poll, Kent State finished the season with a 43-17 overall record and a 17-9 mark in the Mid-American Conference. The 43 wins were the third-most wins in school history. In the NCAA Tempe Regional, the Golden Flashes eliminated nationally ranked Cal Poly. The season featured many other highlights, including a no-hitter by pitcher Brad Stillings, the school's seventh MAC Tournament crown, left-handed pitcher Andrew Chafin receiving MAC Freshman of the year honors and a Kent State record seven players being selected in the MLB Draft.
In 2008, the Golden Flashes turned a tough conference start into a MAC Championship. After beginning the conference slate 0-5, Kent State rattled off 16 wins in their final 19 conference games to claim the regular season crown and advance to the finals of the MAC Tournament. The Golden Flashes won their final six MAC series of the year, including sweeps of Toledo, Buffalo and Bowling Green.
Like 2008, Kent State summoned an unprecedented run to close the 2007 regular season. After opening the season with a 17-23 record, Stricklin's squad posted wins in 12 of its final 13 games to win the MAC East Division and entered the conference tournament as second seed. In the tournament, Kent State's pitching-laden squad claimed four consecutive wins, never allowing the opposition more than three runs as the Golden Flashes punched their first NCAA Regional berth since 2004.
The Golden Flashes finished 38-19 in 2006, including a conference-best 19-7 mark to claim the MAC regular season title. Kent State advanced to the championship game of the MAC Tournament and placed six players on the All-MAC First Team. Midway through his second season, Stricklin earned hit 50th career victory on April 11, 2006 at Duquesne.
In his first season as skipper in 2005, Stricklin led the Golden Flashes to a 33-win season, the second most victories by a MAC East team.
Stricklin became the 16th head baseball coach at Kent State in July of 2004, replacing long-time head coach Rick Rembielak who accepted the head coaching position at Wake Forest. The appointment was Stricklin’s first head coaching job at any level.
Stricklin returned to Kent State after serving the previous three seasons as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Georgia Tech under former Kent State head coach Danny Hall. Stricklin was responsible for the Yellow Jackets’ hitters while working with the catchers and serving as the team’s first base coach. Stricklin, who also was a volunteer coach at Georgia Tech from 1998-99, rejoined Hall’s staff in July 2001 after spending the previous two years as pitching coach at Vanderbilt in 2000-01.
In his role as Georgia Tech’s recruiting coordinator, Stricklin landed a recruiting class that was ranked No. 1 in the nation by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball in 2002. That class included a pair of second round draft picks in Micah Owings and Tyler Greene, the highest drafted players ever to enroll at Georgia Tech, in addition to the highly regarded Jason Neighborgall. The Yellow Jackets’ 2003 recruiting class also was ranked among the best in the nation.
As the recruiting coordinator at Vanderbilt, Stricklin attracted a nationally ranked recruiting class in his final year with the Commodores that was ranked seventh by Baseball America.
Stricklin helped the Yellow Jackets to a 44-21 record and a return trip to the NCAA Super Regional in 2004.
In 2003, Stricklin helped lead the Yellow Jackets to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship by sweeping North Carolina, Florida State and North Carolina State on the final day of the tournament in the first triple-header in ACC history. Tech averaged nearly eight runs per game, and the Yellow Jackets topped 100 stolen bases for the second consecutive season. Stricklin’s defensive work with Tech’s catchers paid off as the Yellow Jackets allowed just 86 stolen bases in 130 games over two seasons. Tech’s catchers threw out nearly 35 percent of all attempted base stealers.
Stricklin’s first year back at Georgia Tech was extremely successful as the Yellow Jackets won a school-record 52 games and advanced to the College World Series in 2002. Under Stricklin’s direction, Yellow Jacket hitters produced one of the most successful seasons ever. The Yellow Jackets hit .330 as a team, including six regulars who batted .340 or higher, and averaged more than eight runs per game. Georgia Tech was the top hitting team in the 2002 College World Series with a .392 team batting average. The Yellow Jackets were equally proficient on the basepaths, stealing an ACC-high 130 bases during the season, the highest total at Tech in 18 years.
A Class-A all-star in 1994, Stricklin played five seasons of minor league baseball, retiring in the spring of 1998 after a major league spring training stint with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Following his selection by the Minnesota Twins in the 23rd round of the June 1993 draft, he played the 1994 and '95 seasons in the Twins organization, reaching the Triple-A level. He signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves in 1996, playing Double-A ball at Greenville and then with the Tampa Bay organization in 1997.
Stricklin lettered three seasons as a catcher at Kent State for
Hall. He earned All-Mid-American Conference honors in 1992 and '93
and was named to the 1993 NCAA South II Regional All-Tournament
team. In those two seasons, he handled pitching staffs ranked No. 1
and No. 2 in the nation in earned-run average.
Stricklin graduated magna cum laude from Kent State in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Stricklin and his wife Cheri have two daughters Sydney (9) and Keaton (4), and son Cale (7).
KENT STATE UNDER SCOTT STRICKLIN
2006 38 19 0 .667 17 5 0 .773
2007 33 26 0 .559 19 8 0 .704
2008 36 21 0 .632 16 8 0 .667
2009 43 17 0 .717 17 9 0 .654
2010 39 25 0 .609 18 9 0 .667
2011 45 17 0 .726 21 5 0 .808
2012 47 20 0 .701 24 3 0 .889
Totals: 314 165 0 .656 141 57 0 .712