June 28, 2013
LOS ANGELES - UCLA head coach John Savage has captured National Coach of the Year acclaim by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, the national publication announced on Friday.
In addition, Savage was named the ABCA West Region Coach of the Year on Friday after having led UCLA to its first baseball NCAA championship. The Bruins (49-17) rolled through the NCAA Tournament with a 10-0 record, going 5-0 at the College World Series.
UCLA faced a challenging gauntlet of teams during its run to the national championship. The Bruins defeated two ranked teams in Cal Poly and San Diego in NCAA Regional action along with San Diego State. The following weekend, UCLA won a pair of closely-contested games at No. 5-ranked Cal State Fullerton.
At the College World Series, UCLA knocked off No. 4-ranked LSU, N.C. State and No. 1-ranked North Carolina in bracket play before sweeping a pair of games against Mississippi State in a best-of-three championship series.
UCLA's pitching staff limited its opposition to four runs in five College World Series games. In the 67-year-history of the College World Series, only one national champion has surrendered fewer runs than UCLA did in 2013 (California, three runs allowed in 1957). The Bruins were the first team in College World Series history to allow one run or less in each of five games.
UCLA only surrendered one run in two games played against hard-hitting Mississippi State in the championship series. The one run allowed is the fewest amount of runs surrendered by any team in the best-of-three finals (since the format was adopted in 1999). UCLA's pitchers allowed 14 runs in 10 postseason games.
The Bruins' pitching staff posted a 2.55 ERA and struck out 457 batters, allowing just 163 walks. Along with catcher Shane Zeile, UCLA's staff allowed 42 stolen bases in 64 attempts through 66 games and limited the opposition to one stolen base in the College World Series.
The past four seasons, Savage has helped UCLA post ERA figures under 3.30. In 2010, the Bruins had a 3.00 team ERA, followed by 2.44 in 2011, 3.13 in 2012 and 2.55 in 2013.
Savage has helped guide UCLA to the postseason in seven of the last eight years. The Bruins have advanced to the College World Series in three of the past four seasons.
He became UCLA's first head coach to lead the Bruins to the finals of the College World Series in 2010, guiding the squad to a 51-17 record and a runner-up finish in the championship series of the CWS.
In addition, UCLA has produced 65 MLB Draft selections during Savage's nine-year tenure in Westwood.