July 1, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. - UCLA head coach John Savage has been named one of seven finalists for the CollegeBaseballInsider.com National Coach of the Year honors, as announced Monday.
Savage joins John Cohen of Mississippi State, Brad Hill of Kansas State, Dan McDonnell of Louisville, Brian O'Connor of Virginia, Tracy Smith of Indiana and Rick Vanderhook of Cal State Fullerton as the seven finalists for the award. Savage was named the Collegiate Baseball National Coach of the Year and the ABCA West Region Coach of the Year this past Friday.
In 2013, Savage led the Bruins to their first national title in program history, going a perfect 10-0 in the postseason. UCLA went 4-0 against national seeds in the tournament, eliminating two of them (No. 5 Cal State Fullerton, No. 1 North Carolina). At the College World Series, the Bruins' pitching staff allowed four runs over five CWS games. In the 67-year-history of the College World Series, only one national champion has given up fewer runs than UCLA in 2013 (California, three runs allowed in 1957).
Savage helped UCLA post an overall 49-17 record in 2013, marking the second-highest single-season win total in school history. UCLA also matched a school record with 21 conference victories, finishing third in the Pac-12. The Bruins have finished in the top three in the Pac-12 Conference in each of the last eight seasons, the only Pac-12 team to do so.
Savage coached pitcher David Berg and infielder Pat Valaika to Pac-12 Pitcher and Defensive Player of the Year honors, respectively. Berg became the first reliever in the history of the conference to win Pitcher of the Year honors.
Through nine seasons in Westwood, Savage has produced some of the nation’s highest draft selections, including pitchers Gerrit Cole (2011, No. 1 overall selection), Trevor Bauer (2011, No. 3 selection), David Huff (2066, first round supplemental) and Rob Rasmussen (2010, second round) and outfielder Jeff Gelalich (2012, first round supplemental).
Savage has guided the Bruins to the postseason in seven of the last eight seasons and to the College World Series in three of the last four years. He became UCLA's first head coach to lead the Bruins to the finals of the College World Series in 2010, guiding UCLA to a 51-17 record and runner-up finish in the CWS against South Carolina.