The 2023 season will be Kevin McMullan’s 20th season at Virginia and 17th as associate head coach. McMullan also serves as Virginia’s recruiting coordinator and hitting coach and works defensively with the Cavaliers’ infielders and catchers. He is known as one of the top recruiters and developers of players in the country.
He has been recognized in a poll of 70 Division I head coaches by Baseball America as the top assistant coach in college baseball three times (2012, 2017, 2020).
The 2009 National Assistant Coach of the Year, McMullan has helped guide Virginia to 789 wins in his 19 seasons, an average of nearly 42 wins per season. Virginia reached the NCAA Tournament in each of McMullan’s first 14 seasons, one of 15 programs ever to qualify for the NCAA tournament 14-straight seasons.
After advancing to its first College World Series in 2009, Virginia has amassed 573 wins, the fifth-most of any college baseball program. The remarkable stretch was highlighted by back-to-back- CWS Finals appearances beginning in 2014 and the program’s first national championship in 2015.
In this period UVA has made five trips to the College World Series and won seven NCAA Regional championships, two ACC tournament titles and two ACC Coastal Division crowns. UVA has racked up four 50-win seasons since 2010 and also has reached the top of the national polls in four seasons.
Virginia has led the ACC in batting over the last 14 years combined. The Cavaliers own a .299 team batting average during that span and led the conference in batting in 2009, 2010 and 2013.
Defensively, the Cavaliers also have shined under McMullan, and UVA owns the highest fielding percentage in the ACC since his arrival in 2004 (.973). nine of the 19 UVA teams have ranked among the nation’s top 40 in fielding percentage. The 2014 team set a program record with a .981 fielding percentage, while the Cavaliers have eclipsed the .970 mark in fielding 14 times in his 19 years.
In 25 years as a college coach, McMullan has had over 100 players signed by professional organizations. Forty-nine of his Virginia position players have been selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, including 16 who have reached the big leagues: Ryan Zimmerman (Washington), Mark Reynolds (Milwaukee), Joe Koshansky (Colorado), Brandon Guyer (Tampa Bay), Sean Doolittle (Oakland), David Adams (New York Yankees), Chris Taylor (Seattle), Phil Gosselin (Atlanta), Jarrett Parker (San Francisco), John Hicks (Seattle), Derek Fisher (Houston), Adam Haseley (Philadelphia), Matt Thaiss (Los Angeles Angels), Joe McCarthy (San Francisco), Pavin Smith (Arizona), Ernie Clement (Cleveland) and Jake McCarthy (Arizona).
Three Cavaliers were selected in the first round in 2014, the most of any program in the country. For five consecutive seasons (2014-18), Virginia had at least one player chosen in the first round of the MLB Draft, including Pavin Smith and Adam Haseley, who were chosen back-to-back in the top 10 in 2017, marking the first position players from the same college to go in the top 10 since 1988.
Zimmerman took just two months to jump to the major leagues and was selected as a National League All-Star in 2009, becoming the first former Cavalier to appear in the MLB All-Star Game. He also earned a Gold Glove Award in 2009 and was a Silver Slugger Award winner in 2009 and 2010. Doolittle earned an American League All-Star nod in 2014 and 2018. The duo of Doolittle and Zimmerman teamed up in 2019 to deliver the Washington Nationals their first ever World Series title. McMullan also was vital in development of the Washington Nationals’ Chad Tracy (1B-3B) while coaching him at East Carolina.
Virginia sported one of the top offenses in the country in 2022 and broke Disharoon Park’s single-season home record with 57 home runs in 34 home games. The 75 total long balls on the year established a new program record. The Cavaliers ranked 13th in the country in scoring (8.6 runs/game) and 15th in batting average (.309). The offense propelled UVA to a 22-1 record in the first 23 games, the best start in program history. On the way to All-America honors, infielder Jake Gelof broke the school record for RBI in a season with 81 and was a home run shy of matching the program mark. Virginia earned its 16th NCAA Tournament bid in McMullan’s tenure. Four position players earned All-ACC accolades including the top RBI duo in program history in Gelof and Alex Tappen who each earned first team nods. Along with Gelof, two-way player Devin Ortiz earned All-America honors from three different publications.
Down the stretch of the 2021 season, Virginia was one of the hottest teams in college baseball winning 14 of 20 ACC games and 10 of its last 14 regular season games. The Cavaliers led the ACC and ranked 22nd in the NCAA in hits with 570. For the third time in McMullan’s tenure, the Cavaliers were led by a freshman at the plate as first year Kyle Teel hit a team-best .335 on his way to freshman All-America honors. Both Teel and third baseman Zack Gelof earned All-ACC accolades. Gelof went on to be selected in the second round (60th overall) by the Oakland Athletics and shortstop Nic Kent was taken in the 11th round by the Colorado Rockies.
Clutch hitting, a staple of the UVA program, was never more present than the 2021 postseason. Senior Devin Ortiz sent the Cavaliers to the Super Regionals with a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th of the Columbia Regional title game. Teel came up big for the Cavaliers in the Super Regional with the first grand slam in UVA postseason history to erase a 2-1, seventh inning deficit against Dallas Baptist. Ortiz was the Most Outstanding Player of the Columbia Regional and Zack Gelof was named to the All-College World Series team after going 7-for-12 in three games.
Prior to the 2020 season being shutdown by the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia’s offense was flourishing, ranking in the top-10 in scoring (9.0 rpg), runs (162), hits (187), triples (10) and home runs (22). The Cavaliers had two of the top four players to strikeout in the ACC in Brendan Rivoli and Logan Michaels. First year Chris Newell was named the co-National Freshman of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper while he and classmate Max Cotier claimed freshman All-America honors. After leading the ACC in three offensive categories – total bases, slugging percentage and runs, Zack Gelof was a second team All-America choice by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
The Cavaliers landed in the upper echelon of the ACC in both hitting and fielding under McMullan’s direction. As a team, the Cavaliers hit .292 as a team, the second highest in the league while committing just 47 errors, the second lowest amongst ACC Cohorts. Four qualified hitters sported .300 batting averages including Tanner Morris (.345) and Nic Kent (.337) who ranked 7th and 11th in the ACC, respectively. Both went on to garner All-ACC honors with Kent becoming the first UVA freshman since 2009 to garner First Team All-ACC honors to go along with freshman All-America accolades from two different publications.
A tribute to the hitting philosophy instilled by McMullan and the Virginia baseball coaching staff, the Cavaliers were among the toughest in the country to strikeout in 2018. UVA finished the year with the least amount of strikeouts among ACC schools and recorded the seventh-lowest total in all of college baseball. For the 12th time in 15 seasons, a UVA position player was named to an All-America team when junior Andy Weber was recognized by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Outfielder Jake McCarthy was selected in the 39th overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks, one of six Cavaliers selected in the 2018 MLB Draft.
Virginia reached its 14th-straight NCAA Tournament in 2017. It was an historic year in moving players to the next level as Pavin Smith and Adam Haseley were drafted back-to-back in the top-10 of the first round of the MLB Draft. Haseley, a Golden Spikes award finalist, was the ACC batting champion and was taken eighth overall by the Philadelphia Phillies. Pavin Smith set the single-season school record for RBIs in a season with 77, the fifth most in the nation. As a team, the Cavaliers were fifth in the country with a .321 batting average.
In 2016 catcher Matt Thaiss was an All-American for the second straight year and led the team with a .375 batting average, while two-way standout Adam Haseley also earned All-America honors. Ernie Clement led UVA with 92 hits (third most in program history) as UVA finished third in the ACC with a .304 team batting average. After the season Thaiss was a first-round MLB Draft selection, while Daniel Pinero was picked in the ninth round.
After sustaining success throughout the McMullan tenure, Virginia reached college baseball’s summit in 2015 with the program’s first national championship. As a No. 3 regional seed, UVA made a dramatic run to Omaha, capped by winning two of three games against Florida before ousting Vanderbilt in three games in the CWS Finals, UVA’s second straight trip to the finals. The Cavaliers battled through a tumultuous, injury-riddled regular season, but caught fire in the postseason, winning the Lake Elsinore (Calif.) Regional before coming home to defeat Maryland twice to win the Charlottesville Super Regional. Despite numerous setbacks throughout the season, Virginia kept battling, and that never-say-die attitude was never more evident than in the postseason: UVA scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning or later in each of their 10 postseason wins.
Virginia had one of the best years in program history in 2014, culminating with the program’s first trip to the College World Series Finals. UVA posted a 53-16 record – its fourth 50-win season in the last five years – and won the Charlottesville Regional and Super Regional en route to its third trip to Omaha in the last six seasons. As the tournament’s No. 3 national seed, UVA won four games at the CWS in reaching the CWS championship game.
Five Cavalier position players and utility player Nick Howard were named to the All-ACC Team. Howard and first baseman Mike Papi also were named 2014 All-Americans. Virginia produced the best fielding percentage in the school history, touting a .981 mark which ranked fourth nationally. Five Cavalier position players were drafted following the season, including first rounders Derek Fisher and Papi.
Virginia went 50-12 while hosting an NCAA regional and super regional in 2013. UVa led the ACC in batting (.314) and ranked second nationally in runs (489) and third in scoring (7.9). Mike Papi was named a First-Team All-American while becoming UVa’s first ACC batting champion since 1981. Outfielder Joe McCarthy posted the highest batting average for a UVa freshman in 29 years and was tabbed the ACC Freshman of the Year as well as a Freshman All-American. Papi and McCarthy were joined by Branden Cogswell, Reed Gragnani and Nick Howard on the All-ACC squad.
Virginia played host to a regional in 2012 while going 39-19-1 and earning a second-place finish in the ACC Coastal Division. Second baseman Keith Werman was named to the All-ACC team, while Derek Fisher was a unanimous selection as a Freshman All-American. Featuring a starting lineup with four freshmen, Virginia finished 14th nationally in scoring, 10th in on base percentage (.400) and fourth in triples (32). Stephen Bruno had a huge year, batting .370 while tying a school record with 23 doubles.
During the 2011 season the Cavaliers rolled to a 56-12 record, the ACC Coastal Division championship and the overall ACC Championship. Ranked No. 1 nationally for much of the season, Virginia earned the No. 1 national seed in the NCAA Tournament and won NCAA Regional and Super Regional crowns before going 2-2 at the College World Series. UVa ranked third nationally in doubles (148), fourth in hits (709) and fifth in runs (471). Catcher John Hicks earned All-America honors while Hicks and three other Cavaliers notched all-conference laurels.
In 2010 the Cavaliers won a school-record 51 games, was ranked No. 1 nationally for 12 weeks and won the ACC Coastal Division title as well as an NCAA regional crown. UVa also was the No. 5 national seed in the NCAA tournament. Virginia led the conference in batting (.331) for the second straight year and set school records in runs (525), doubles (160), triples (32) and total bases (1166). The Cavaliers also finished seventh nationally in fielding (.977). A school-record seven Cavaliers were named to the All-ACC team, highlighted by All-American Phil Gosselin, who set a UVa record with 100 hits. Eight Cavalier starters batted at least .300.
In 2009 Virginia won 49 games and earned the ACC Championship as well as NCAA Irvine Regional and Oxford Super Regional titles en route to the school’s first College World Series appearance. UVa finished the season with a No. 5 national ranking.
The Cavaliers exploded offensively, leading the ACC in batting (.327) and setting six offensive team records, including hits (767), runs (507), doubles (138), triples (28), RBI (486) and at bats (2343). UVa had a school-record five players earn first-team All-ACC honors, while utility Danny Hultzen and outfielder Jarrett Parker each gleaned All-America laurels. Hultzen also was named the ACC Freshman of the Year, while Parker set the Virginia single-season records in runs (75), hits (94) and total bases (176) and tied the record for triples (7).
The 2008 team advanced to the ACC Championship game and broke the school record for stolen bases (134), which was set the previous season. UVA ranked fifth nationally in stolen bases. Shortstop Greg Miclat was named First-Team All-ACC and tied the school record for career stolen bases with 83.
In 2007, Virginia finished in the top three in the ACC in team batting (.314) with three individuals – Miclat (.376, fifth), David Adams (.372, seventh) and Brandon Guyer (.370, ninth) – among the ACC’s top 10. Sean Doolittle broke the school record for career RBI (167), while Guyer finished in the top 10 in career hits (221) in just three seasons. Guyer, Doolittle and Adams were named to the All-ACC team, and the program earned its best-ever national ranking, No. 3, during the season. Miclat also broke the single-season stolen base record (32) as the Cavaliers finished 11th nationally in steals.
The 2006 team set a school record for conference wins (21), led by 2006 ACC Player of the Year Sean Doolittle. Tom Hagan was a first team All-ACC selection after hitting .357, while Brandon Marsh was a second team All-ACC selection as eight of Virginia’s position starters hit above .300.
In 2005, Virginia went 41-20 and played in the ACC Championship game, then earned a bid to the NCAA Corvallis Regional. The Cavaliers also posted a.975 fielding percentage, which ranked seventh nationally.
The 2004 team had a 44-15 overall record and 18-6 mark in the ACC. McMullan guided Joe Koshansky to the 2004 ACC Player of the Year award, a program first. Koshansky set the school record for most RBI in a single season (67). McMullan’s tutelage also sparked Zimmerman to twice set the single-season UVa hits record (92 in 2005; 90 in 2004). Mark Reynolds also flourished, tying the then-single-season school runs record of 60 in 2004.
In his first season with the Cavaliers, McMullan helped UVa to major increases in runs scored (101) and bases on balls (87) from the previous year. UVa finished in the Top 25 of several national polls and won 15 more games than the 2003 squad.
PREVIOUS COACHING EXPERIENCE
Prior to his time at Virginia, McMullan served as a manager in the Atlanta Braves organization. While with the Braves, he also coordinated the catchers in spring training and was the coordinator of extended spring training.
Before joining the Braves’ organization, McMullan served as acting head coach at East Carolina in 2001-02 for Keith LeClair, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. During that season, McMullan coached ECU to a 43-20 record, Conference USA Championship and NCAA Regional Final.
At ECU, he served as the recruiting coordinator, hitting coach and catching instructor. In McMullan’s three years at ECU, the Pirates posted a record of 138-46, which placed ECU among the top five programs in the country in wins, averaging 46 victories a season. East Carolina won three conference championships and an NCAA Regional Championship while earning two No. 1 seeds and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. In McMullan’s three years, the Pirates finished in the Top 25 each season. In 2002, he recruited and coached NCBWA National Freshman Player of the Year Darryl Lawhorn.
McMullan also served as an assistant coach at St. John’s (1996-99) and coached at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (1994-96). At St. John’s, McMullan was the recruiting coordinator and hitting coach and also coached the catchers. He helped St. John’s to three Big East championship appearances and a Big East title as well as an NCAA Regional berth in 1997. While at IUP, McMullan was the head baseball coach as well as the strength and conditioning coordinator. He coached two conference players of the year as well as three All-Americans.
Aside from his numerous coaching experiences, McMullan also had a decorated career as an athlete. He enjoyed a pro baseball career as a member of the New York Yankees organization (1990-92) and the Salt Lake City Trappers (1990 and 1992). In 1990, he was a Pioneer League All-Star. McMullan also was a two-sport NCAA All-American as a catcher in baseball and a linebacker in football at IUP. He was a member of six championship teams at IUP.
McMullan is a 1990 graduate of IUP. He is married to the former Sandra Leishman of Wayne, N.J. The couple has three children, Maggie, Emma and Jack. McMullan’s father, John McMullan, was an All-America football player at Notre Dame and played in the NFL with the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Titans (now the Jets).