FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Head Baseball Coach Ritch Price announced Tuesday that former Oregon assistant coach Jay Uhlman has joined the Jayhawk coaching staff to serve as an assistant coach. Uhlman will be KU’s recruiting coordinator, hitting coach and baserunning/short game coordinator as well as coaching the corner infielders and serve as the third base coach.
“We are thrilled to have Jay Uhlman join our coaching staff. Coach Uhlman has a proven track record of success in developing players to be successful not only at the Division I level, but in professional baseball as well,” Price said.
“Coach Uhlman is recognized throughout college baseball as one of the finest young coaches in the country. His experience, enthusiasm, energy, and knowledge of the game will enable us to reach our goal of becoming a consistent Top 25 program.”
“First and foremost I am deeply grateful to Coach Horton and everyone involved at Oregon for the opportunity they gave me to be a Duck,” Uhlman said.
“I would like to thank Coach Price and our Athletics Director Sean Lester for the opportunity to come to Kansas. I am very excited to begin working with our players and staff as we quickly approach a new season. My family and I are thrilled to be coming to Lawrence and we are honored to be joining the Jayhawk family.”
Uhlman comes to Kansas from the University of Oregon, where he spent the 2010 season working with the Ducks hitters and infielders. The Ducks showed tremendous progress last season, winning 40 games in just its second year back from reinstatement. The 22-game improvement is the second-best recorded in the country since the NCAA began keeping the stat in 1998.
Oregon advanced to the regional final in Norwich, Conn. last season, falling to eventual College World Series participant Florida State.
With Uhlman’s assistance, the Ducks improved their batting average by 65 points (from .227 to .292) in 2010, doubled its run total from 158 to 376, and nearly doubled extra-base hits from 84 to 164. UO also stole a school-record 73 bases last season.
Oregon also enters the 2011 season ranked as high as No. 9 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper preseason poll.
“I think Coach Uhlman will be a tremendous addition to the Kansas baseball program,” Oregon Head Coach George Horton said.
“It was bitter-sweet news that he was offered and accepted the job at the University of Kansas because of the value of what he added to the baseball program here at the University of Oregon. The Jayhawk fans are going to find out in short order that Coach Uhlman is a great person, recruiter and coach.”
Prior to his stint at Oregon, Uhlman spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Nevada in Reno. During his time at Nevada, Uhlman worked with the hitters, infield defense and served as a recruiter for the program.
In eight seasons at his alma mater, Uhlman coached three All-Americans, two Western Athletic Conference Players of the Year, two WAC Freshman of the Year and 41 all-conference performers. He has also coached eight players who have reached the major leagues, including current Oakland third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, Florida catcher Brett Hayes, and Milwaukee outfielder Chris Dickerson.
Serving as Nevada’s third base coach, Uhlman helped the Wolf Pack increase its run production for three consecutive seasons, culminating in 2008 as Nevada averaged 7.0 runs per game. That same season, the Wolf Pack broke the program doubles mark for the second straight year, totaling 143 in 2008 – a mark that led the WAC and ranked 17th in the nation.
Uhlman also coached back-to-back WAC batting champions in 2007 (Shaun Kort, .390) and 2008 (Jason Rodriguez, .392), while Nevada hit .309 as a team in 2008, ranking second in the conference.
As a two-year starting shortstop for Nevada (1995 and 1997) he helped lead the Wolf Pack to a Big West Northern Division title and regional berth in Lubbock, Texas. Uhlman returned to his alma mater in 2002 after spending two years as the head coach at Los Angeles Harbor College (2000-01). His teams compiled a record of 61-22-2 (.729) while at LA Harbor, and in 2001 won the Southern California Regional title and the South Coast Conference Championship.
After the 2001 club posted a 36-8-1 record – the second best winning percentage (.818) in the school’s 50-year history – Uhlman also took home South Coast Conference Coach of the Year honors. In his first season (2000) at LA Harbor, the team produced a 25-14-1 overall record and finished third in the conference with a 15-9 mark.
Uhlman and his wife Emily have a daughter, Zoey(5) and son, Kai(2).