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Oregon adds Mark Wasikowski and Jay Uhlman to Coaching Staff

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon head coach George Horton completed his full-time coaching staff on Monday when he announced the addition of Mark Wasikowski and Jay Uhlman.

“I am very pleased to welcome Mark and reunite Jay with the Oregon baseball family,” Horton said. “I believe we have one of the strongest staffs in the country which will continue to help with our recruiting efforts, and our journey to becoming one of the finest collegiate baseball programs in the country.”

Wasikowski comes to Oregon with 10 years of experience in the Pac-12 Conference working at Arizona with Andy Lopez’s staff.

Wasikowski will serve as Oregon’s recruiting coordinator and will run the Ducks’ offense. He will also coach the outfielders and instruct UO’s base runners while working with Uhlman to coach Oregon’s hitters.

“Mark has done a remarkable job working for Coach Lopez at Arizona for the past 10 years,” Horton said. “The decision to hire Mark was an easy one as he has proven to be very successful on the recruiting trail, and has also developed one of the most thriving collegiate offenses in the nation. I know our student-athletes will excel under Mark’s tutelage as we continue to build a competitive baseball program at Oregon.”

Known as a highly regarded and fastidious recruiter, his prowess on the recruiting trail paid dividends for Arizona. The Wildcats’ first four recruiting classes with Wasikowski on staff were tabbed in the top 10 in the nation (No. 10 in 2002, No. 4 in 2003, No 6 in 2004 and No. 7 in 2005 by Collegiate Baseball).

His endeavors on the diamond are equally impressive. Working with the hitters and infielders, the Wildcats have batted over .300 as a team each of the last nine straight years, including leading the conference with a .320 average in 2011.

During his time with the Wildcats, Arizona made seven appearances in the postseason including advancing to the College World Series in 2004.

Before his arrival in Tucson, Wasikowski coached with Lopez for three years at Florida and one season at Pepperdine.

A native of Seal Beach, Calif., Wasikowski graduated from Los Alamitos High School in 1989 and began his collegiate playing career at the University of Hawai’i. He transferred to Rancho Santiago Junior College after one season and then to Pepperdine in time for the 1992 national championship season. As the starting third baseman for the Waves, he was twice named All-West Coast Conference and hit .312 with 10 home runs. In 1999 he was elected to the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the `92 title team.

Uhlman served as UO’s volunteer assistant for the 2010 season and departed Oregon in January of 2011 for a fulltime position at Kansas.

Similar to his responsibilities with the Ducks in 2010, Uhlman will instruct the infielders and coach third base. In addition, Uhlman will also assist with recruiting, coach the hitters, and develop scouting reports.

“I am very pleased to bring Jay back to the Oregon baseball program with a fulltime position,” Horton said. “Jay brings a wealth of information, knowledge, and experience to our program. When he was with us for the 2010 season, Jay coached with the type of passion and competitiveness that we are looking for in our coaching staff and from our players.”

The native of Redondo Beach, Calif., is a proven run producer at the collegiate level. In 2010, Uhlman worked with the Ducks’ offense, instructing hitters and coaching base runners as UO saw major improvements from 2009 to 2010.

In 2010, the Ducks advanced to the elimination game of the Norwich Regional as UO’s offense began to catch up with an impressive pitching staff. With Uhlman’s help, UO improved its batting average from .227 to .292, doubled its run total from 158 to 376, nearly doubled extra-base hits from 84 to 164 and recorded a school-record 73 stolen bases.

Oregon improved its record from 14-42 in 2009, to 40-24 in 2010. The 22-game improvement was the second-best recorded in the country since the NCAA began keeping the stat in 1998.

Infielders KC Serna, Danny Pulfer and J.J. Altobelli each earned Pac-10 honorable mention accolades under Uhlman’s watch.
In one season at Kansas in 2011, Uhlman helped second baseman Ka’iana Eldredge earn Big 12 all-conference freshman team honors, batting .268 overall with 26 RBIs and 20 runs scored.

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 returned to his alma mater in 2002 after spending two years as the head coach at Los Angeles Harbor College (2000-01). He 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 14 years of coaching experience, 29 of his student-athletes have signed MLB contracts.
Wasikowski and Uhlman replace departed assistants Andrew Checketts and Mike Kirby. Checketts accepted the head coaching position at UC Santa Barbara, while Kirby is now the top assistant at Cal State Fullerton under newly-hired head coach Rick Vanderhook.

Horton will now oversee Oregon’s pitching staff.

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