FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
BERKELEY – California head baseball coach David Esquer, who led the Golden Bears to their first appearance at the NCAA College World Series since 1992 this spring, has agreed to a new five-year contract to remain with the school.
“I couldn’t be happier continuing to be the head baseball coach here at Cal,” said Esquer, the 2011 National Coach of the Year. “This is great, not only for myself but for my family. We love it here. And I love the type of high-level student-athlete we attract at the University of California. I am looking forward to continuing the program’s playoff success, and my goal is to get us back to the College World Series.”
Esquer has compiled a 354-313-2 (.531) career mark with the Bears that includes four NCAA regional appearances (2001, 2008, 2010, 2011) and a 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor. This past season, he guided Cal to a 38-23 record and the team’s third postseason appearance in the last four years. The Bears captured the Houston Regional with a thrilling, 9-8, victory over Baylor with four runs in the bottom of the ninth, and swept through a best-of-three series with Dallas Baptist in the Super Regional, to advance to the College World Series.
In the CWS, Cal dropped a close 4-1 decision to top-seeded Virginia before defeating Texas A&M, 7-3, for its first win in Omaha since 1980. The memorable season, the 12th for Esquer in Berkeley, came to an end with an 8-1 loss to the Cavaliers June 23.
The success in 2011 came despite an initial decision last September to discontinue the Cal baseball program due to pressure the University’s budget. Following a fundraising effort that has generated approximately $10 million in commitment, Golden Bear baseball was reinstated April 8.
“This season, the Cal baseball program fought through adversity and did it with class and dignity, which is a reflection of their coach, David Esquer,” Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour said. “Dave displayed exceptional leadership of the program, and exceptional leadership of these young men, through the toughest of circumstances. He provided inspiration to the entire college baseball community and we are honored to have him continue to lead Cal baseball. His ability to guide our program to success on and off the field is highly valued and appreciated by our entire community.”
Esquer has coached 10 All-Americans in his tenure at Cal and has seen 59 of his players drafted by the Major Leagues, featuring four first-round draft picks. Seven Bears were drafted from the 2011 squad, including junior right-hander Erik Johnson, a second round pick of the Chicago White Sox.
This past season sophomore first baseman Devon Rodriguez earned Most Outstanding Player of the Houston Regional honors, sophomore second baseman Tony Renda was named the 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year and freshman left-hander Kyle Porter earned Freshman All-America honors. Junior catcher Chadd Krist joined Renda and Johnson as a first-team All-Pac-10 selection.