“Shaun brings both youth and experience to our program,” Batesole said of Larkin. “He is advanced beyond his years as a coach, just as he was as a player.”
Larkin was the Cal State Northridge starting second baseman for Batesole’s 2002 Big West Championship team and the Cleveland Indians selected him in the ninth round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft. He returned as an assistant coach for the Matadors for the past two seasons.
“His recent experience as a recruiter will open up many doors for us in Southern California, especially in Orange County,” Batesole said. “We can’t wait to get to work with him!”
Larkin began his collegiate playing career at Cypress College and later at Texas Tech, which advanced to a NCAA Regional in 2000, before joining Batesole’s program at Northridge for the 2002 campaign.
During that 2002 season, Larkin helped the Matadors to a NCAA Regional as a first-team All- Big West and All-Region honoree, a national ranking as high as No. 15. He also received a National Player of the Week award and set a NCAA record for reaching base safely 18 straight times.
Professionally, he was an integral part of six playoff teams and two championship teams during his six years and ultimately advanced to the Triple-A level as a player before the Indians presented Larkin with an opportunity to become an assistant coach.
Once assigned to the Indians’ Double-A affiliate, Larkin assisted both management and his coaching staff with player development and was the team’s first base coach for two seasons.
In addition to his time as an assistant, Larkin also served as both the hitting and third base coach for the Leones de Leon, a professional winter ball team located in Leon, Nicaragua in 2007.
In 2009, Larkin returned to Southern California as an assistant varsity baseball coach at Newport Harbor High School. As the primary hitting instructor and infield coordinator he introduced a program-wide paradigm shift that not only focused on development of his player’s physical skills, talents, and mental acuities.
Larkin held weekly classroom sessions that focused on the evolution and expansion of his team’s leadership skills for use both on and off the diamond. Due to these unique character-building opportunities, the Newport Harbor baseball team reached the playoffs for the first time in 20 years.
An assistant coach at Orange Coast College during the 2010 season, Larkin primarily worked with the infielders and hitters and aided head coach John Altobelli with recruiting in and around Orange County.
Larkin returned to Cal State Northridge in 2011 for the first of two seasons on Matt Curtis’ staff. Larkin also specialized in his work with the infielders and hitters, assisted with the team’s strength and conditioning program, and monitored the academic eligibility of his student-athletes.
The CSUN defense set the school record for fielding percentage in 2011 and was among the Big West Conference leaders in both of his seasons back at Northridge.
The addition of Larkin fills the vacancy created when Pat Waer decided to return to his alma mater, Washington State, during the offseason.
Fresno State, who will host the 2013 Mountain West Baseball Championships next May, begins its first season as a member the MW after winning seven straight WAC titles.