Florida’s O’Sullivan CB’s National Coach Of Year

TUCSON, Ariz. — University of Florida Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan is Collegiate Baseball’s 2017 National Coach of The Year.

It is the first National Coach of The Year honor for O’Sullivan from Collegiate Baseball, and it marks the 12th time a Southeastern Conference head coach has won the honor since the award’s inception in 1980.

O’Sullivan led the Gators to their first national title in baseball at the recent College World Series. Florida didn’t commit an error in its last five games of the College World Series, an all-time record during that span of time, while its pitching staff fanned 68 batters over six games which was the second highest total by a national champion in history.

What makes the national championship even more impressive is that the Gators lost eight players off last year’s College World Series team to the Major League Draft as O’Sullivan and his marvelous coaching staff rebuilt the team.

The ball club was built on pitching and defense as the batting average for the Gators was .259 which was 224th out of 299 NCAA Division I teams.

Florida had the fourth lowest batting average by a national champion in the 71-year history of the CWS at .222 as the Gators averaged 3.8 runs per game. It was the lowest batting average in the past 45 years by a national champion.

Florida tied LSU for the Southeastern Conference title and had a superb overall record of 52-19 in its run to the national championship.

The Gators hosted an NCAA Regional and lost a game but rebounded by winning the championship. Then Florida hosted a Super Regional and lost another game but rallied to win that championship. At the College World Series, Florida lost another contest but bounced back to win the bracket title and ultimately the national championship with two straight wins over LSU.

Under O’Sullivan, Florida has made more College World Series appearances than any team in the last decade (6) and has produced 77 draft picks during that time.

The Gators overcame injuries, getting swept at Auburn to start the Southeastern Conference schedule, hitting slumps and more to win on the biggest stage and make Florida the only school in the last 50 years to win national titles in football, men’s basketball and baseball.

Now in his 10th season with the Gators, O’Sullivan and his staff have transformed Florida into one of the marquee programs in college baseball.

During a tenure which has been marked by tireless recruiting, which has featured three No. 1 national recruiting championships as determined by Collegiate Baseball (2015, 2013, 2009), he has overseen a progression up the national ladder that has been punctuated by six trips to the NCAA College World Series in the past eight years, highlighted by a national championship this season, a runner-up performance in 2011, four Southeastern Conference titles in (2010-11-14-17), as well as 10 NCAA Tournaments in a row.

The Gators started SEC play this season with a 6-6 record and then finished by winning 15 of 18 league games. Since O’Sullivan took over the Florida baseball program in 2008, he has led the Gators to more SEC wins than any other school (192).

Another barometer of great coaching is that Florida earned 19 one-run wins this season, the most in the country. No other team had more than 14 (Oregon St.).

Florida earned its eighth national seed in 10 years under O’Sullivan in 2017, the most in the nation in that span.

Previous Collegiate Baseball National Coaches of The Year include:

• 2016: Gary Gilmore, Coastal Carolina
• 2015: Brian O’Connor, Virginia
• 2014: Tim Corbin, Vanderbilt
• 2013: John Savage, UCLA
• 2012: Andy Lopez, Arizona
• 2011: Ray Tanner, South Carolina
• 2010: Ray Tanner, South Carolina
• 2009: Paul Mainieri, Louisiana St.
• 2008: Mike Batesole, Fresno St.
• 2007: Pat Casey, Oregon St.
• 2006: Pat Casey, Oregon St.
• 2005: Augie Garrido, Texas
• 2004: George Horton, Cal. St. Fullerton
• 2003: Wayne Graham, Rice
• 2002: Augie Garrido, Texas
• 2001: Jim Morris, Miami (Fla.)
• 2000: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
• 1999: Jim Morris, Miami (Fla.)
• 1998: Mike Gillespie, Southern Calif.
Mike Batesole, Cal. St. Northridge
• 1997: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
• 1996: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.,
Andy Lopez, Florida
• 1995: Augie Garrido, Cal. St. Fullerton
• 1994: Larry Cochell, Oklahoma
• 1993: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
• 1992: Andy Lopez, Pepperdine
• 1991: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
• 1990: Steve Webber, Georgia
• 1989: Dave Snow, Long Beach St.
• 1988: Larry Cochell, Cal. St. Fullerton
• 1987: Mark Marquess, Stanford
• 1986: Jerry Kindall, Arizona
• 1985: Ron Fraser, Miami (Fla.)
• 1984: Augie Garrido, Cal. St. Fullerton
• 1983: Cliff Gustafson, Texas
• 1982: Ron Fraser, Miami (Fla.)
• 1981: Jim Brock, Arizona St.
• 1980: Jerry Kindall, Arizona