OMAHA, Neb. – UC Irvine head coach Mike Gillespie was named the 2014 National College Baseball Writer’s Association Coach of the Year at a press conference on Saturday at T.D. Ameritrade Park. Gillespie led the Anteaters to a 35-22 regular season mark and an appearance in the NCAA Regionals in spite of dropping eight of their last nine ball games to close out the regular season.
UC Irvine was 33-14 with three week-ends to go in the season facing a match-up with Cal Poly that would likely decide the Big West championship. The Anteaters dropped two of three to the Mustangs before beating UCLA and then being swept in back-to-back weekends by Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State. All eight of the losses came to NCAA Regionals qualifiers as UC Irvine was in the tournament as one of the last four in.
Gillespie steered the Anteaters back on track to beat Oregon State two out of three times to win the Corvallis Regional against the national top seed and advance to the Super Regionals. UC Irvine then swept Oklahoma State in the Stillwater Regional to advance to the College World Series.
Including the 2014 Anteaters, Gillespie has now led 14 teams to 40-win seasons and got his 1,000th win over Long Beach State on February 23rd of this season. The honor is the second of Gillespie’s 27 year career.