UC Santa Barbara Gauchos baseball
|UC Santa Barbara Gauchos|
|University||University of California, Santa Barbara|
|Location||Santa Barbara, CA|
|Head Coach||Andrew Checketts (3rd year)|
Caesar Uyesaka Stadium |
|NCAA Tournament Appearances|
|1952, 1972, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1996, 2001, 2013|
|1950, 1952, 1954, 1972, 1983, 1986|
The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos baseball team represents the University of California, Santa Barbara in the sport of baseball. The Gauchos compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) through the Big West Conference. They are currently led by head coach Andrew Checketts, who led his third season with the Gauchos in 2014.
Emergence of a team
Few records exist from the start of Santa Barbara's baseball program. Through its different incarnations, Santa Barbara has fielded a team as early as 1922. The first known head coach is Kenneth Bolton, who coached in only the 1922 season before handing the reigns to O.J. Gilliland in 1923. C.J. Anderson, Henry Minetti, and William Thrasher are the first known players and were listed on the 1923 team.
Santa Barbara State Teachers College, as one of the precursors to the present day UC Santa Barbara, played in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference as far back as the 1932–33 season. It is likely to have had even earlier teams in the SCIAC as records show Santa Barbara joined the conference in 1931.
Santa Barbara's first reliable team of record can be traced back to 1947, then led by Theordore "Spud" Harder. Wearing multiple hats, Harder served as Santa Barbara's Director of Athletics, football head coach, and baseball head coach. The team played in the California Collegiate Athletic Association from at least 1947 until 1958 when it left to compete in the California Intercollegiate Baseball Association.
Roy Engle, a duel sport head coach in football and baseball in the mold of Spud Harder, took over the program in 1952 and led the Gauchos to their first ever post-season birth. The Gauchos lost both games they played against the Fresno State Bulldogs baseball team by a combined score of 28-6.
Rene Rochelle took over the program in 1954 and coached the team through the CCAA to CIBA transition. He spent 6 seasons as head coach before Dave Gorrie took the lead for the 1960 season.
Gorrie was at the helm for over 700 games in Gaucho blue and gold, and provided a bit of stability to the team as it bounced from conference to conference in the 1960s and 70's. Throughout his 18 seasons as head coach, saw 6 league status changes. He endured through a rough start to his tenure, with the team compiling a 32-95 record in conference play his first 7 seasons — the worst such stretch in Gaucho baseball history. A change in for the 1967, going from CIBA competition to becoming an independent, marked the end of the slide. Independent ball lasted just one season with the Gauchos joining the West Coast Athletic Conference in 1968. The stay was short - just two seasons - before the Gauchos were on the move again.
Beginning with the 1970 season, the Gauchos competed in the Big West Conference through 1974. This period contained Gorrie's best season with the Gauchos - a 31-16 season which saw the Gauchos go 14-4 in Big West play resulting in their second-ever NCAA post season birth. In the 1972 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament, the Gauchos recorded their first-ever postseason wins against Santa Clara Broncos, before losing to eventual National Champions USC Trojans. It also marked the first time in UC Santa Barbara history that their baseball team was nationally ranked at the end of the season after being ranked 17th at the conclusion of the year.
Notable former players
This list of notable former players comprises players who went on to play professional baseball after playing for the team. Players denoted in bold represent MLB All-Stars. Players denoted in italics represent World Series Champions.
- "2014 Record Book" (PDF). UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. p. 19. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Stadtman, Verne A., ed. (1967). The Centennial Record of the University of California.
- "2014 Record Book" (PDF). UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. p. 19. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
- "BASEBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS 1932 - 1989" (PDF). Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
- "About the SCIAC". Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
- Lehrmann, Rebecca (November 15, 2010). "Widow of Former Coach Passes". Daily Nexus. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
- Williams, Jack (June 11, 2005). "Roy Engle, 87; coach was Hoover High sports hero". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- "Division I Baseball Records" (PDF). NCAA. p. 44. Retrieved September 16, 2014.