EUGENE, Ore. – After three seasons as an assistant at Oregon, Andrew Checketts left the UO baseball program on Wednesday to become the head baseball coach at UC Santa Barbara.
Checketts’ appointment is his first head coaching post, while he becomes the ninth head coach in UCSB baseball history.
“UC Santa Barbara has made a great selection in Andrew Checketts as its new baseball coach,” Oregon head coach George Horton said. “He is an exceptional coach, recruiter and mentor of student-athletes. The job he has done as an assistant here at the University of Oregon is exemplary. He is one of the top coaches in the country, and has a very bright baseball mind.
“He was a great ambassador at Oregon, and I’m sure will be a great ambassador for UCSB. Andrew and his family will be greatly missed by our staff, our players and our community. His outstanding baseball abilities are surpassed only by his great character and the quality of his family. We wish him well with his new challenges at UCSB.”
Known as a diligent worker with an attention for detail, Checketts’ work with his young pitching staff during the last three seasons at Oregon was a major reason the Ducks were immediately competitive on the diamond after a 27-season layoff.
Since Oregon returned to the diamond in 2009, Checketts has had members of his pitching staff drafted on 11 occasions, including 2011 first-rounder Tyler Anderson.
In three seasons with Oregon, Checketts’ staff routinely recorded one of the best earned run averages in the nation. In 2009, with a number of freshman arms and the program returning from a 27-year hiatus, the Ducks’ 5.07 ERA ranked 74th in the nation.
That number dramatically improved in 2010, as the Oregon’s 3.29 ERA ranked third in the country and second in the Pac-10. Oregon finished the 2010 season with a record of 40-24 and advanced to the NCAA Norwich Regional elimination game as a No. 3 seed.
In 2011, Oregon’s pitching staff ranked in the top-25 for the second straight year as the mark of 2.99 rated 18th in the country.
After three years in the Pac-10 Conference, seven members of Checketts’ pitching staff received all-conference or honorable mention accolades.
Checketts also played a large role in the recruiting scene for Oregon. For three consecutive years (2008-2010) UO’s recruiting classes have earned top-25 accolades.
Checketts ‘ hiring at UCSB marks his return to the Big West Conference, as the West Linn, Ore., native spent six years as an assistant coach at UC Riverside from 2002-07.
In his coaching career at UC Riverside and Oregon, Checketts has had 26 pitchers selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft, with five making it to the Major Leagues. He has had a total of 36 pitchers drafted or sign pro contracts.
In 2007, UC Riverside was the Big West Champion and was ranked as high as 13th in the country during the season.
Checketts began his coaching career at Riverside Community College, where he served as pitching coach under Dennis Rodgers and helped the team to their second consecutive California State Championship in 2001.