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UCSB’s Andrew Checketts a Finalist for National Coach of Year

OMAHA, Neb. – UC Santa Barbara head baseball coach Andrew Checketts has been named a finalist for the 2016 Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year Award, it was announced on Wednesday by the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

Designed to honor the top the collegiate coach from any level of college baseball, the award finalists and winner are selected by a national committee of active and retired coach­es from all levels of college baseball.

Andrew Checketts has a winning percentage of .630 in his five seasons at UCSB. Click to view larger
Andrew Checketts has a winning percentage of .630 in his five seasons at UCSB. (UCSB Sports Information)

"The coaches on this list have either won a national championship, or are in the running, so they've all had great years," said Mike Gustafson, president and CEO of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. "Any of them would make worthy recipients."

In his fifth year, Checketts has led the Gauchos to a 42-18-1 record and its first ever berth into the College World Series. UCSB went 5-0 in the first rounds of the postseason, winning the Nashville Regional at Vanderbilt before topping No. 2 Louisville on its own turf two times to advance to Omaha.

The team's 42 wins this season against Division I opponents are a program record, edging out the record 40 victories recorded by the 2015 Gauchos. For his career, Checketts has a win-loss record of 179-105-3 which gives him the highest winning percentage in program history at .630.

Most impressive about his coaching job this year is that only two starting position players and one weekend starter were key contributors to last year's Regional-hosting team that went 40-17.

Other Division I finalists include Gary Gilmore from Coastal Carolina, Florida's Kevin O'Sullivan and 2014 Bertman Award winner Tim Tadlock from Texas Tech. All four Division I finalists are in the College World Series.

The other finalists include coaches of six championship teams: Greg Brown from Nova Southeastern (Florida) University (NCAA Division II), Tim Scannell from Trinity (Texas) University (NCAA Division III), Jeremiah Robbins from Lewis-Clark (Idaho) State College (NAIA), Ryan Cougill from Yavapai (Arizona) College (NJCAA Division I), Chris Kirtland from Jones County (Mississippi) Junior College (NJCAA Division II) and Doug Wren from Tyler (Texas) Junior College (NJCAA Division III).

The award, sponsored by Easton Sports, will be presented as part of the College Baseball Night of Champions ceremony on July 2 in Lubbock, Texas. The Night of Champions event also features the announcement of the winners of the National Pitcher of the Year Award, the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award and the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award as well as the 2016 National College Baseball Hall of Fame inductions. The winners of the Johnny Bench Award and the Dick Howser Trophy also will be recognized.

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