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Nick Mingione Named NCBWA National Coach of the Year

photo by Brendon D. Miller - Bluegrass Sports Nation

This marks second time in three days he’s taken home such an award

LEXINGTON – June 14, 2024

For the second time in three days Kentucky Coach Nick Mingione has been named National Coach of the Year, this time by the National College Baseball Writers Association, it was announced Friday on the eve of the school’s first Men’s College World Series appearance. It is the second time in his eight seasons as a head coach he has earned the award.

Mingione also won both SEC and National Coach of the Year in 2017. He also was voted SEC Coach of the last month and 2024 Perfect Game National Coach of the Year earlier this week.

A group of men in blue uniforms

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Mingione guided a Kentucky squad voted near the bottom of the SEC Eastern Division to a conference championship, just the second in school history, and its first NCAA College World Series berth in its history, a span of more than 100 seasons. Mingione also was an assistant coach on the 2006 team that won the SEC title.

UK had a sensational 2024 regular season, piling up school and SEC records along the way. The Wildcats set a school record with 22 SEC victories and 11 SEC road victories. By virtue of a 9-1 start for the second straight league slate, UK became the first team in 32 years to accomplish that feat. UK’s 15-1 start to conference play also was the best in school history.

It got even better in the postseason as UK hosted its first Super Regional as the No. 2 overall seed. It is 5-0 in the NCAA Tournament and opens play in the MCWS on Saturday afternoon versus NC State. Currently, its 45 total wins ties the school record set in 2012.

Kentucky’s rise to the top of the SEC play can be attributed, in part, to the statistical surge in conference games by the Wildcats. Kentucky led the league in SEC-only batting average, was third in SEC-only fielding percentage, and fifth in SEC-only ERA. Only one other school (Texas A&M) was top-five in all three major categories in conference competition this season. The Cats also led the league in OBP, runs scored, hits, RBI, doubles, sac bunts, sac flies, and stolen bases. Ryan Waldschmidt led the league in doubles and stolen bases in SEC play, and was also top-five in batting average, on-base percentage, runs scored, and hits. Ryan Nicholson provided major power for the Cats in SEC play, finding himself in the top-five for slugging percentage, home runs, and runs batted in.

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