The Virginia pitching staff has met unparalleled success in the past 10 seasons under pitching coach Karl Kuhn. Virginia possesses one of the top pitching staffs in the nation year in and year out under the 11th-year pitching coach of the Cavaliers. Since 2005 Virginia is tied for the lowest cumulative earned run average in the nation (3.14).
In honor of his coaching success, Kuhn was named the 2010 recipient of Collegiate Baseball's Tom House Teaching Professional of the Year Award. The award recognizes excellence in teaching pitchers and acknowledges years of continued education and study of the latest pitching techniques as identified by scientific fact and biomechanical research.
In 10 seasons, Kuhn's pitching staff has won 461 games, an average of more than 46 victories per season, while Virginia is one of just eight programs to reach each of the last 10 NCAA tournaments. His staff has ranked among the top 20 teams nationally in ERA eight of the last 10 years, including a No. 1 ranking in 2011 when UVa posted the lowest ERA at UVa in 40 years. The Cavaliers also have racked up four No. 3 national ERA rankings (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009) during that time.
Virginia advanced to its first College World Series in 2009, setting off a remarkable stretch as UVa has recorded 245 wins in the last five years - the most victories of any Division I program during that time.
In this period UVa has made two trips to the College World Series and won four NCAA Regional championships, two ACC tournament titles and two ACC Coastal Division crowns. The Cavaliers are one of three teams nationally to play host to NCAA Regionals each of the last four years. UVa has racked up three 50-win seasons and spent two stints atop the national polls since 2010.
During Kuhn's tenure in Charlottesville, UVa has produced 67 shutouts, including an ACC-record 16 in 2011. The Cavaliers also have boasted a league-high 25 ACC Pitchers of the Week during the last 10 years. Kuhn's pitchers are notorious for pounding the strike zone, averaging just 2.8 walks per nine innings since 2004 - fewest in the ACC.
Three of Kuhn's former protégés at UVa have gone on to reach the major league level. Michael Schwimer (Philadelphia) and Mike Ballard (Baltimore) each reached the big leagues in 2011, while Sean Doolittle made his MLB debut in 2012 with the Oakland Athletics. Twenty-seven of Kuhn's Virginia pitchers have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, including Danny Hultzen, who was the second overall pick in 2011.
Kuhn has coached 11 All-Americans and 20 All-ACC honorees in his tenure at Virginia. A three-time First-Team All-American, Hultzen was Virginia's first-ever ACC Freshman of the Year in 2009, then followed it up by becoming the first-ever two-time ACC Pitcher of the Year in 2010 and 2011 before being selected second overall in the 2011 MLB Draft. In addition, Doolittle (2005-06), Jacob Thompson (2007) and Branden Kline (2011) each earned All-America honors and played for the U.S. Collegiate National Team.
Virginia posted a 50-win season and earned the No. 6 national seed in the NCAA tournament in 2013. UVa hosted the regional and super regional rounds as the Cavaliers went 50-12, including a 22-8 ACC mark. Kyle Crockett was named a Third-Team All-American by the NCBWA and First-Team All-ACC, highlighting a UVa pitching staff that posted a 3.12 ERA. While nearly 45 percent of its innings were pitched by freshmen, UVa still ranked second nationally in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.38) and sixth in walks per nine innings (2.36) Crockett (fourth round) and Scott Silverstein (25th round) each were picked in the 2013 MLB Draft.
Virginia played host to its sixth regional in nine years in 2012 while going 39-19-1 and earning a second-place finish in the ACC Coastal Division. Branden Kline and Justin Thompson each were named to the All-ACC team as they led a pitching staff which ranked fifth in the ACC in ERA (3.48). Kline (second round) and Shane Halley (20th round) each were selected in the 2012 MLB Draft.
The Cavalier pitching staff had a remarkable 2011 season, leading the nation with a 2.24 ERA - the lowest ERA of any Division I program since 1992 - while also topping the nation in shutouts (16) and strikeouts (664). UVa's pitching was the key catalyst in the Cavaliers recording a school-record 56 wins, winning the ACC championship and making their second College World Series trip in three years.
Hultzen became the ACC's first two-time Pitcher of the Year and also was named a First-Team All-American for the third straight year while setting the UVa career wins (32) and strikeouts (395) records. He was joined on the All-America teams by closer Branden Kline, who tied the conference saves record with 18, as well as Will Roberts, who fired the first perfect game in UVa history on March against George Washington.
For the first time in program history, three UVa pitchers won 10 or more games in a season - Hultzen (12), Roberts (11) and Tyler Wilson (10). Hultzen became UVa's highest draft pick ever, as the Seattle Mariners selected him second overall, while Roberts, Wilson and Winiarski also were drafted.
In 2010 the Cavaliers racked up 51 wins and won the ACC Coastal Division championship as well as a regional championship. Virginia also earned the program's first-ever No. 1 ranking and held the top spot in the polls for 12 weeks during the season. UVa's pitching staff posted a 3.89 team ERA, which ranked 18th nationally. Kevin Arico led the nation in saves with 18, tying the ACC single-season record in the process. Arico and Hultzen each were named First-Team All-Americans. After the season four Cavaliers (Arico, Neal Davis, Robert Morey, Wilson) were selected in the MLB Draft.
Behind one of the top pitching staffs in the nation in 2009, Virginia won 49 games and earned the program's first-ever trip to the College World Series. UVa's pitchers were sensational in the road to Omaha, posting a 1.45 ERA in the regional and super regional. In the NCAA Irvine Regional, Virginia pitchers allowed just two earned runs - the fewest earned runs allowed in NCAA regional play since the tournament expanded to its current 64-team format in 1999.
The Cavaliers set a then-school record for strikeouts in 2009 with 593. UVa ranked third nationally in ERA (3.23) and fewest hits allowed per nine innings (7.97), seventh in strikeouts and 18th in fewest walks allowed per nine innings (2.93). Following the season, four UVa pitchers (Andrew Carraway, Jeff Lorick, Matt Packer, Robert Poutier) were selected in the MLB Draft.
In 2008, Virginia recorded a 3.83 ERA, which ranked 11th nationally. Closer Michael Schwimer tied the single-season Virginia saves record with 14 en route to All-America laurels. Senior starting pitcher Pat McAnaney was lauded with Second-Team All-ACC honors. Jacob Thompson set the Virginia career wins record with 27, and Matt Packer led all Division I pitchers with a 1.14 ERA to become just the second UVa pitcher to lead the nation in ERA.
In 2007 the Cavaliers posted an ACC-best 2.81 team ERA with nine shutouts. Kuhn was instrumental in Thompson recording one of best seasons ever for a Virginia pitcher. Thompson went 11-0 with a 1.50 ERA, was a consensus first-team All-American and All-ACC and was named a finalist for the Roger Clemens Award. He also earned a spot on the U.S. National Team. With 11 saves, Casey Lambert became the ACC's all-time leader in saves (43) and finished sixth in NCAA history in saves.
In 2006, Kuhn guided his staff to an ACC-best 3.04 team ERA. Sean Doolittle (11-2) and Thompson (10-4) earned All-ACC honors, becoming the first Cavalier tandem to win at least 10 games in a single season. Doolittle was named a consensus second-team All-American and ACC Player of the Year. He was a finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, given to the nation's top player. Thompson was named a freshman All-American. Senior Mike Ballard had his best season, going 9-3 and becoming just the second pitcher in UVa history to throw a no-hitter (vs. Boston College). Ballard was a 14th-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers, while Lambert posted his third straight 10-save campaign.
In 2005, Kuhn guided the Virginia staff to a league-best 2.74 team ERA and 11 shutouts. Opponents hit just .232 against UVa pitchers. Jeff Kamrath was named to the All-ACC First Team. Lambert earned a UVa single-season record 14 saves. Two starters were drafted in the 2005 MLB Draft as Matt Avery was a ninth-round pick of the Chicago Cubs while Kamrath was selected in the 11th round by Tampa Bay.
Kuhn's 2004 pitching staff led the ACC in ERA in league play and finished 15th nationally (3.63) while also pacing the ACC in fewest walks allowed. Kuhn was integral in the development of Andrew Dobies, a third-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox and Joe Koshansky, a sixth-round pick of the Colorado Rockies. Koshansky was named the school's first-ever ACC Player of the Year. As a freshman, Lambert tied the then-school record for most saves in a single season (8) and finished second in the ACC in ERA (2.54).
PREVIOUS COACHING EXPERIENCE
The first assistant coach to be hired at Virginia under head coach Brian O'Connor, Kuhn arrived in Charlottesville after serving as the associate head coach and pitching coach at Arkansas-Little Rock for seven years from 1997-2003. At UALR, Kuhn managed all aspects of the Trojans' pitching staff and was also the recruiting coordinator for the program.
As recruiting coordinator, Kuhn had five-consecutive recruiting classes ranked nationally by Collegiate Baseball during his tenure with the Trojans.
Before coaching at UALR, Kuhn spent three years as the pitching coach at Charleston Southern. Under his leadership, the pitching staff led CSU to its first baseball conference championship and NCAA Regional appearance in school history. Kuhn also worked at Valencia Community College in Orlando, Fla. Prior to that, he was pitching coach for two years at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Fla.
Kuhn started his college career at Valencia Community College, where he played from 1987-89, then concluded his career playing one season for the University of Florida in 1990. He is a 1992 graduate of Florida.
Kuhn is married to the former Katrina Gosdin and resides in Charlottesville, Va. The couple has two sons, Kason and Kruse.