July 16, 2014

Mike Gillespie Signs Four-Year Extension

IRVINE, Calif. --- UC Irvine baseball head coach, Mike Gillespie, has signed a contract extension that keeps him at the helm of the Anteater program through June 2018.

"I am thrilled that Mike Gillespie will continue to lead the UC Irvine Baseball program for the next four years," said Athletic Director Mike Izzi. "He continually brings in student-athletes who not only perform at a high level on the field, but who also successfully manage the rigorous academic demands of UCI."

"He is the quintessential baseball coach and UC Irvine Baseball will continue to be a premier program with Mike at the helm," Izzi added.

Gillespie was honored as the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Coach of the Year after leading UC Irvine to its second College World Series appearance in 2014. His Anteater squad toppled No. 1 national seed, Oregon State, in regional play and swept Big 12 champion, Oklahoma State, at the Stillwater Super Regional to punch its ticket to Omaha and finish the season with a 41-25 record. In seven seasons, the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee has guided the Anteaters to the NCAA Tournament five times.

"I am flattered and gratified to have been offered the opportunity to continue to be affiliated with UC Irvine," said Gillespie. "UCI is a special university located in a spectacular environment, and athletics has been supported by exceptional leadership all the way to the level of the Chancellors, as well as our athletic administration.  The performance of UCI's athletic teams, both men and women, has been exceptional and there are excellent coaches in literally every program. Baseball has flourished over the 13-year period since it was brought back in 2002, having been to nine NCAA playoffs in that time, and has established itself among the nation's most highly respected programs.  I look forward to our continued growth and trust that we will consistently compete among the Big West Conference's most elite teams, teams that distinguish themselves on the level of the nation's best," Gillespie added.

During his stint with the Anteaters, Gillespie guided the program to its first-ever Big West Conference championship in 2009. The Anteaters were the consensus No. 1 ranked team in the country that season and hosted an NCAA Regional for the first time in school history. UCI also became the first team in Big West history to go undefeated in home league contests, posting a 12-0 record en route to a 22-2 conference mark in '09. Under his leadership, the Anteaters have posted 40 or more wins four times and finished in the top three in the Big West five of his seven years.

Voted the West Region Coach of the Year for the third time this year, Gillespie has produced 45 All-Big West Conference selections, including five Big West Pitchers of the Year, two Big West Defensive Players of the Year and a conference Player of the Year. His Anteaters have amassed 34 All-America honors and 80 scholar-athlete awards with four of his players earning UCI/Big West Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year recognition.

Recently concluding his 43rd year of coaching college baseball, Gillespie continues a storied career that began at the College of the Canyons, where he coached for 16 seasons and led the Cougars to a 420-167 record. After a 20-year term at USC in which he led the Trojans to 14 postseason appearances and four conference titles, Gillespie was hired as UCI's head coach in the fall of 2007.

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