Photo by: James Benson
Eric Newman coaching in a third straight NCAA Championship in Cary, N.C., back on June 2.

Eric Newman Collects Third Straight ABCA/Diamond West Region Coach of the Year Honor

UC San Diego

GREENSBORO, N.C. - University of California San Diego head coach Eric Newman was revealed on Tuesday as the 2019 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Diamond NCAA Division II West Region Coach of the Year. This marks the third straight season for which Newman has earned the honor, having led UC San Diego to a third consecutive 40-win campaign and West Region championship.

In his eighth year at the helm, Newman guided UC San Diego to a 41-16 overall record, and 30-10 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). That meant 30 league victories for a second year in succession, with that ledger bringing a first CCAA regular-season title since 2012, Newman's first go-around in La Jolla.

UC San Diego dropped both of its games during a short bid to repeat as CCAA Tournament champion, before navigating through the brand-new format of the NCAA West Regional. The culmination was lifting a third straight West Region trophy in Azusa. The Tritons went 3-1 during the West Regional #2 at home. They then shrugged off a 13-2 defeat to open the West Super Regional at top seed Azusa Pacific, to sweep two meetings on Saturday, May 25, 6-5 and 16-5, and move on.

For the second year in a row in Cary, N.C., UC San Diego began the NCAA Championship with a combined shutout before back-to-back losses again capped its attempt at a first national title. The first of those defeats came at the hands of eventual national champion Tampa, 7-2, on June 4.

The Tritons were thus among the last five teams left standing nationally in Division II for the third year running, with a third consecutive top-eight final rank, at No. 3.

Newman's Tritons led the CCAA in home runs (65) for a third straight year, and fell one walk (318) shy of a share of the national lead in Division II for a second season in a row. They were 12th in ERA (3.59) and eighth in fielding percentage (.974).

Under Newman in 2019, junior right-hander Brandon Weed was an All-American and unanimous West Region Pitcher of the Year, as well as the CCAA Most Valuable Pitcher as just a first-year Triton. Shortstop Shay Whitcomb came away with the CCAA Most Valuable Player award as a true sophomore, with All-America honorable mention. Ten Tritons in all garnered All-CCAA recognition. Ted Stuka and Jonah Dipoto were selected during June's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

The West Region trophy was UC San Diego's fifth at the Division II level, all coming in the last 11 years, and seventh in its history, with prior ones in 1987, 1994, 2009, 2010, 2017 and 2018.

Newman has directed the Tritons to eight seasons in a row with a plus-.500 overall record, seven of them with more than 30 wins, and now back-to-back-to-back 40-win campaigns.

Newman's 2019 staff was entirely new from 2018, consisting of Jonathan Johnston, third base coach Bryson LeBlanc, pitching coach Matt Harvey, first base coach Michael Ramazzotti and undergraduate assistant Justin Beck, his starting second baseman in 2018. Johnston made his return to Triton Ballpark after serving three years on Newman's initial staff from 2012-14.

Newman's topnotch unit also included athletic performance coach Jon Gregory and assistant athletic trainer Christian Ahlstrom, both holdovers from 2018.

The coaches of the year will be honored on Friday, Jan. 3, in the main clinic hall prior to the start of clinics at the 76th annual ABCA Convention, which will be held Jan. 2-5, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn.

Newman now has five major awards in his eight seasons in La Jolla, having been named the 2012 and 2019 CCAA Coach of the Year. Internally, he was the recipient of UC San Diego's Excellence in Coaching Award for the 2017-18 academic year.

The ABCA, founded in 1945, is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its over 11,000 members represent all 50 states and 23 countries.

About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 82 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 37 have earned prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

Follow the Tritons
For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDtritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@UCSDtritons), Instagram (@ucsdtritons) and Facebook (UCSDtritons). For more information on UC San Diego Baseball, follow on Twitter (@UCSDbsb) and Instagram (@ucsd_baseball). Head coach Eric Newman is also on Twitter (@CoachEricNewman).

#BigWestBound

More From UCSD
Baseball