Virginia Cavaliers’ baseball pitching coach Karl Kuhn is expected to be named the head coach of the Radford Highlanders as early as Thursday afternoon, according to reports by CBS19 Sports’ Damon Dillman. Radford announced late Wednesday afternoon that a “special announcement” would be coming on Thursday, although the release did not include any details.
For those unable to attend, you can stream it live on Thursday at 2:15 p.m. on Radford’s Facebook page.
Consistency in the dugout has long been a mainstay for Virginia Baseball. Since 2003, Brian O’Connor has relied on Associate Head Coach Kevin McMullan and pitching coach Karl Kuhn. The three make up the longest tenure in the nation and have produced unprecedented success on the diamond including the 2015 College World Series title. That string of success could be coming to an end if reports hold true.
Long rumored to be a candidate for a head coaching job, Kuhn has racked up numerous national awards in his tenure in Charlottesville. In 2010, Kuhn received the Tom House Teaching Professional of the Year Award and in 2014 earned Collegiate Baseball’s National Pitching Coach of the Year. In addition to his own accolades he’s coached numerous All-Americans including Danny Hultzen who was a two-time ACC Pitcher of the Year before being selected second overall in the 2011 draft. In all, six of Kuhn’s former pitchers have pitched in Major Leauge Baseball including Michael Scwimer, Mike Ballard, Sean Doolittle, Kyle Crockett, Tyler Wilson, and Brandon Kline
If indeed true, Kuhn will take over for Joe Raccuia who resigned after 12 seasons at Radford and after being placed on administrative leave a week ago. Under his steady hand, the Highlanders established themselves as one of the better programs in the Big South Conference earning trips to NCAA Regionals in 2015 and 2017.
With all the success Virginia pitchers have found, it’s no coincidence that pitching hasn’t been a strength of the two teams that have missed the last two NCAA Tournaments, something that hadn’t happened in the first 14 years of O’Connor’s (and Kuhn’s) tenure. The team’s 4.68 ERA this past spring was a far cry from the program’s 15 year average ERA of 3.33