Michigan’s Erik Bakich named D1Baseball.com National Coach of the Year

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

In baseball terms, Michigan coach Erik Bakich is 2-for-2.

Bakich, who led the Wolverines to their first College World Series appearance since 1984 and within one win of a national championship, was named D1Baseball.com coach of the year Wednesday.

Erik Bakich

It's the second national award he's won, having also been named National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association coach of the year last month.

Bakich, 41, just finished his seventh season on the job, and by far his most successful run, as Michigan stormed through its regional hosted by reigning national champion Oregon State, then the Super Regional, hosted by No. 1-ranked UCLA.

Michigan then battled into the CWS championship series and took Game 1 against Vanberbilt, before dropping the last two to settle for national runner-up.

Still, the Wolverines were 50-22, led by some fantastic starting pitching, notably second-round draft picks Tommy Henry (Diamondbacks) and Karl Kauffmann (Rockies) and another, sophomore Jeff Criswell, who could be a first-round pick next year. Outfielder Jordan Brewer, the Big Ten player of the year, was taken in the third round by the Astros. Henry, Kauffmann and Brewer have signed.

More: Erik Bakich determined to make Omaha a 'way of life' for Michigan baseball

More: No Cinderella: Michigan proves it belongs at CWS and 'will be back soon'

Michigan entered the NCAA Tournament as a 200-1 long shot to win the national championship, and was 50-1 at the start of the series against UCLA.

Bakich and Co. then went on a run for the ages, proving northern baseball can compete on a national stage.

In July 2017, Bakich signed a five-year deal that pays him a base salary of $400,000 per year, after he spurned interest from South Carolina and Stanford. He might be in for a new deal again.

“I want Erik to be the coach here, and he knows that,” athletic director Warde Manuel said last month.

Bakich earned an additional $70,000 in bonuses this season, including $25,000 for the championship series appearance.

His contract does not allocate bonuses for national coach-of-the-year awards.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984