University of Louisville baseball coach Dan McDonnell has agreed to a new contract that will keep him as the Cardinals head coach for the next 10 years, UofL Vice President and Director of Athletics Tom Jurich announced on Wednesday.
McDonnell had five years remaining on his current contract and the new agreement will extend his relationship with UofL through the 2025-26 season. Coach McDonnell’s base salary will be $1,000,000 making him the highest paid college baseball coach in the nation (or planet Earth).
The winningest coach in Louisville baseball history, McDonnell has guided the Cardinals to three College World Series appearances, five NCAA Super Regional berths and nine NCAA Championship appearances in his 10 seasons. Louisville enters the 2016 NCAA Championship as the No. 2 national seed marking the third time the Cardinals have earned one of the top eight spots in the Road to Omaha.
Under the leadership of McDonnell, who is 453-189 in his 10 seasons at the helm, Louisville has won seven regular season conference championships, including back-to-back ACC Atlantic Division titles. Selected as the ACC Coach of the Year in each of those two championship seasons, McDonnell entered the 2016 season ranked sixth nationally in winning percentage among active coaches.
“Dan came here in the summer of 2006 with an incredible vision as well as a specific plan on how to accomplish that vision and the results have exceeded any and all expectations,” Jurich said. “In my opinion, he is second to none, not only as a coach, but also as a person and that’s what sets him apart. He is a perfect fit for this baseball program, this university and this community and he’s built this into something very special. Under Dan’s guidance, Louisville baseball is in great hands and the future couldn’t be any brighter.”
With just one NCAA Championship appearance prior to McDonnell’s hiring in 2007, the Louisville baseball program has since been elevated among the nation’s elite ranking sixth nationally in total wins during the last 10 seasons. Later this week, Louisville will host NCAA postseason games at Jim Patterson Stadium for the ninth time under McDonnell, including the sixth NCAA Regional.
Along with the unprecedented team success, Louisville players have also reached new heights for individual success with 22 All-Americans honorees, 77 all-conference selections, six conference Pitcher of the Year winners, three conference Player of the Year honorees and one National Freshman of the Year. That success on the collegiate diamond has also translated to the professional diamond as 43 Louisville players signed professional contracts after being selected in the MLB Draft during McDonnell’s first nine seasons as head coach.
Winning on the field for the Louisville baseball program during McDonnell’s tenure has also been accompanied by success in the classroom as the Cardinals have registered 10 consecutive semesters (five straight years) with a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or higher. In both 2013 and 2014, Louisville was honored for the highest team GPA of the College World Series qualifiers.
In January, the Louisville baseball team was recognized as the No. 1-ranked NCAA program across all sports and divisions in community service hours for the fall of 2015 as part of the NCAA Team Works Competition. The Cardinals baseball team completed more than 2,600 hours of community service as a team while averaging 62 hours of service per student-athlete. Junior outfielder Colin Lyman was recognized as one of the top 10 most outstanding student-athletes in the fall and was No. 1 among baseball student-athletes nationally.
McDonnell was hired at Louisville following six seasons as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Ole Miss, where he played a significant role in landing four top-20 recruiting classes, including three top 10 classes. In each of his last two seasons with the Rebels, Ole Miss advanced to NCAA Super Regionals while also winning an SEC regular season championship in 2005 and an SEC Tournament title in 2006.
Before his arrival in Oxford, Miss., McDonnell was an assistant and recruiting coordinator at his alma mater, The Citadel, for eight seasons. The Bulldogs advanced to four NCAA Regionals and won five Southern Conference titles during that span. He was the top assistant from 1995-2000.
During his playing days for the Bulldogs, McDonnell earned four letters, helping The Citadel to the 1990 College World Series, marking the first time a military school has made the trip to Omaha. He was a member of the All-Atlantic Regional team in Miami that same season.
McDonnell graduated from The Citadel in 1992 and later completed his master’s degree in business administration in 1995. He is married to the former Julie Anne Underwood of Charlotte, N.C. The couple has two sons, Jake and Justin.
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