OMAHA. Neb. (NCBWA) – After his team was scheduled to
be discontinued after the 2011 season, California head coach
David Esquer led the Golden Bears to the program's first appearance
at the NCAA College World Series since 1992, while earning him the
National Coach of the Year Award presented by the National
Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
This year's award winner, which was voted on by the NCBWA Board
of Directors, was selected from a list that included all Division
I Conference Coaches of the Year and the coaches of the 16 NCAA
Super Regional teams. Esquer received the honor this morning at
TD Ameritrade Park.
The Golden Bears program has avoided the chopping block through
fund-raising efforts on the way to their sixth appearance in the
CWS. Esquer led Cal out of the loser's bracket in the Houston Regional
and beat Dallas Baptist in the Super Regional to advance to Omaha.
The Golden Bears are 37-22 heading into Tuesday afternoon's game
against Texas A&M. Cal lost its opening round game to No. 1 seed
Virginia, 4-1, on Sunday afternoon. Cal's 37 wins this season is
the most victories since the 1991 squad went 37-27 and advanced
to the final of the 1991 NCAA Wichita State Regional.
Cal entered the 2011 NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid out
of the Pacific-10 Conference and was sent to the Houston Regional.
After a 6-4 loss to Baylor in the opening game, Esquer's team got
past Alcorn State, 10-6, and No. 13 Rice, 6-3, to face Baylor for
the regional championship. Cal forced the if-necessary game with
an 8-0 shutout behind the strong pitching performance of freshman
left-hander Kyle Porter (three hits, no runs, no walks and a career-high
nine strikeouts). First baseman Devon Rodriguez earned Most Outstanding
Player of the Houston Regional honors with a twoout, two-run single
in the bottom of the ninth to lead Cal's dramatic come-from-behind
9-8 victory over Baylor to advance to the Super Regional against
The Bears, led by Pac-10 Player of the Year Tony Renda, swept
Dallas Baptist, 7-0 and 6-2, in Santa Clara to advance. Entering
the 2011 NCAA College World series, Esquer has posted a 353-311-2
career record over 12 seasons as a head coach of the Golden Bears.
It is the fourth appearance by Cal in the NCAA Tournament in Esquer's
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• NCBWA Coach of the Year