Highlights from Tuesday's 6-1 loss to Coastal Carolina.
Rich Maloney, the 2007 and 2008 Big Ten and ABCA Mideast Regional Coach of the Year, completed his ninth season as head coach at the University of Michigan in 2011. He was named U-M's 18th head baseball coach on May 31, 2002, and has led the Wolverines to three Big Ten titles, two Big Ten Tournament titles and the 2007 NCAA Regional title. He is 341-244 in 10 seasons at U-M and has a career record of 597-388-1 in 16 seasons. At the end of the 2010 season, he ranked 28th on the list of top 50 active NCAA Division I coaches.
Maloney has led the Wolverines to the Big Ten Tournament in seven of his nine seasons as head coach, including a streak of six straight from 2003-08, the most consecutive baseball playoff appearances since the tournament began. His teams also made four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2005, '06, '07, '08) for the first time since U-M played in seven straight from 1983-89.
Maloney's teams have won 40 or more games six times in his career. His 2008 U-M team had a career-best total of 46 wins and set a Big Ten record with 26 conference victories.
The Wolverines secured three straight Big Ten championships under Maloney (2006, '07, '08), and played host to the 2008 NCAA Ann Arbor Regional at the Wilpon Baseball Complex. The event marked the first time U-M has hosted regional play since 1986 and the eighth time overall.
Highlights of Maloney's sixth season included his third Big Ten title and the second Big Ten Tournament championship in the last three years. The 46 wins marked the first time U-M reached the 40-win milestone in four straight seasons since 1986-89 and ranks sixth-most in school history. The Wolverines were projected to repeat as Big Ten champions and were ranked No. 8 by Baseball America in its preseason top-25 poll. Michigan did not disappoint, going wire-to-wire for a league-leading 35th conference baseball title, after getting off to a 7-0 conference start and finishing at 26-5. The season also saw a 12-game winning streak and a sweep of the Big Ten Tournament in three games in Ann Arbor.
The success of 2008 came on the heels of Michigan's 2007 NCAA Nashville Regional championship, defeating top-ranked Vanderbilt to earn its first trip to the NCAA Super Regional. U-M finished the 2007 season just two wins shy of its first trip to the College World Series since 1984 after going 42-19 in the regular season and 13-1 on the road in Big Ten play for a 21-7 record en route to its 34th conference baseball title.
Maloney's 2007 squad secured his second Big Ten title along with NCAA Regional trips to Nashville, Tenn., and Corvallis, Ore.; it was his first regional title and first trip to the Super Regional. The 42 wins marked the first time U-M reached the 40-win milestone in three straight seasons since 1987-89.
In Maloney's fourth season, the 2006 Wolverines started the year 3-6, but finished at 43-21, winning 22 of 28 Big Ten games down the stretch to win the conference title. The 43 wins was a personal-best at the time for Maloney, who earned career victory No. 400 on the final day of the regular season.
The 2005 team recorded 42 wins and gained the coach's first NCAA Tournament berth. He notched career win No. 350 on May 9 vs. Purdue and his 100th win at Michigan eight days later vs. Bowling Green (May 17).
In Big Ten action under Maloney, the Wolverines were 16-14 to finish the 2003 regular season in third place. The following year, U-M earned the No. 3 seed at 19-13 while sharing third place with Michigan State. In 2005, they went 17-12 to earn the fourth seed while sharing fourth place with Ohio State. Starting in 2006 the Wolverines caught fire, capturing three straight regular season titles with a combined 70-21 record the past three seasons in conference play.
A native of Roseville, Mich. (Roseville HS '82), Maloney was the head coach at Ball State from 1996-2002 where he won the 1999 and 2001 MAC championships, and was twice named MAC Baseball Coach of the Year (1998, 2001). The Cardinals finished first in the MAC West four straight seasons (1998-2001).
In his 16 years as a collegiate head coach, Maloney has had 46 different players drafted a total of 51 times; the 2005 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, Jim Brauer was drafted three times and four other players were drafted twice. Maloney has had at least one pitcher drafted in all 16 years as a head coach adding Tyler Mills to the list after the 2011 season.
Following the 2002 season, Ball State's Bryan Bullington, a two-time MAC Pitcher of the Year, was the first player selected in the 2002 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. In the 2008 draft, five different Wolverines were drafted, including juniors Zach Putnam and Adam Abraham who were both selected on the first day of the draft by the Cleveland Indians.
After having three first-team All-Big Ten selections in each of Maloney's first three seasons as head coach, Michigan has had four first-team picks in three of the last five years, the most for the Wolverines since having four in both 1985 and '86.
Zach Putnam, a 2007 and 2008 All-American (Baseball America/ABCA-Rawlings), became the first player in Big Ten history to be named to the All-Big Ten first team at two positions (starting pitcher and DH) in the same year, turning the trick in both his sophomore and junior campaigns. Senior 1B/C Nate Recknagel joined Putnam on the first team as a unanimous selection in 2008, while junior shortstop Jason Christian and junior RHP Chris Fetter also netted first team accolades.
A third-team All-American as a senior shortstop at Western Michigan, Maloney earned two degrees at Western Michigan (communications and journalism in '86, English in `93). A three-year letterwinner at WMU (1984-86) and a two-time captain, Maloney was a two-time All-MAC first-team selection and was twice named to the all-district squad. He was Western's team MVP while hitting .362 as a junior in 1985, and was twice named the top defensive player on the team (1984, '86). In 1986, he set the WMU career record for runs scored (124). Maloney was inducted into WMU's Athletic Hall of Fame in November 2004.
Maloney was a 13th-round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves in 1986 following his career at WMU. He spent six seasons in the Atlanta Braves organization, earning all-star status in the Appalachian League for the Pulaski Braves and in the South Atlantic League for the Sumter Braves.While in the Braves system, he played for former Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox manager Grady Little. Maloney retired from pro baseball following the 1991 season at Greenville (AA).
Following his professional baseball career, Maloney served as an assistant coach for legendary Fred Decker at Western Michigan from 1992-95 before accepting the head coaching position at Ball State in May 1995.
Maloney is the chairperson for the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and is in his first term as a member of the Board of Directors.
The Wolverines also are champions in the community as the baseball team earned the Rachael Townsend Community Service Award two of the last three seasons.
Maloney is married to the former Kelle Lynn Seitz. They have two sons, Alexander and Nicholas, and a daughter, Natalie.