Baseball Winning the B1G Arms Race
Sean Kenny completed his fourth season as an assistant coach for the University of Michigan baseball program. Kenny is serving as the Wolverines' pitching coach.
Led by a 100-strikeout season from junior Brett Adcock, the Wolverine pitching staff finished the 2016 season second in the Big Ten Conference with 490 strikeouts and led the Big Ten with a conference-low 440 hits allowed. Adcock was selected to the All-Big Ten second team, while Oliver Jaskie led the Wolverines with two Pitcher of the Week awards. Of five Michigan players selected in the 2016 MLB Draft, three were pitchers (Adcock, Evan Hill, and Jackson Lamb).
MIchigan's pitching staff was second in the Big Ten with 513 strikeouts in 2015, which included Brett Adcock's 95 punchouts. Adcock was named an All-Big Ten third team and ABCA All-Region second team selection. Kenny also coached Ryan Nutof and Bryan Pall, who were named to the All-Big Ten Freshman team and were Louisville Slugger Freshman All-Americans.
The U-M pitching staff led the Big Ten with 440 strikeouts and 24 pickoffs in 2014, while the team ERA of 3.21 was third in the league. Kenny guided freshman Brett Adcock to Big Ten All-Freshman team and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America honors.
In his first season in Ann Arbor, Kenny coached Evan Hill, who was a Big Ten All-Freshman team selection and a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. Kenny also coached Matt Ogden, who led the Big Ten in earned-run average in conference games. The Michigan pitching staff shaved .60 runs off the ERA from 2012 while surrendering just 13 home runs, down from 32 in 2012.
Kenny, an Ann Arbor native and Pioneer High School grad, came to U-M after spending three seasons with Bakich at the University of Maryland as the Terrapins' pitching coach. He guided the Terps pitching staff that had a 3.21 team earned-run average in 2012, which was third in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The previous year, Maryland's staff was fifth in the ACC in ERA and 32nd nationally with 8.0 strikeouts per nine innings. In Kenny's first season at Maryland, the pitching staff set a school record with 464 strikeouts while ranking 16th nationally with 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Kenny also helped Maryland sign the school's first top-25 recruiting class in 2010 and develop draft picks in Adam Kolarek (11th round by the Mets in 2010) and Eric Potter (19th round by Oakland in 2011).
Before coaching at Maryland, Kenny spent six seasons as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. He helped the Waves to three West Coast Conference titles and five NCAA regional appearances, including regional final berths in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008. He coached the WCC Pitcher and Freshman of the Year in 2005 and the WCC Pitcher of the Year in 2006 and had a team ERA of 3.33 in 2007. As the recruiting coordinator, Kenny had multiple nationally-ranked classes, including the eighth-best class in 2005 and the 13th-best in 2008.
Kenny was the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of San Diego from 1999-2003. He helped USD to West Coast Conference championships and NCAA regional appearances in 2002 and 2003 and recruited the nation's 22nd-best class in 2004. He also coached the WCC Pitcher of the Year in 2002 in third team All-American Ricky Barrett.
Kenny began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant at Saint Mary's College in 1997, working with the Gaels outfielders. He took on his first full-time coaching assignment at Laney Community College in Oakland, Calif., where he served as pitching coach in 1998.
The local product was a two-time Mid-American Conference selection as a pitcher at Eastern Michigan. He went on to play three seasons of professional baseball in the New York Mets organization after being a 17th-round selection in 1993. Kenny earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in literature from Eastern Michigan in the fall of 1997 and earned a Master of Arts degree in health, physical education and recreation from Saint Mary's in July of 2000.
Kenny and his wife Marissa live in Ann Arbor with her son, Ayden.