June 27, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan director of athletics Dave Brandon announced today (Wednesday, June 27) that Erik Bakich has been hired as the 19th head coach in Wolverines baseball history. Bakich (pronounced back-itch) comes to Ann Arbor after spending the past three seasons as the baseball coach at the University of Maryland (2010-12).
"My wife, son and I could not be more excited to join the Michigan Athletics family and the Ann Arbor community," said Bakich. "The University of Michigan represents a standard of academic and athletic excellence which will be upheld by our coaches and players every day. Michigan baseball has a storied tradition and I am honored to lead this program back to winning championships. We are eager to attack the recruiting trail and will finalize our coaching staff as quickly as possible. Go Blue!"
"Coach Bakich is regarded as one of the top recruiters and developers of talent in collegiate baseball," said Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "His leadership and enthusiasm will be critical in restoring our baseball program to a championship level. We are excited about Erik and his family joining Michigan Athletics."
Bakich rebuilt the Terrapins baseball program. He led the Terrapins to a 32-24 record in 2012, which was a 15-win improvement from his first season in College Park.
Bakich, 34, is currently the youngest head baseball coach at any BCS school. In the last 11 years as a collegiate coach, Bakich has recruited to campus and/or coached 81 players that have been selected in the MLB Draft, including 25 in the first five rounds and nine first-round picks.
Prior to assuming the head coaching position at Maryland, Bakich spent seven seasons building Vanderbilt into a perennial contender. He was the program's recruiting coordinator, worked with the outfielders, and served as hitting coach. Vanderbilt finished in the top three in the Southeastern Conference in team batting average in three of his final four seasons.
Bakich established himself as one of the nation's top recruiters during his time with the Commodores, hauling in top-25 classes all seven seasons on staff. Vanderbilt had the No. 1 recruiting class in 2005 and the second-ranked class in 2008.
While at Vanderbilt, Bakich recruited and coached David Price, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft. Price placed second in the voting for the 2010 Cy Young Award as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. During his final three seasons (2008-10), Bakich recruited 22 Commodores that were selected in the Major League draft.
Bakich was hired by Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin in 2003. Bakich helped the Commodores reach the SEC Tournament during his first season, something that had not been accomplished in the eight seasons prior to his arrival. The very next season, Vanderbilt won an NCAA Regional and advanced to a Super Regional.
He began his collegiate coaching career as a volunteer assistant coach at Clemson in 2002. Bakich worked with the Tigers' outfielders and infielders on defensive situations and assisted with the team's recruiting efforts. Clemson posted a 54-17 record and advanced to the College World Series.
Bakich pursued a coaching career after a standout playing experience. He played two seasons for East Carolina (1999-2000) after transferring from San Jose City College (Calif.). The Pirates won consecutive CAA conference championships and claimed No. 1 seeds at the NCAA Regionals during those two seasons. He was named to the all-regional team at LSU as a third baseman in 1999. Bakich finished his two-year career at ECU with a .315 batting average, 14 home runs and 85 runs batted in.
He graduated from East Carolina in 2001, earning a degree in exercise and sports science. Bakich played professionally in the Independent Professional Baseball League until 2001. He returned to ECU and served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach in fall 2001.
Bakich and his wife, Jiffy, have a son, Colt.
Media Contact: David Ablauf (734) 763-4423