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John Savage (baseball)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Savage
John Savage UCLA.jpg
Current position
TitleHead coach
Biographical details
Born (1965-02-27) February 27, 1965 (age 56)
Alma materUniversity of Nevada ('91)
Playing career
1984–1986Santa Clara
1986Billings Mustangs
1987Salt Lake City Trappers
1987Boise Hawks
1988Reno Silver Sox
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1988Reno HS (assistant)
1992–1996Nevada (assistant)
1997–2000USC (PC)
2002–2004UC Irvine
Head coaching record
TournamentsNCAA: 44–25
Accomplishments and honors
  • NCAA (2013)
  • CWS Appearances (2010, 2012, 2013)
  • PAC-12 (2011, 2012, 2015, 2019)
  • Baseball America National Coach of the Year (2013)
  • ABCA National Coach of the Year (2013)
  • Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Coach of the Year (2013)
  • National Coach of the Year, (2010)
  • National Pitching Coach of the Year, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (2019)
  • Pac-12 Coach of the Year (2015, 2019)
  • ABCA West Region Coach of the Year (2013, 2019)
  • Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Assistant Coach of Year (1998)

John Savage (born February 27, 1965) is an American baseball coach and former pitcher, who currently serves as the head baseball coach for the UCLA Bruins.[1] He played college baseball at Santa Clara for coaches Jerry McClain and John Oldham from 1984 to 1986 before playing in Minor League Baseball (MiLB) for three seasons (1986-1988). After serving as an assistant coach with Nevada and USC in the 1990s, he became the head coach for the UC Irvine Anteaters (2002–04). Savage became UCLA's head baseball coach in July of 2004.

Early career

Before becoming a college baseball coach, Savage played two years with the Cincinnati Reds organization, after three years playing at Santa Clara University. In 1987, he helped the Salt Lake City Trappers set a professional baseball record of 29 consecutive victories.

In 1991, Savage received his bachelor's degree in secondary education from the University of Nevada.

Savage's coaching career started at his alma mater Reno (NV) High School as a pitching coach in 1988. Between 1992 and 2000, Savage served as an assistant coach at Nevada and USC. During this period, his teams won one national championship, played in five regionals and advanced to two NCAA Super Regionals.

Head coaching career

UC Irvine

Savage served as head coach for the UC Irvine Anteaters baseball program from 2002 to 2004. Under him, UC Irvine compiled a record of 88-84-1 (32-34 conference) through three seasons and participated in the South Bend Regional in 2004.[2]


Savage has served as UCLA's head baseball coach since the summer of 2004.[3] Savage guided UCLA to its first and only NCAA Championship in baseball in June 2013. While at UCLA, Savage has recorded the most postseason victories of any head coach in program history. In addition, he has seen 21 of his former UCLA players advance to Major League Baseball (since 2005).

Savage has become one of six college baseball head coaches to have won the College World Series (2013), produced the No. 1 overall selection in the MLB Draft (Gerrit Cole in 2011) and coached the winner of the annual Golden Spikes Award (Trevor Bauer in 2011).

The Bruins' 2019 squad had 13 MLB Draft selections, the largest single-year total of any baseball team in program history. Savage helped take UCLA to the postseason in 2006, his second year with the program. After the Bruins went 15-41 in 2005, they posted a 33-25 overall record in 2006, advancing to the NCAA Malibu Regional, where they went 1-2 with an opening game victory over UC Irvine. In 2007, his third year at UCLA, Savage steered the Bruins to their first NCAA Super Regional appearance since 2000. The Bruins went 33-28 overall, securing a No. 2 seed in NCAA Regional action at Long Beach State. UCLA's team swept the Long Beach Regional with wins over Pepperdine, Illinois-Chicago and Long Beach State, but lost the Super Regional to Cal State Fullerton.

UCLA's 2008 squad advanced to the NCAA Tournament, marking the first time in program history that the Bruins had earned three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins were ranked No. 1 in the preseason Baseball America poll that year. During the regular season, UCLA played 18 games against teams ranked in Baseball America's weekly top-25 poll. Savage helped lead the Bruins to series victories in three of the team's four Pac-10 road series.

In 2010, Savage's team advanced to the College World Series by defeating the defending National Champion LSU Tigers in the Los Angeles Regional and the Cal State Fullerton Titans in the Los Angeles Super Regional. The Bruins finished the season in second place, losing two games to the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Championship Series. He was named the National Coach of the Year by in 2010.[4] He was also named 2010 NCAA Division I Western Regional Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA).

In 2011, UCLA again returned to postseason play, backed by the strong pitching of Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer and freshman Adam Plutko. The Bruins compiled a 35-24 overall record and won the Pac-10 Conference with an 18-9 mark in league play.

In 2012, he led UCLA to the College World Series by defeating TCU in the Los Angeles Super Regional. The Bruins went 1-2 in their trip to the College World Series, defeating Stony Brook before dropping consecutive games to Arizona and Florida State in the second round.

In 2013, he guided UCLA to the College World Series by defeating Cal State Fullerton in the Super Regional. This was the team's third appearance in the College World Series in four years. The team defeated No. 1-seed North Carolina (4–1) to advance to the Championship series where they beat Mississippi State to win the NCAA national title.[5] Savage was named the National Coach of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Baseball America, and the ABCA West Region Coach of the Year.[6] After winning the first national CWS championship, Savage agreed to extend his contract with UCLA to 2025 with an increase in salary.[7][8]

In 2015, Savage guided the Bruins back to postseason play, earning the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA hosted the NCAA Los Angeles Regional at Jackie Robinson Stadium, but was eliminated in regional play. UCLA's 2015 squad finished the season with an overall record of 45-16.

In 2017, UCLA went 30-27 en route to the NCAA Long Beach Regional.

In 2018, Savage guided the Bruins to a 38-21 overall record and a 19-11 mark in Pac-12 play. UCLA ranked sixth in the nation in team ERA and was seventh in WHIP. The Bruins were just one of two teams, nationally, to rank among the top 10 in both ERA and team fielding percentage.

In 2019, Savage earned Pac-12 Coach of the Year and ABCA West Region Coach of the Year honors after leading the Bruins to one of the most successful seasons in program history. UCLA went 52-11 (setting a school record for wins), claimed the Pac-12 title, spent a program-record 12 consecutive weeks atop the national rankings, and earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament for the second time ever. UCLA won all 14 of its regular-season series, a first in program history.

Savage picked up a pair of milestone wins during the 2019 season, earning his 500th career victory at UCLA after a Friday night win against Oregon State (March 15). He notched career win No. 600 when the Bruins defeated East Carolina (April 12). Savage managed a pitching staff that led the NCAA in team ERA (2.60). No other team finished with an ERA under 3.00 and only one team logged an ERA within one half-run of UCLA. The Bruins also paced the nation in shutouts (throwing a program-record 11), hits allowed per nine innings (6.18), and WHIP (1.05) while ranking in the top-10 in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.13, fourth) and strikeouts per nine innings (10.2, seventh). Junior right-hander Ryan Garcia (10-1, 1.44 ERA) was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year and a consensus first team All-America selection. Sophomore closer Holden Powell (17 saves, 1.84 ERA) was dubbed the NCBWA Stopper of the Year. A program-record 13 Bruins were selected in the 2019 MLB First-Year Player Draft, including Michael Toglia (23rd overall, Colorado) who became UCLA's first position player to be picked in the first round since Chase Utley in 2000. UCLA had the most day one picks of any NCAA team, and finished tied with Vanderbilt for the most selections overall.

In 2020, the Bruins opened the season with a 13-2 overall record. UCLA won its first 11 games of the season and had gone 13-2 before the season was suspended due to the outbreak of a global pandemic. The season was not resumed, postseason play was canceled, and UCLA concluded its abbreviated baseball season with 13 wins in 15 games. Under Savage's direction, UCLA's pitching staff had compiled a 1.88 ERA. The Bruins' offense had batted .308 through 15 games.

In 2021, the Bruins earned their fourth consecutive postseason appearance, advancing to the NCAA Regional at Texas Tech. UCLA defeated Army and North Carolina in the elimination bracket to advance to the NCAA Regional Final, closing the season with a 37-20 record and an 18-12 mark in the Pac-12. JT Schwartz finished the season as the Pac-12 Conference’s regular-season batting champion (.396 average), joining five other Bruins on the All-Pac-12 Team. The Bruins' pitching staff finished among the top three schools in the Pac-12 in team ERA (3.95) and strikeouts per nine innings (9.39). UCLA's program had a nation-leading 10 players selected in the 2021 MLB Draft, including first-round pick Matt McClain (Cincinnati Reds). Two players – JT Schwartz and Nick Nastrini – were chosen in the fourth round of the MLB Draft.


UCLA vs. Florida at the 2010 CWS
UCLA vs. Florida at the 2010 CWS
Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
UC Irvine Anteaters (Big West Conference) (2002–2004)
2002 UC Irvine 33–26 14–10 T–4th
2003 UC Irvine 21–35 8–13 T–5th
2004 UC Irvine 34–23–1 10–11 T–4th NCAA Regional
UC Irvine: 88–84–1 32–34
UCLA Bruins (Pac-12 Conference) (2005–present)
2005 UCLA 15–41 4–20 8th
2006 UCLA 33–25 13–10 3rd NCAA Regional
2007 UCLA 33–28 14–10 3rd NCAA Super Regional
2008 UCLA 33–27 13–11 3rd NCAA Regional
2009 UCLA 27–29 15–12 T–3rd
2010 UCLA 51–17 18–9 2nd College World Series Runner-up
2011 UCLA 35–24 18–9 1st NCAA Regional
2012 UCLA 48–16 20–10 T–1st College World Series
2013 UCLA 49–17 21–9 3rd College World Series Champions
2014 UCLA 25–30–1 12–18 9th
2015 UCLA 45–16 22–8 1st NCAA Regional
2016 UCLA 25–31 12–18 10th
2017 UCLA 30–27 19–11 3rd NCAA Regional
2018 UCLA 38–21 19–11 4th NCAA Regional
2019 UCLA 52–11 24–5 1st NCAA Super Regional
2020 UCLA 13–2 0–0 Season canceled due to COVID-19
2021 UCLA 37–20 18–12 4th NCAA Regional
UCLA: 589–382–1
Total: 677–466–2

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

First-Round Draft Selections

While at UCLA, Savage has coached eight players who have been selected in the MLB Draft's first round (includes first-round compensation selections).[9]

USA Collegiate National team

Savage served as the manager for USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team in the summer of 2017. He led the U.S. team to a 15-5 record that summer, including an 11-4 mark during international play. The United States won all three international series in which it competed, going 4-0 against Chinese Taipei and 3-2 versus both Cuba and Japan. The win over Cuba marked the third consecutive series win for the United States.[10]


John Savage is from Reno, Nevada where he grew up with two brothers, Len and Pete. He attended Reno High School, where he was a record-setting right-handed pitcher. Savage and his wife, Lisa, have four children: Julia, Jack, Ryan and Gabrielle.[11] He is also the son-in-law of former Nevada Wolf Pack football coach Chris Ault.[12] Savage was inducted into Reno High School's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.

See also


  1. ^ [1],, 2014 (archived webpage)
  2. ^ "South Bend Regional Game Two Quotes". The University of Notre Dame. June 4, 2004. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  3. ^ "John Savage Named UCLA Head Baseball Coach". Pac-12 Conference. July 1, 2004. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  4. ^ Savage Named CBI Coach of the Year,, June 28, 2010
  5. ^ Olson, Eric (2013-06-25). "UCLA finally adds baseball to record title haul". Miami Herald. Associated Press. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
  6. ^ UCLA’s Savage Named Coach Of The Year,, June 27, 2013
  7. ^ Hiserman, Mike (July 3, 2013). "John Savage to stay as UCLA's baseball coach". LA Times. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  8. ^ Erickson, Andrew (September 25, 2013). "UCLA extends John Savage's contract with $1.125 million max compensation". Daily Bruin. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  9. ^ "" (PDF). UCLA. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  10. ^ " | UCLA Athletics". Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  11. ^ "John Savage Biography". Archived from the original on September 8, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  12. ^ Yoon, Peter (May 31, 2012). "With Savage, UCLA baseball has arrived". ESPN. Retrieved March 19, 2014.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 July 2021, at 05:30
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