Jake McKinley named Nevada Wolf Pack baseball head coach


Jake McKinley, who has spent the past four seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers and has more than a decade of collegiate coaching experience, has been named the head baseball coach at Nevada, Acting Athletic Director Bill Johnson and incoming Athletic Director Stephanie Rempe announced in a news release.
“After an extensive national search, I am thrilled to welcome Jake to the Wolf Pack family,” said Rempe. “He is an elite coach, a student of the game and has an incredible ability to connect with athletes. Jake knows how to develop players and coaches and his experience as a very successful head coach at two institutions makes him the perfect coach to continue the trajectory of the Nevada baseball program. I am excited to welcome Jake back to Northern Nevada and the Reno community.”
McKinley takes over a Nevada program which went 29-26 and finished second in the Mountain West standings in 2022, a season after the team reached its first NCAA Regional since 2000.
He has been the Brewers’ vice president of player development since 2021, having previously served as the organization’s director of player development Initiatives (2019-21) and minor league pitching coordinator (2018-19).
“I’m so honored to become the next head baseball coach at Nevada. The program offers a unique blend of location, academics, strong athletics tradition, and great facilities,” said McKinley. “I’m confident we will carry the legacies of past programs and continually build Wolf Pack Baseball into a nationally-competitive program that thrives on the field, in the classroom, and in the Reno community.”
Prior to joining the Brewers’ organization, McKinley spent 13 years in the collegiate ranks, including five seasons as a head coach (2014-17 at Menlo College; 2018 at William Jessup). At Menlo College, McKinley won 131 games over his four seasons at the helm, becoming the program’s all-time winningest head coach. The following season, he inherited a William Jessup team that had won just 10 games the previous year, and guided it to a 41-17 campaign, marking, at the time, the largest single-season turnaround in college baseball history.
Student-athletes during McKinley's tenure at Menlo College received honors in multiple categories, among them 2017 GSAC Player of the Year (Jordan Getzelman) and Pitcher of the Year (Jason Alexander). Other accolades include 12 All-Conference honorees, six NAIA All-Americans, four NAIA Academic All-Americans, six Scholar-Athletes, and two Capital One Academic All-District selections.
Four of his Menlo players were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft and McKinley was recognized as MLB Scouts Northern California College Coach of the Year in 2016. Of those four draftees, two were selected in the Top 10 rounds, most notably Lucas Erceg who was selected 46th overall by the Brewers. One player from his 2018 William Jessup team was selected in the draft, while another signed with the Brewers as a free agent.
In four years as a head coach, McKinley saw 13 former players go on to play professional baseball after being drafted or signing as a free agent.
Prior to Menlo College, McKinley spent four years (2010-13) as an assistant coach at Sacramento State, serving as the director of baseball operations, a volunteer assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, helping the Hornets to a 67-55 record over his final two seasons.
McKinley started his coaching career after graduating from Bethany University (Santa Cruz, Calif.) as an assistant for the Bruins. One year later, he left his alma mater and headed to Campbellsville University (Ky.) to take on an assistant coach position from 2007-09. At Campbellsville, he played a major role in leading the team to a 39-12 record and a trip to the 2009 NAIA World Series. McKinley returned home in 2009 for two years at West Valley College, where he served as pitching coach.
McKinley graduated from Bethany College in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in speech communications and earned a Master's of Arts in Social Science from Campbellsville in 2008.
As a Bethany player, he was a standout pitcher and first baseman, setting multiple records over his career, including most strikeouts in a career, most strikeouts in a single season, lowest single season ERA, and most innings pitched in both a season and career.

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