|Doug Kovash - 23
Doug Kovash adds 16 years and more than 400 career victories worth of head coaching experience to the UAB dugout. The previous head coach at Susquehanna University, Emory University and Presbyterian College joined Brian Shoop's staff at Birmingham-Southern in 2005 and is now in his fifth season as Shoop's pitching coach and his third campaign at UAB.
"Doug has a huge job because pitching is such a huge percentage of the game," said Shoop. "We're trying to get to the point where we throw more strikes, and he and our staff are taking steps in the right direction. Doug does everything he can to make that happen.
"Even more importantly, Doug is a great role model for our players. They see in him a great husband, father, friend and man."
In two seasons as the pitching coach at Birmingham-Southern, Kovash made an immense impact on the Panthers' pitching staff. In his first season, the BSC staff had a 3.99 ERA with 372 strikeouts and a 2.2 strikeout to walk ratio. His staff was ranked second in the Big South Conference in ERA and fewest earned runs allowed (223), while ranking third in strikeouts (372), wins (36), saves (8) and pickoffs (18).
Kovash owns a career head coaching record of 415-375-2 with the majority of his wins coming as the skipper at Presbyterian College, where he compiled a record of 320-284-2 in 11 seasons from 1994-2004.
Teams under Kovash's tutelage have produced 42 All-South Atlantic Conference team members, 22 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-Region selections, four ABCA All-America picks and 10 professional players. In addition, he had 45 players named to the SAC Academic Honor Roll.
In his first season at UAB, Kovash mentored rookie southpaw Shay Crawford, who earned Conference USA All-Freshman honors after earning four wins in 13 starts. Kovash lowered the pitching staff's ERA by more than an entire run from the previous season, while also diminishing its opponents' batting average.
Last season, he coached starters Mitch Kloskowski and Kyle Roberson, who tied for 12th in C-USA with six wins each. Roberson earned C-USA All-Tournament Team honors after earning the win in UAB's first-round upset of fifth-ranked Rice.
Prior to his arrival at Presbyterian, Kovash was the head coach for the first season of baseball at Emory University in 1991. In his time at Emory, Kovash guided his teams to a three-year mark of 60-61 (.496). In his final season, 1993, his team went 27-14, which earned the program its first-ever national ranking, and went on to finish third in the UAA Tournament.
He was awarded his first head coaching job in 1988 at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa., where he served as lead skipper from 1988-90. During his time in the Keystone State, the Crusaders compiled a record of 35-30.
A graduate of Concordia (Minn.) College with a B.A. in psychology, Kovash was a four-year letterwinner as a pitcher. His play earned him first-team All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) recognition as a senior, in addition to being an all-region honorable mention selection.
Following his undergraduate work at Concordia, Kovash went on to earn his master's degree in physical education from Miami University in 1988. While studying at Miami, Kovash served as a graduate assistant with the RedHawks.
Aside from his college coaching experience, Kovash has mentored several players while working clinics at some of the nations most prestigious programs. His list of clinics worked includes Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Minnesota, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Virginia. In 2007, Kovash was invited to speak at the annual All-Star Sports Week in Huntsville, Ala.
Kovash, 44, was born on May 29, 1964 in Moorhead, Minn. He is married to the former Beth Marie Olson of New Brighton, Minn. The couple resides in Gardendale, Ala., with their three children, Jenna (19), Jordan (17) and Kayla (15).