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College  | Story  | 7/29/2014

Shining head coaches

Kendall Rogers     

Perfect Game Coach of the Year: Vandy's Tim Corbin 

High expectations or not, many head coaches around college baseball did a terrific job with their respective clubs in 2014.

As part of our college baseball offseason coverage, we've taken an inside look at the eight teams we expect to be in the College World Series in 2015. Now, we look at things from a coaching perspective, beginning our two-part series on coaches with our in-depth look at which coaches did the most impressive jobs in '14, with Vanderbilt's Tim Corbin, the 2014 Perfect Game Coach of the Year obviously excluded from the list.

Many coaches on the list overcame a variety of obstacles. Virginia's Brian O'Connor, for instance, entered the season as the nation's top team and kept pace the entire season, while Texas Tech's Tim Tadlock had the most impressive overall turnaround, guiding the Red Raiders to an impressive regular season and their first College World Series appearance.

Interestingly enough, many of the coaches on the list are again expected to have impressive teams in '15.

Tim Tadlock, Texas Tech

There might've been some out there who chuckled when Tadlock mentioned Omaha several times the first few months on the job with the Red Raiders. But it was no laughing matter, and Tadlock meant business. The Red Raiders finished last season with a 9-15 Big 12 mark, 26-30 overall record, but made quite the turnaround this season, going 14-10 in the league, 45-21 overall, and most importantly, finishing the most historic season in Tech baseball history with the program's first trip to the College World Series. Tadlock and his coaching staff did an amazing job in 2014, and the Red Raiders return all the key pieces needed to emulate that success next season.

Brian O'Connor and his club never had any trouble meeting expectations in 2014. (Virginia photo)

Brian O'Connor, Virginia

It's not easy dealing with ridiculously high expectations, but O'Connor and his Cavaliers had little trouble dealing with them during the 2014 campaign. Virginia began the season preseason ranked No. 1, and also spent several weeks throughout the regular season as the nation's top team. Then, in the postseason, the Cavaliers went to work, winning an NCAA Regional and Super Regional before reaching the CWS Finals against Vanderbilt. The Cavaliers finished a memorable campaign with a 22-8 ACC mark, 53-16 overall record, and of course, a national runner-up accomplishment. Virginia should have yet another opportunity to win a national title with many key pieces back in '15.

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