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Nick Mingione named 2024 SEC Coach of the Year

IMG_8756by:Daniel Hager05/20/24

DanielHagerKSR

Kentucky Baseball head coach Nick Mingione was named the 2024 SEC Coach of the Year, the conference announced on Monday.

Mingione is now a two-time winner of the award (2017), joining Arkansas’ Dave Van Horn (three-time), Vanderbilt’s Tim Corbin (three-time), and Florida’s Kevin O’Sullivan (three-time) as the only active SEC head coaches to win the award more than once.

After entering the 2024 season unranked and picked to finish fifth in the SEC East in the preseason, Kentucky finished the regular season with a 39-12 (22-8) record, earning a co-share of its second ever SEC Regular Season Championship while winning a school record 22 conference games.

The last two seasons have been a complete 180, as Kentucky has risen from the basement of the conference to being among the best.

From 2018-2022, Kentucky went 44-76 against SEC competition, which ranks 12/14 in that span. Over the last two seasons however, the Cats are 38-22 against SEC teams, which is tied for the second best record in that span (Tennessee).

Photo via Caleb Bowlin | UK Athletics

Kentucky was or was near the top in nearly every stat category in SEC play this season. Its .306 batting average ranked first, along with its .411 OBP, 254 runs, 308 hits, 67 doubles, 237 RBI, and 55 stolen bases.

They also finished the regular season ranked No. 3 in RPI, just behind No. 1 Texas A&M and No. 2 Arkansas. Kentucky went 19-6 against Quad 1 teams this season, which is five more wins than anyone else in the country (Texas A&M and Tennessee had 14 wins).

Kentucky will be the No. 3 overall seed in the 2024 SEC Baseball Tournament, which begins Tuesday, May 21 in Hoover, Alabama. The Cats will play the winner of No. 6 Georgia/No. 11 LSU on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EST/9:30 a.m. CST.

Following its week in Hoover, the Cats will return to Lexington as they prepare to host their second ever Regional at Kentucky Proud Park and third in program history (2017, 2023). If Kentucky can win the Lexington Regional for the second consecutive season, the Cats will likely be hosting their first Super Regional in school history with eyes on their first College World Series appearance in school history.

Congrats to Nick Mingione, who becomes the first Kentucky coach to win the award twice. John Cohen (2006) and Gary Henderson (2012) were also winners of the award.

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2024-06-20