Kevin Tucker returns for his fourth season with the Jayhawks and sixth overall under head coach Ritch Price. He will continue to work with the hitters, outfielders and now takes over as the recruiting coordinator.
Last season two of his starting outfielders signed professional contracts and in three seasons at KU he has helped seven position players sign in the amateur draft. In 2006, he helped the Jayhawks to one of the best seasons in school history, capturing the Big 12 Championship, winning 43 games and reaching the NCAA Regionals for the first time in 14 years.
The 2006 offense hit .294 as a team, leading the Big 12 in doubles (138), and ranked second in home runs (75), setting the school record. KU also broke a school record for hits in a season (698). All three starting outfielders received postseason accolades. Left fielder John Allman and right fielder Gus Milner were selected All-Big 12 Second Team, while center fielder Matt Baty was named MVP of the conference tournament. Milner was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 14th round of the amateur draft following the season.
In 2005, all three starting outfielders were named All-Big 12, including A.J. Van Slyke, who was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. The 2005 Jayhawks also hit .292, while leading the conference in doubles (138) and ranked third in homers (59).
Prior to joining the KU staff, Tucker spent the three previous years as an assistant at his alma mater, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, where he teamed with Price and Ryan Graves, working with the hitters and outfielders. During his three-year stint, he helped the Mustangs win 87 games and coached ten players who achieved all-conference status, while nine players signed professional contracts.
Prior to Cal Poly, Tucker served as an assistant coach at Hancock College in Santa Maria, Calif. (1999-2000) and San Luis Obispo High School (1997-98).
Tuck has been involved in numerous coaching stints throughout the summers, stemming all over the United States and abroad. In 2006, he was the head coach of the Little Falls Diamond Miners of the New York Collegiate League and directed the team to the third-best record in the league's inaugural season.
In 2005, Tucker was the head coach of the Lawrence Raiders American Legion team that won the Kansas state championship. The Raiders finished the year 38-8 and were undefeated against in-state competition. They finished second in the regional finals.
In 2003, he was an assistant coach for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots of the Alaskan Baseball League and helped coach current major leaguers and first-round draft picks, Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Pelfry. In the summer of 2002, Tucker was the head coach of the Kelowna Falcons of the Pacific International League and coached current Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Nyjer Morgan.
Tucker also played and coached in several countries worldwide. He was a player-coach in the elite division in Sweden in 1995-96 and served as a Major League Envoy coach, who promoted and coached national teams in Africa (1999), France (2000) and Germany (2001). Tucker played at Cal Poly for two seasons (1993-94) and helped the Mustangs to a pair of conference championships and a runner up finish in the Division II World Series in 1993. Prior to his career at Cal Poly, he was an all-conference outfielder at Hancock College (1990-91).
Tucker is a 2004 graduate of La Verne College (Calif.) with a degree in organizational management. He resides in Lawrence.
The Tucker File