RADFORD, Va. – (Courtesy of UVA Athletics)
Karl Kuhn, pitching coach at Virginia for the last 16 years, has been named the head baseball coach at Radford University as announced by Radford athletic director Robert Lineburg on Thursday (Aug. 22).
Kuhn has been with the Virginia baseball program for all 16 years of head coach Brian O'Connor's tenure, enjoying unprecedented success. O'Connor, Kuhn and associate head coach Kevin McMullan were the longest tenured trio in college baseball.
"The past few days have been a whirlwind of emotions," O'Connor said. "After 16 years together, it is hard to say goodbye to such a loyal friend and one of the best assistant coaches in the country, but we are all happy for Karl and his family for this opportunity. It is certainly hard-earned and well-deserved.
I will forever be grateful for Karl's unwavering support and dedication as he helped bring the Virginia baseball program the new levels of success and national respect," O'Connor added. "From day one, Karl has been loyal, shown a tireless work ethic and a selfless commitment to our student-athletes. His impact will be long lasting on our program and each of the players that he has coached, and I very much look forward to cheering for his continued success as a head baseball coach."
"When you're around great people, it's easy for 16 years to go by really fast," Kuhn said. "I am thankful for Coach O'Connor's friendship, trust and loyalty. He took a chance on me in 2003 when he asked me to be his pitching coach and for that, I'm forever grateful. I also want to thank Coach (Kevin) McMullan for his friendship and loyalty. It was an honor to work with him for the past 16 years.
"I'd like to express my gratitude to Craig Littlepage, Carla Williams and all the support staff for their support over the years. As a program, we couldn't have accomplished anything without the dedication, sacrifice and hard work of our student-athletes, past and present. Lastly, thank you to the Virginia fans, the best in college baseball. UVA will always be a special place to me and my family."
Kuhn, the 2014 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Assistant Coach of the Year has been part of 700 wins at Virginia, including 484 in the last 11 seasons, the seventh most in Division I. Virginia qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 14 of his 16 years, made it to the College World Series four times (2009, 2011, 2014 & 2015) and won the program's first National Championship in 2015.
The UVA pitching staff has ranked in the top 20 in the country in ERA nine of Kuhn's 16 seasons at Virginia, one of five programs to accomplish the feat in that span. In 2011, Virginia owned a 2.24 team ERA, the lowest in the nation. Kuhnhas mentored 17 All-America honorees while 44 have been selected in the MLB Draft.
O'Connor said replacing Kuhn will be difficult.
"After being together for 16 years, I want to take the necessary time to determine what is best for the future Virginia Baseball program, "O'Connor said. "I owe it to our returning players and all of our incoming players to do my due diligence in determining the best path forward so that we can continue to achieve the highest standard of excellence that Karl established for our pitching staff."