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Kentucky baseball assistant recruiting ace hired as head coach at New Mexico State

Kentucky baseball assistant coach Brian Green, who spent six years as the offensive coordinator for the Wildcats, has been tabbed the new head coach at his alma mater, New Mexico State.

A native of Temecula, Calif., Green and his wife, Becki, return to their alma mater, where Green received his business management degree in 1995 after playing for the Aggies in 1994 and serving as an assistant coach on the 1995 squad. Green has spent all six years of Gary Henderson’s time as head coach at Kentucky as UK’s offensive coordinator while also serving as the infield defense and base running coach.

Brian Green was named  head coach at  New Mexico State (Photo from UK Athletics)

Brian Green was named head coach at New Mexico State (Photo from UK Athletics)

Green spent four years as an assistant coach at UCLA, serving as recruiting coordinator and recruiting the bulk of the Bruins recent national championship team roster, before joining Henderson’s staff in 2009. Before UCLA, Green spent two years at Hawaii and a season each at Oregon State and San Diego, also working a season at Chapman University, Cal Poly-Pomona, Riverside Community College and NMSU.

Green’s 2014 offense was the best in the nation leading all BCS conferences in runs, homers, on-base and slugging percentage and scoring. His dynamic offensive approach led the Southeastern Conference in eight categories, ranking among the top three in the SEC in 10 of 13 categories.

In the SEC stats, UK finished with a 36-point advantage in slugging, a 29-point margin in on-base percentage, 67 more runs and RBI, and 18 more homers than the next closest team. UK’s .844 OPS was 62 points higher than the second-place team.

The 2014 season was highlighted by Green’s work with one of the best players in the history of college baseball, junior two-way star AJ Reed. Reed went from a lightly recruited left-handed pitcher/first baseman from Terre Haute, Ind., into a superstar talent and the first pick of the second round by the Houston Astros in the 2014 MLB Draft.

Reed was named the Dick Howser Trophy Award winner, the Baseball America College Player of the Year, Collegiate Baseball’s Player of the Year and the American Baseball Coaches Association National Player of the Year. The first national player of the year in Kentucky history, Reed also won the 2014 John Olerud Award, given to the nation’s top two-way player. In addition, Reed was named SEC Player of the Year by the conference coaches and SEC Male Athlete of the Year by the league athletics directors.

Green has also help transform the Kentucky offensive attack into a proving ground for professional baseball, as a school-record 23 position players have been drafted or signed a pro contract in his time at UK, including four position player draftees in 2014.

In addition to Reed, 2014 centerfielder Austin Cousino went in the third round to the Seattle Mariners. Reed and Cousino marked the highest drafted position player duo in program history. Third baseman Max Kuhn, who had three at-bats as a freshman, and hit under .250 as a sophomore, was a 13th round pick in the draft by the Athletics.

Kuhn finished 2014 leading the SEC and all BCS conferences in runs scored, becoming the first UK player to lead in the SEC in runs since Billy White in 1988.

Green’s shortstop at UCLA, Brandon Crawford, has solidified himself as one of the best young shortstops in the big leagues while playing with the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. Overall, 24 position players since 2004 – at UK and UCLA – improved their draft stock under Green’s guidance.

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During his time at Kentucky, Green helped Henderson and fellow UK assistant Brad Bohannon welcome the best classes in program history, while also shining as UCLA’s recruiting coordinator that beefed up the roster for the Bruins national title run.

In his first season, Green helped UK secure the fourth-best recruiting class in the nation, according to Baseball America, a new Kentucky record. UK then ranked No. 6 in 2010, No. 16 in 2011, No. 25 in 2012 – a class that featured Reed, Cousino and righty Chandler Shepherd – No. 11 in 2013 and No. 25 in 2014.

In his two seasons as the UCLA recruiting coordinator, Green helped secure the No. 13 and No. 7 best recruiting classes in the nation in the fall of 2006 and fall of 2007, respectively, as ranked by Baseball America. Green also played a large role in assisting UCLA land the No. 5 ranked recruiting class in 2005.

From UK Athletics

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