RICHMOND, Ky. – Shaun Cole, who has served as the coordinator of player development with the San Diego Padres and the pitching coach at the University of Arizona, was chosen as the associate head coach/pitching coach at Eastern Kentucky University, head coach Edwin Thompson announced today.
“I am so thrilled to welcome Shaun to our baseball program and our university,” Thompson said. “He stood out during the interview process as someone who is able to develop pitchers at the major league level, the college level, as well as the international level. Winning a national championship and gold medals set him apart as well. His ability to recruit student-athletes at a national level, and his ability to develop pitchers at a high rate will allow our program and our pitchers, current and future, to have the opportunity to be coached by one of the best pitching coaches in the country. I am excited to welcome him and his wife to Richmond, and our EKU community. They will be a great addition to our family.”
“This is a great time to be coming into the EKU baseball team, things are going in the right direction,” Cole said. “When I was at Arizona, Edwin beat me out on a recruit. So I wanted to meet the guy, I wanted to introduce myself. I did, and realized he is a pretty sharp guy and gets after it. Then four or five years later I get the job with USA Baseball and I hire Edwin to coach in the Tournament of Stars. Over-time we have continued to foster that friendship.”
From September 2015 to November 2017, Cole served as coordinator, player development for the San Diego Padres. He was involved in all aspects of baseball operations, scouting, and player development. He assisted in player development for the Padres minor league system, which was ranked as the No. 1 system in MLB in 2018, including the Padres Dominican Republic Academy to ensure the quality of player development. He cross-checked prospects throughout the country considered for the 2016 MLB Draft, contributed to the 2016 MLB Draft meeting and attended pre-draft workouts.
Cole was the pitching coach in 2016 for the Tri-City Dust Devils, Short-Season Class A Affiliate of the Padres. He coached and developed the organization’s top pitching prospects. The pitching staff ranked first or second in all major pitching categories for the Northwest League.
Cole was the coordinator for San Diego’s Arizona spring training facility in 2017. He ensured championship standards were in place in all domains – hitting, fielding, base running, pitching, professional development and academics. He also oversaw daily operations of mini-camp, extended spring training, and two rookie ball teams during the Arizona Fall League season. He managed the AZL Padres in 2017.
Cole oversaw two special pitching projects – Christian Bethancourt and Jose Ruiz conversions from catcher to pitcher. Within one year both pitchers pitched at the Major League level.
From June 2014 to September 2015, Cole was the director of the 18U National Team for USA Baseball. He led and managed the USA Baseball 18U National Team Program, including the Tournament of Stars presented by MLB and the 17U National Team Identification Series – both primary selection vehicles for the 18U National Team. The program would go no to win the 2014 COPABE 18U Pan American Championship Gold Medal and the 2015 WBSC 18U Baseball World Championship Gold Medal. He was responsible for selecting 108 of the top high school baseball players in the country to participate in the Tournament of Stars.
Cole joined the University of Arizona baseball staff in January 2009 as the director of operations and served in that position for seven months before moving to the pitching coach position. He helped the team win the 2012 College World Series while serving as the Wildcats’ pitching coach until July 2014. He was chosen as the 2012 national pitching coach of the year.
During his time with Arizona, the Wildcats made four regional appearances. Cole developed and guided three of the school’s most successful pitching staffs; winning 121 games, pitching 25 complete games and registering 1,324 strikeouts while simultaneously decreasing walks over three seasons. He guided two Arizona pitching staffs to the lowest ERA season totals since 1978. Cole recruited 16 of the 24 players in the 2012 recruiting class, which was ranked 19th in the nation. He recruited six of the 11 players in the 2013 recruiting class that ranked 37th in the nation. Cole was responsible for recruiting eight of 15 players in 2014 recruiting class, which was ranked 12th in the nation. He concluded his tenure at Arizona by recruiting six of the eight players in 2015 class, that ranked 17th in the nation. He also managed and coordinated non-Pac-12 team scheduling and financial guarantees for incoming opponents, oversaw the team travel budget, coordination of hotels, airfare, ground transportation, and meals, coordinated student-athlete academic meetings with the academic advisor for Wildcat baseball, and was involved with all aspects and worked closely with the strength and conditioning program and dietary program.
Most recently, Cole served as a consultant for Home Field 4 Champions. He provided guidance on the creation of a coaching model and player development to aid underserved communities in the city of
Los Angeles. He also assisted in bridging the gap between high school and college athletic programs by developing young student- athletes in all aspects of life.
Cole began his collegiate coaching career serving as the pitching coach at Edmonds Community College from June 2017 to January 2009.
He earned a bachelor of arts degree in education with a concentration in kinesiology at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Cole earned a master’s of education in intercollegiate athletic leadership from the University of Washington.