Former Miami player and assistant coach Tom Kinkelaar returned to his alma mater on August 3 when he was named to the RedHawk baseball staff for the second time. The 1977 graduate serves as pitching coach.
Kinkelaar, 57, just completed his eighth season at Georgia Tech, where he served as pitching coach since 2008. He spent three years as the Yellow Jackets' Director of Baseball operations before assuming the on-field position.
"We are very excited to have Tom coming back to Oxford," Simonds said in the hiring release. "He has had a tremendous track record as recruiter and pitching coach at the Division I level. He is very passionate about Miami Baseball and has been a big part of its tradition. I am looking forward to all the knowledge and experience he will bring to our student-athletes."
Well-respected by his players and fellow coaches alike, Kinkelaar was instrumental in developing the Georgia Tech pitching staff into one of the top units in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the country. He had 12 of his hurlers drafted in the MLB First-Year player draft, including first-rounders in each of the last three years.
His 2012 pitchers registered a 4.42 ERA, helping the Jackets to a 38-26 record. Tech claimed the program's eighth ACC Championship in 2012 and reached the NCAA Tournament for the 26th time in the last 28 years. Georgia Tech pitchers struck out 456 batters, while walking only 247, tallied five shutouts as a team and held opponents to a .257 batting average.
The year before, Georgia Tech posted a 2.76 team ERA, the second lowest in school history. Junior Mark Pope earned All-America honors and set a modern-day school record for career complete-game shutouts with four. Three of Kinkelaar's pitchers earned All-ACC honors, while four were selected in the MLB draft. The 2010 season was equally as strong as the group posted a 4.02 ERA, the lowest since the 1994 season. Three of Kinkelaar's pitchers from that staff were drafted with Deck McGuire earning All-America honors for the second-straight season.
In 2009, McGuire was named the ACC Pitcher of the Year - becoming the first pitcher in Tech history to earn the honor. He went on to earn first team All-America honors and was a finalist for National Pitcher of the Year. Another pitcher, Zach Von Tersch, was selected by the New York Mets in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. The staff as a whole ranked in the top five in the conference in ERA, strikeouts and wins, and among the top 15 in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings.
A year earlier in 2008, Kinkelaar was responsible for the development of five freshmen - more than one-third of the entire pitching staff - in his first year directing the Yellow Jacket hurlers. One of those newcomers, McGuire, became the first Yellow Jacket pitcher in five years to earn Freshman All-America accolades while another member of his starting staff, junior David Duncan, was also an All-ACC selection.
Kinkelaar brings a wealth of experience to the coaching staff, as he has served in various coaching capacities over the last 30 years. He moved to Atlanta after a successful four-year stint as a teacher and head basketball coach at Wakefield High School in Raleigh, N.C., where he led the Wolverines to the North Carolina 4A state championship in 2004 just four years after the school opened its doors. Kinkelaar was named Wakefield's first basketball coach in 2000 after spending two years as the head coach at Lemon-Monroe High School in Monroe, Ohio from 1999-2000.
His first stint at Miami followed nearly 20 years teaching business, accounting and economics at high schools in North Carolina, Ohio and Illinois. He joined the staff of head coach Tracy Smith, helping a total of 12 pitchers get drafted over his three years. Miami was 94-81 during that span.
A fourth-round draft pick of the New York Mets in the 1973 Major League Baseball draft, Kinkelaar opted to pitch for the Red and White, earning a degree in education in 1977. He was a member of two MAC Championship teams, including the 1977 team was one win shy of a College World Series berth, losing to Baylor in the finals. Kinkelaar was part of a starting rotation that included future major-leaguers Steve Fireovid and Charlie Liebrandt.
Kinkelaar is married to the former Margaret Kerr, and has one daughter, Sara.
Tom Kinkelaar File
Full Name: Thomas Lee Kinkelaar
Education: Bachelor's degree in education from Miami University, 1977.
Playing Experience: Four-year letterwinner at Miami (1973-1977); Fourth round draft choice by New York Mets (1973).
Previous Coaching Experience: Head Basketball Coach at New Hanover High School, 1994-96; Volunteer Assistant Baseball Coach at UNC Wilmington, 1994-96; Assistant Baseball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Miami (Ohio), 1996-99; Head Basketball Coach at Lemon-Monroe High School, 1999-2000; Head Basketball Coach at Wakefield High School, 2000-04; Director of Baseball Operations at Georgia Tech, 2005-07, Assistant Baseball Coach at Georgia Tech, 2008-12.