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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

UK's Nick Mingione Named National Coach of Year

Nick Mingione celebrates after a Wildcat victory. (UK Athletics Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Nick Mingione is the Perfect Game National Coach of the Year, It was announced Wednesday. It is the second time in his eight seasons as a head coach he has earned the award.


Mingione also won both SEC and National Coach of the Year in 2017. He also was voted SEC Coach of the last month.


Mingione guided a Kentucky squad voted near the bottom of the SEC Eastern Division to a conference championship, just the second in school history, and its first NCAA College World Series berth in its history, a span of more than 100 seasons. Mingione also was an assistant coach on the 2006 team that won the SEC title.


UK had a sensational 2024 regular season, piling up school and SEC records along the way. The Wildcats set a school record with 22 SEC victories and 11 SEC road victories. By virtue of a 9-1 start for the second straight league slate, UK became the first team in 32 years to accomplish that feat. UK’s 15-1 start to conference play also was the best in school history.


It got even better in the postseason as UK hosted its first Super Regional as the No. 2 overall seed. It is 5-0 in the NCAA Tournament and opens play in the MCWS on Saturday afternoon (2 p.m. ET) versus NC State in Omaha, Nebraska.

Currently, its 45 total wins ties the school record set in 2012.


Kentucky’s rise to the top of the SEC play can be attributed, in part, to the statistical surge in conference games by the Wildcats. Kentucky led the league in SEC-only batting average, was third in SEC-only fielding percentage, and fifth in SEC-only ERA. Only one other school (Texas A&M) was top-five in all three major categories in conference competition this season.

The Cats also led the league in OBP, runs scored, hits, RBI, doubles, sac bunts, sac flies, and stolen bases. Ryan Waldschmidt led the league in doubles and stolen bases in SEC play, and was also top-five in batting average, on-base percentage, runs scored, and hits. Ryan Nicholson provided major power for the Cats in SEC play, finding himself in the top-five for slugging percentage, home runs, and runs batted in.


The mustache is magic.


Nick Lopez was named Second-Team All-America by the NCBWA on Wednesday, further enhancing a season that witnessed him flirt with .400 for much of the campaign. The NCBWA is the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.


Lopez, a graduate transfer from Southern Cal, has been scorching all season and is .350 batting average and .960 OPS in 56 games as Kentucky’s primary designated hitter. He also saw early-season time at third and first base.


The Santa Ana, California native has scored 57 runs, has 76 hits, two triples, six home runs, 22 walks and drove in 50. His 22 doubles are tied for the third-most in a season in the Mingione era. In SEC play he hit .348 with 31 RBI. He has 24 multi-hit games this season.


Ryan Waldschmidt has been named Perfect Game third team All-American, it was announced Wednesday.


Waldschmidt was searing hot in Southeastern Conference play, finishing as one of a handful of players with a batting average over .400 (.405). Overall, he has hit .346 with a 1.107 OPS, 64 runs, 17 doubles, 14 home runs, 46 RBI, 36 walks, 16 hit by pitch and 24 stolen bases.


Maybe most impressive was the Bradenton, Florida native produced this season after recovering from a torn ACL in summer baseball in 2023. He did not return to the outfield until several weeks into the season.


He also has received honors from the SEC and American Baseball Coaches Association.


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