Tide Baseball Adds Pitching Coach
"Obviously when we started this search, Kyle was our number-one target from the outset," Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "We loved his style; he has a great mentality and a great knowledge of pitching and his development of pitchers is obvious.
"Once we met for the first time, we knew pretty quick this was going to be a good team with the three of us working together and the rest of our staff. We all have the same goals in mind and will work with the same energy to get to where we need to go with this program.
"Kyle is a dynamic recruiter. What he is going to give us is an opportunity to really go after the elite arms in the country and he did a very impressive presentation for us, showing us how he goes about getting those top arms in the country. I know he is a relentless worker and he's the perfect fit for us. For our program, he was the very best fit of anyone we could have went after and we feel very fortunate and excited that he felt the same way we did and we were able to get him here. We're excited as a coaching staff to have him here and our players are looking forward to getting with Kyle on the pitching side and start to develop that relationship with him. For our first test here to go out and get a pitching coach, we did exactly what we wanted to do. It's going to be a real good fit in all areas for us."
Bunn brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Alabama staff as 23 pitchers coached by him have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, with one current big-league connection, Ehren Wassermann of the Chicago White Sox.
Bunn comes to Alabama after spending the last two seasons as the pitching coach at Clemson University. He will serves as the Crimson Tide pitching coach on Gaspard's first UA staff and will also play a vital role in recruiting. He has served as a Division I coach eight seasons, and all eight teams have ended the year with a winning record.
"I look forward to the journey ahead with the Alabama baseball program," Bunn said. "Coach Gaspard has always presented himself to me as professional, charismatic and enthusiastic. He and Dax (Norris) exude energy, passion and desire on a daily basis for the University of Alabama, and those qualities were the leading factors in me wanting to join their staff.
"In my previous time in the SEC, I always pictured Alabama as a very talented team, but I viewed them more as a blue collar, hard-nosed team that brought a battle to the diamond on a daily basis. The passion that I want to bring with me to this program will involve being hard-nosed, mentally tough, disciplined and – above all – developmental. There is a lot that I want to teach these pitchers about the process what it takes to be a successful on the mound. This process will involve organization on a daily basis, but it all starts with energy and enthusiasm.
"I am ecstatic about the opportunity that we as a coaching staff have to work together to bring The University of Alabama to the forefront in college baseball. The fans and the players deserve the energy we will bring everyday to the practice field, and I can't wait to get started."
During his two-year stint at Clemson, Bunn built one of the nation's finest pitching staffs under head coach Jack Leggett. In 2009, Clemson ranked fifth nationally with an earned-run average of 3.68 while compiling a 44-22 record and reaching the NCAA Super Regionals. The ERA was more than a run less per game (4.74) than Clemson's 2008 mark. Eight of Clemson's wins in 2009 came against Top 25 opponents. The Tigers also ranked 11th nationally in fewest hits (8.62) allowed per nine innings, ranked 25th in strikeouts (8.3) per nine innings and 26th in walks (3.07) per nine innings in the final 2009 NCAA stats.
Prior to his arrival at Clemson, Bunn spent six years at Ole Miss under head coach Mike Bianco. During his tenure in Oxford, Bunn saw 16 of his pitchers taken in the MLB Draft, eight of which had not been drafted previously. He tutored some of the finest pitching talent in the nation as the Rebels posted three top-20 finishes and five top-30 finishes among the national ERA leaders. In addition, 13 different Rebels pitchers ranked among the top-100 nationally in a number of statistical categories.
Prior to Mississippi, Bunn spent the 2001 season as an assistant coach at Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton, where he worked as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. Bunn also helped coach Jefferson Davis Community College to the NJCAA Division II Region 22 Southern Division Championship. One of his star pupils was right-hander Ehren Wassermann, who later signed with Samford and his now pitching for the Chicago White Sox.
A 1999 graduate of The Citadel with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and minor in Law & Legal Processes, the 32-year-old was a three-year letter winner for the Bulldogs, earning the team's Ace Pitching Award in 1999. He helped The Citadel to back-to-back Southern Conference titles in both 1998 and 1999, and he was a Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll member. Bunn started for the Bulldogs in the 1999 Southern Conference Tourney Championship game against Western Carolina, as he struck out 11 batters in a complete-game victory. Bunn was a cadet captain and regimental liaison for baseball to the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. He was also a recipient of the Joseph T. Isaac, Jr., Memorial Scholarship at The Citadel. Bunn was born on Nov. 8, 1976, in Georgetown, S.C.
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