Pirates lose Schnabel
Published 7:45 pm Thursday, July 5, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan baseball program and head coach Erik Bakich announced Thursday the hiring of Sean Kenny and Nick Schnabel as assistant coaches. Kenny will serve as the Wolverines’ pitching coach, while Schnabel will be Michigan’s recruiting coordinator.
“Sean and Nick are among the best in the nation at what they do,” Bakich said. “We are fortunate to have them join our staff and help lead Michigan baseball back to a championship level.”
Kenny, an Ann Arbor native and Pioneer High School grad, comes to U-M after spending three seasons with Bakich at the University of Maryland as the Terrapins’ pitching coach. He guided the Terps pitching staff that had a 3.21 team earned-run average in 2012, which was third in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The previous year, Maryland’s staff was fifth in the ACC in ERA and 32nd nationally with 8.0 strikeouts per nine innings. In Kenny’s first season at Maryland, the pitching staff set a school record with 464 strikeouts while ranking 16th nationally with 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Kenny also helped Maryland sign the school’s first top-25 recruiting class in 2010 and develop draft picks in Adam Kolarek (11th round by the Mets in 2010) and Eric Potter (19th round by Oakland in 2011).
Before coaching at Maryland, Kenny spent six seasons as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., helping the Waves to three West Coast Conference titles and five NCAA regional appearances, including regional final berths in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008. As the recruiting coordinator, Kenny had multiple nationally ranked classes, including the eighth-best class in 2005 and the 13th-best in 2008.
Kenny was the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of San Diego from 1999-2003, helping USD to West Coast Conference championships and NCAA regional appearances in 2002 and 2003 and recruiting the nation’s 22nd-best class in 2004. Kenny also had stops at Saint Mary’s College as a volunteer assistant in 1997 and at Laney Community College in Oakland, Calif., as a pitching coach in 1998.
The local product was a two-time Mid-American Conference selection as a pitcher at Eastern Michigan. He went on to play three seasons of professional baseball in the New York Mets organization after being a 17th-round selection in 1993. Kenny earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in literature from Eastern Michigan in the fall of 1997 and earned a Master of Arts degree in health, physical education and recreation from Saint Mary’s in July of 2000.
Schnabel was East Carolina’s hitting instructor, infield coach and recruiting coordinator for three seasons and mentored six All-Conference USA selections and four C-USA All-Freshman team members. Four players also earned all-regional honors during his three years at ECU.
Off the field, his recruiting efforts helped garner three consecutive top-50 designations from Collegiate Baseball and a No. 28 ranking by PG Crosschecker in 2011. Schnabel also has had six players selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft sign with their respective clubs.
Prior to his appointment at ECU, Schnabel served for two seasons as the hitting instructor, recruiting coordinator and third base coach at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. While he was at Liberty, the Flames compiled a 68-47-1 overall record and a pair of Big South Conference championship game appearances.
Schnabel spent two seasons at the U.S. Military Academy, serving as Army’s hitting instructor while working with their infielders and overseeing the club’s defensive alignment. In 2006, Army posted its third consecutive 30-plus win season and in 2007, the Black Knights advanced to their third Patriot League title game in four years. He also had stops at Chipola College in Marianna, Fla., in 2005 as an assistant and at East Carolina in 2004 as a volunteer assistant.
Schnabel played with Bakich at East Carolina in the 1999 and 2000 seasons. He was a first team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection and the CAA Defensive Player of the Year in 1999 and helped the Pirates to consecutive league championships and No. 1 NCAA Regional seeds in 1999 and 2000. Schnabel began his collegiate career at Ohlone College in Fremont, Calif., where he was a first team all-conference performer and preseason junior college All-American. Following graduation, Schnabel spent four years in the Montreal Expos organization (2000-03) in five levels of the farm system.
Schnabel, a 2003 graduate of East Carolina, is married to the former Emily Gail Cox. The couple has two children, Cal and Caroline.