Great Danes Baseball Announces 2019 Slate
On Thursday, UAlbany baseball Head Coach Jon Mueller announced the Great Danes’ 2019 schedule. The 52-game slate features 24 America East games and 17 contests at Varsity field. “We are excited to announce our 2019 schedule,” said Mueller. Read More
Jon Mueller enters his 20th season as the head coach of the University at Albany baseball program in 2019. The Stillwater, N.Y. native has had proven success as both a player and coach throughout his career. Mueller ranks first among UAlbany’s career leaders with 377 coaching victories, and was named the America East Coach of the Year in 2004. He also led the Danes to the program’s first America East Conference tournament championship title and NCAA appearance in 2007. Mueller has produced dozens of all-conference standouts and has had six players selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft under his direction.
Not only is Mueller well respected in the UAlbany campus community, but also throughout the region, as he was inducted into the Capital District Baseball Hall of Fame in the fall of 2012, as well as the Capital District Basketball Hall of Fame and Stillwater High School Hall of Fame in the fall of 2008. UAlbany placed third in the America East tournament, the team’s highest finish since 2011.
The 2017 season saw the Great Danes earn 26 wins, the most since 2009, the third most in the program’s Division I era, and the second most overall among America East teams that season. In conference, UAlbany went 10-13 to finish the regular season in fourth place, the team’s best record and highest finish since 2013. Additionally, the Great Danes comiled their highest winning percentage, .500, since 2007, and were one of 18 teams out of 46 in the region to finish .500 or better. During the season, UAlbany players earned a total of four America East weekly awards. Following the regular season, UAlbany had seven players receive at totol of eight All-Conference awards, including First Team, Second Team, All-Rookie, and All-Academic.
Associate Head Coach
Jeff Kaier enters his eighth year as an assistant coach for the UAlbany baseball team in 2019, and his second as associate head coach. He works with position players along with practice management, scheduling, and academic support. Kaier also facilitates summer and winter camps, manages summer ball placement, and is the team’s third base coach on game day. Kaier was promoted to Associate Head Coach in November, 2017.
Working with the position players in 2017, Kaier’s efforts resulted in an increase in slugging percentage from .344 in 2016 to .372 in 2017. Home runs increased from 11 to 32, the most the team has hit in a single season since 2010. UAlbany earned one First Team All-Conference selection, Connor Powers, two Second Team selections, Travis Collins and Kevin Donati, and one All-Rookie selection, Marc Wangenstein. The team recorded its highest GPA in history in the 2016 fall semester, cumulatively 3.25. In October, 2016, Kaier was promoted to first assistant and recruiting coordinator.
Kaier played a key role in putting together UAlbany’s 2013-14 incoming class that was recognized as the top recruiting class in the Northeast Region by Baseball America. Right-handed pitcher Stephen Woods highlighted the group, opting to attend UAlbany after the Tampa Bay Rays selected him in the sixth round of the 2013 MLB Draft.
Jordan Tabakman joined the UAlbany baseball staff an assistant coach in August of 2018. Tabakman’s focus is primarily on the instruction of the pitching staff.
Tabakman spent the 2017 season at his alma mater, UConn, as the Director of Player Development. The Huskies finished the season ranked 22 in the polls and were a NCAA Regional Finalist.
Tabakman spent two seasons as pitching coach at Amherst College, one of the top Division III programs in the country. During his tenure, the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted junior right-hander Drew Fischer in the 35th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. Jackson Volle also earned All-NESCAC honors in both seasons under Tabakman.
Dave Ames spent his past two years as pitching coach with the Hudson Valley CC Vikings. In 2016, he helped lead them to a ranking as high as 11th in the nation among DIII NJCAA schools. That season, Ames led a staff that combined for 25 wins, HVCC was 5th in the nation among DIII Junior Colleges in opponent’s batting average (.231) and 11th in the nation with a 3.69 team ERA. In 2017, Ames contributed to the Vikings 26 wins, the most for the school since 2011. The Vikings made their deepest run into regionals since 2008, eventually losing in the regional final to Niagara CC, the runner-up in the DIII World Series. In his time at HVCC, Ames coached twelve players that were named to the Mountain Valley All-Region Team.
Ames was the varsity head coach the three seasons prior with the Ichabod Crane Riders in Valatie, NY. In 2015, he led them to their first sectional appearance since 2011. He coached eight All-Colonial Council players during his short stint with the Riders.
During the summer months, Ames was an assistant with the Saugerties Stallions of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League in 2015 before taking over the reigns as head coach in 2016. While with the Stallions he coached two MLB draft picks and four more players that went on to sign professional contracts.