Joe "Spanky" McFarland
Head Coach: James Madison University
Joe "Spanky" McFarland wrapped up his 15th season as head coach of the "Diamond Dukes" in 2012. During his first 12 seasons beginning in 1998, he occupied the home dugout at Long Field/Mauck Stadium before moving to brand-new Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park for the 2010 season.
McFarland's tenure has featured a 461-384-4 overall record, highlighted by CAA championships in 2008 and 2011, first-place finishes in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2011 as well as NCAA appearances in 2002, 2008 and 2011.
The 2011 season was McFarland's 22nd year as a collegiate head coach and the 34th year he has worked in the coaching profession. He was named the Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year in 2002 and Co-Coach of the Year in 2010. He was also the Louisville Slugger Conference Coach of the Year in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2011 as well as the East Region Co-Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association in 2011. In 2008, McFarland added the State Coach of the Year by the Virginia Sports Information Directors and the 2008 College Coach of the Year by the Middle Atlantic Baseball Scouts Association. In late 2010, he was inducted into the Springfield-Clark County Baseball Hall of Fame near his hometown of New Carlisle, Ohio.
In 2010, McFarland became the second coach to reach 400 wins at JMU when the Dukes won at East Carolina 11-5 on May 18. He reached 600 career coaching wins during the 2011 season needs five victories to surpass 450 with the Dukes.
Ted White finished his fifth season with the Diamond Dukes in 2012 after joining the JMU coaching staff as the second assistant coach in August of 2007, prior to the 2008 season. He was rewarded heading into the 2013 season with a promotion to the top assistant spot.
McFarland said of White's promotion, "Ted White has been with the program for five years and, in that time, we have won two regular season titles and two tournament titles. He was a big part of that success. He has also been very active recruiting and even more so in the past two years. He is ready for this and will do a great job as both the offensive coach and the recruiting coordinator."
Prior to his promotion to oversee the offense and recruiting, White's responsibilities included overseeing the catchers while also working with the pitchers and managing the bullpen. His work with catchers reached a high point in 2011 as Jake Lowery captured the Johnny Bench Award as the nation's best catcher. He led the nation in runs (80), RBIs (91) and total bases (200) while hitting 22 doubles, eight triples and 24 home runs to shatter the school record for extra-base hits (54). Lowery, who was also named the National Hitter of the Year by CollegeBaseballInsider.com, was equally proficient defensively, ranking among national leaders for runners caught stealing (34) and caught stealing percentage (43%) while posting a .994 fielding percentage.
While the Dukes, who finished 42-19 and won both the regular season and tournament championships in the CAA, possessed one of the top offenses in the nation, they were led down the stretch by a dramatically-improved pitching staff. The ERA stood as high as 6.88 on April 13 when the Dukes changed a few pitching roles and went 20-8 down the stretch. The ERA over those final 28 games was 4.82, including a school record 30 consecutive scoreless innings over the final games of the regular season as well as a 2.00 ERA in three CAA Championship wins.
Assistant Coach: James Madison University
Brandon Cohen joined head coach Spanky McFarland's JMU baseball staff in August of 2011 as a volunteer assistant coach. He was quickly promoted to assistant coach in July of 2012.
"We're excited about Brandon joining our staff," commented McFarland. "He brings a lot of experience, both as a college player and as a professional. He fits our program. He was an outfielder and can work with them. He can help with throwing [batting practice] and is a left-handed hitter, so he can work with those guys. He has to learn the college game and recruiting, but those things will come. He wants to make this his career and we're happy to have him."
"It's an honor and a privilege to be a part of this program," said Cohen of joining the JMU staff." It's a wonderful program full of tradition. To be able to work under Spanky and Ted [White] is a wonderful learning experience and I hope that I can do whatever I can in my power to help this team repeat with another CAA championship and reach another regional and go all the way to the College World Series."
Cohen holds four years of professional experience primarily as an outfielder and first baseman in the independent Frontier League. He played three seasons for the Rockford Riverhawks, including hitting .310 with 11 doubles and seven home runs in 48 games in 2009. He split time between the Evansville Otters and the Florence Freedom in 2010, combining for 15 doubles, 14 home runs and 62 RBIs in 84 games.