Head Coach: UC Santa Barbara
Andrew Checketts was named UC Santa Barbara's head coach on June 22, 2011, becoming the ninth head coach in the program's history.
He had spent the past three seasons as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Oregon and is regarded as one of the best pitching coaches not only on the West Coast, but also the nation.
Known as a diligent worker with an attention for detail, Checketts' staff routinely recorded one of the best earned run averages in the nation. In 2010, Oregon's 3.29 ERA ranked third in the nation and second in the Pac-10. In 2011, Oregon's pitching staff ranked in the top-25 for the second straight year as the mark of 2.99 rated 18th in the country. The Ducks also ranked in the top-15 for two additional categories as UO's 8.2 strikeouts per game ranked 10th in the country, and the Ducks' 7.74 hits allowed per nine innings ranked 11th.
In 2010, Checketts managed one of the nation's premier pitching staffs. In addition to an ERA that ranked third in the country, Oregon's 2.41 walks allowed per nine innings also ranked third in the nation, while his staff's 8.76 hits allowed per nine innings ranked 14th in the country. Oregon finished the 2010 season with a record of 40-24 and advanced to the NCAA Norwich Regional.
In his coaching career at UC Riverside and Oregon, Checketts has had 36 pitchers drafted or sign pro contracts, including Tyler Anderson, who was drafted 20th overall by the Colorado Rockies in the 2011 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. In total, Checketts has coached 12 pitchers drafted in the top 10 rounds since 2001.
Checketts also played a large role in the recruiting scene for Oregon. For three consecutive years (2008-2010) UO's recruiting classes have earned top-25 accolades. Most recently, the 2010 freshman class was ranked fifth in the nation by Baseball America's annual evaluation, and third in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.
The Ducks' 2008 freshman class, brought in for the program's first season in 27 years, was ranked No. 2 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball, and was also ranked 10th in the nation by Baseball America. The Ducks' second class received the No. 24 ranking in the nation from Baseball America in the fall of 2009.
Prior to joining Oregon's staff, Checketts was on the UC Riverside staff for seven years. In 2007, UC Riverside was the Big West Champion and was ranked as high as 13th in the country during the season. It marked the first time in 20 years that a Division I program in the UC system won its outright conference championship.
Upon his arrival at UC Riverside he made an immediate impact as the staff ERA improved by almost three runs and the team broke the school record for strikeouts in his first year. During his first three seasons at UCR, the team ERA improved every year. Checketts also played a key role in recruiting for the Highlanders. UCR's 2007 class received national recognition with a top-25 ranking from Baseball America. In his final season, UCR's pitching staff ranked among the nation's best in ERA (3.68) and strikeouts per game (8.0).
Checketts began his coaching career at Riverside Community College, where he served as pitching coach and helped the team to their second consecutive California State Championship in 2001. While he was at RCC, the pitching staff set the school record for ERA.
Checketts played one season at Florida and three at Oregon State. As a senior in 1998, he posted an 11-1 record and 3.77 ERA in 13 starts, striking out 73 batters in 86 innings, earning Pac-10 North Player of the Year, Collegiate Baseball Magazine Second Team All-American, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Second Team All-American and All-West Region Second Team honors. He was also named Pac-10 North All-Conference in 1997 and 1998, finishing his collegiate career with a 30-12 record. Checketts graduated from Oregon State with a degree in Business Administration, Finance. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 21st round of the 1998 MLB draft.
Checketts graduated from West Linn High School in 1994, and that season was named the Oregon High School State Player of the Year.
Assistant Coach: UC Santa Barbara
Eddie Cornejo is in his first season at UCSB as part of Andrew Checketts' inaugural staff.
After a successful playing career that saw him make it to Class AAA, Cornejo comes to UCSB after serving one season as an assistant coach at Big West rival UC Riverside.
Prior to his time at UC Riverside, Cornejo served as the Associate Head Coach and then interim Head Coach at Riverside City College in his two seasons with the Tigers' program.
Cornejo was a standout player who was an All-American at Riverside City College and won two state titles as an infielder at RCC. He transferred to Oklahoma and was an All-Big 12 selection as well as an All-Region pick.
He was drafted by Oakland in the 13th round of the 2003 draft and played in Class AAA for two seasons. Cornejo was part of two championship teams in the A's organization - at Class A Modesto and Class AAA Sacramento. He was also part of Colorado's Class AAA team in 2008.
Cornejo received his B.A. from Oklahoma and his Master's in education in 2010 from Cal State San Bernadino.
Assistant Coach: UC Santa Barbara
Jason Hawkins was hired as part of Andrew Checketts' inaugural staff prior to the 2011 season.
He joins UCSB after serving as the head coach at Occidental for the previous three seasons. While heading the Tigers' program, Hawkins helped rebuild the program as Occidental enjoyed its most successful three-year run since 1991-94.
The Tigers' staff ERA dropped by over two full runs under Hawkins and the team was nationally-ranked in stolen bases in all three years with him at the helm.
Prior to Occidental, Hawkins served as the recruiting coordinator and infield and hitting coach at the University of Redlands. In three of his four years there (2005-08) Hawkins' teams led the conference in stolen bases and set a school record for batting average. Also in charge of the infielders, Hawkins' group led the conference in fielding percentage in three of his four years.
Hawkins had also served as the bench coach for the summer league team Palm Springs Power in the Southern California Collegiate Baseball League for two seasons and was the Corvallis Knights' pitching coach in the summer of 2008.
He has also served as the head coach of two successful high school programs - Desert Hot Springs High in Calif. and Springfield High in Springfield, Ore.
Hawkins received his B.A. from Western Oregon State College and his Master's degree from Pacific University.