Eric Newman was in his seventh season as the head coach of the University of California San Diego baseball program in 2018. He was named to the position on Aug. 29, 2011, becoming UC San Diego’s second leader since the school moved to NCAA Division II status in 2000-01.
The back-to-back 2017 and 2018 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Diamond NCAA Division II West Region and 2012 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Coach of the Year has compiled records of 251-142 overall and 173-101 in arguably the toughest conference nationally in the NCAA Division II. Newman has directed the Tritons to two West Region trophies, three CCAA tournament titles and one CCAA regular-season banner, compiling seven straight winning campaigns, six of them with 30-plus wins and the last two eclipsing 40. UC San Diego has earned five NCAA Championship berths, advancing to back-to-back West Region finals in 2014 and 2015 before sweeping through that tournament in both 2017 and 2018 in Azusa. The Tritons have made six trips to the CCAA tournament, including five in a row.
In 2017, Newman directed UCSD to a 44-19 overall record and the Division II West Region championship, sweeping through all four games at the regional tournament in Azusa. The Tritons then advanced through to the national finals in Grand Prairie, Texas, winning four consecutive elimination tilts after losing their opener. Needing to beat West Chester of Pennsylvania twice for the first national title in program history, Newman’s club dropped a 5-2 decision in the first of two potential matchups with the Golden Rams. The runner-up finish matched UCSD’s best ever.
UCSD previously placed second in the CCAA South Division, as well as at the 2017 CCAA Championship. The Tritons lost their second game at the double-elimination, six-team event, but won three successive elimination contests to make it all the way to a winner-take-all championship meeting with rival Chico State, falling 12-5.
Jonathan Johnston returned to the University of California San Diego baseball program as an assistant coach in August of 2018. The 2019 season will be his first back in the Triton dugout, and fourth overall on the La Jolla campus. He was initially named to the post in the fall of 2011.
Johnston was with the Tritons for head coach Eric Newman’s first three seasons from 2012-14, serving as the recruiting coordinator for the last two of those. He has been an assistant coach at UNC Asheville the past four years, also as the Bulldogs’ recruiting coordinator. UNC Asheville earned a Big South Conference Championship berth in 2017, the program’s first since 2012, and advanced to the semifinal round. The Tritons claimed three trophies during Johnston’s initial stint in La Jolla.
Johnston graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2006, majoring in ocean engineering. A four-year starting catcher for the Midshipmen, Johnston was a decorated naval officer who achieved the rank of lieutenant.
LeBlanc heads south from UC Riverside, where he has spent the past seven years as an assistant, since August of 2011. That was after four seasons at Pac-12 powerhouse Oregon. He was a part of that program’s return in 2009 after having been discontinued in 1981. LeBlanc helped coach 31 All-Big West honorees and 18 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player Draft picks during his tenure at UCR.
LeBlanc is a 2006 Missouri graduate in biological sciences. He played his final two years for the Tigers after transferring from Delgado Community College in New Orleans, La., in 2004. LeBlanc and his wife, Andria, have two young boys, Christian and Camden.
Matt Harvey was named an assistant coach for the University of California San Diego baseball program in August of 2018. The 2019 season is his first in the UC San Diego dugout. Harvey serves as the Tritons’ pitching coach.
Harvey has been at UC Santa Barbara for the past seven seasons, the first three as an assistant baseball strength and conditioning coach, and the last four as a volunteer assistant, and the Gauchos’ pitching coach. UCSB went 231-167-4 (.580) during Harvey’s time, with three NCAA Regional appearances and the program’s first College World Series berth in 2016.
Harvey was involved in the baseball program as a student manager and bullpen catcher during his time at Nebraska from 2008-11, all while Newman served as the pitching coach there. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 2011.
Michael Ramazzotti was named an assistant coach for the University of California San Diego baseball program in August of 2018. The 2019 season is his first in the UC San Diego dugout.
Ramazzotti spent the past two seasons across town at the University of San Diego of the West Coast Conference. He was the director of baseball operations in 2017 and the volunteer assistant coach in 2018. The Toreros went 35-18-1 overall in 2017, and produced 11 selections over the last two MLB drafts.
Ramazzotti had prior stints at Santa Barbara City College in 2016, Mira Mesa High School and San Pasqual High School. A 2005 graduate of New Mexico Highlands in marketing, he played his final two collegiate years at the Division II school, earning All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) honorable mention as a senior.
Undergraduate Assistant Coach
Justin Beck was named the undergraduate assistant coach of the University of California San Diego baseball program in August of 2018. The 2019 season will be his first on head coach Eric Newman’s staff, and second in the Triton dugout after a standout 2018 campaign as an all-region and all-conference second baseman.
Beck was a one-year Triton in 2018 after spending his first three seasons at Division I San José State from 2015-17. The Upland product started 53 of 57 games played at second base during UC San Diego’s run to two trophies, hitting .308 with 47 runs, 14 doubles, nine home runs, 41 RBI, 39 walks, and a .983 fielding percentage.
Beck picked up a pair of All-West Region distinctions, as well as All-California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Second Team honors. He is nearing completion of his UC San Diego undergraduate degree in communication.