FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton assistant baseball coach Mike Kirby has accepted an assistant coaching position at the University of Nebraska, it was announced Tuesday.
Kirby joins Darin Erstad's coaching staff along with pitching coach and former Titan right-hander Ted Silva. The Cornhuskers advanced to an NCAA Regional for the first time since 2008 as the No. 3 seed at the Stillwater Regional in 2014. The Cornhuskers finished 1-2, dropping two games to Cal State Fullerton, including a 4-3 loss in an elimination game on June 1.
Cal State Fullerton will conduct a search for a new assistant coach in the near future.
"We wish Mike all the best over there with Teddy and Darin at Nebraska," Titans head coach Rick Vanderhook said. "Mike's attention to detail is incredible and his work with recruiting was a great benefit to our program over the last few years. He is a great baseball mind, a great asset to have beside you in the dugout and, more importantly, a great person and I wish him luck."
Kirby spent the past three seasons on the Titans staff serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. He returned to Cal State Fullerton for the 2012 season as Vanderhook's first assistant coach and recruiting coordinator after a three-year stint in Eugene, Ore., where he helped George Horton rekindle the Ducks' baseball program after a 28-year hiatus.
In his first year as the Titans' recruiting coordinator, CSF's 2012 class was ranked 23rd in the country by Baseball America, producing National Freshman Pitcher of the Year Thomas Eshelman and Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year Justin Garza.
In 2013, Fullerton's recruiting class was rated No. 7 in the country by Collegiate Baseball and No. 12 in the nation by Baseball America.
Kirby, who coached first base for the Titans, also tutored the infielders and helped develop 12 Major League Baseball draftees including Matt Chapman, who became the 13th Cal State Fullerton player to be selected in the first round when he was taken by the Oakland Athletics with the 25th overall selection in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Kirby saw his first action at Fullerton in 1991 and spent eight of the next nine seasons as either a student assistant (one year), facilities manager (three years) or assistant coach (four years, 1991, 1995, 1997-99). He left the Titans briefly to assist at Los Angeles City College in 1996.
From 1991-1999, Kirby helped the Titans to six Big West Conference titles, four College World Series appearances (1992, 1994, 1995, 1999) and a national championship in 1995. He helped groom nine (Frank Charles, Steve Sisco, Phil Nevin, Dante Powell, Jeremy Giambi, Mark Kotsay, Mike Lamb, Aaron Rowand and Reed Johnson) former Titan position players for the major leagues and tutored four of the five Titan Olympians (Brian Loyd, Kotsay, Jason Moler and Nevin).
He learned his craft from working with current Div. I head coaches Augie Garrido, Horton, Dave Serrano and Vanderhook, and also played his last season of college ball under then-Long Beach State Head Coach and former Titan assistant Dave Snow.
Before returning to Fullerton in 2012, Kirby was instrumental in helping Horton promote the Oregon program to the national scene, playing a large role in four consecutive top-25 recruiting classes, including three ranked in the top-10 and a program-best No. 5 ranking in 2010.
Kirby was also responsible for coaching first base and working with the team's outfielders.
Kirby got back into the college game after nine years of working in sales for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (1999-2008) by joining Buddy Goldsmith's UNLV coaching staff for the 2008 season. While in Las Vegas he served as the Rebels' third base coach and helped develop the catchers.
Kirby played two seasons of junior college ball at Cerritos College under Horton in 1988 and 1989, when the Falcons won two state championships. He finished up his collegiate career with the 49ers in 1990. He prepped at Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach, Calif.