Underwood Retained As Head Baseball Coach
DOVER, Del. - Wesley College Director of Athletics Mike Drass has announced that the interim tag on head baseball coach Bret Underwood has been lifted and Underwood will remain at Wesley in his same head coaching position.
"We are excited to announce Bret has the head baseball coach at Wesley College," said Drass. "He did an outstanding job during his interim period and we are excited for what he will bring to the program in the future."
"It is a great honor to be the new head coach of the Wesley College baseball program," Underwood said. "I am excited to have this opportunity to help influence kids' lives in a positive way and help them turn into young men.
In his first season as the Wolverines skipper, Underwood led Wesley to a program-record 31 victories in 2012, with three victories over nationally-ranked teams, a trip to the Capital Athletic Conference Semifinals and the top-seed in the ECAC South Championship. The Navy & White hit .318 as a team this year and topped the CAC in fielding percentage, runs scored, hits, walks, runs batted in, stolen bases and sacrifice flies.
"The team responded great to the transition of me taking over. They really bought into the goals that we set and responded with a record-setting season."
With Underwood at the helm, Wesley had a league-high five players named to All-Conference teams, including shortstop Rob Benedict who became the program's first CAC Player of the Year. Benedict, as well as pitcher DJ Keckler, first baseman Geoff Kimmel and outfielder Jon Carlson, also earned All-Region honors.
Underwood replaced former head coach Tripp Keister in January 2012 after Keister was named manager of the Washington Nationals' rookie-ball affiliate in Viera, Fla. A native of Wilmington, Del., Underwood served as Wesley's assistant coach and first base coach for six seasons from 2006 to 2011. In his years as an assistant, the Wolverines made its Conference tournament each year, won the ECAC South Region Title in 2010 and enjoyed its winningest run in school-history (157-91-1, .630).
"The six years as an assistant at Wesley under Tripp really taught me the processes of every aspect of coaching (teaching, recruiting, budgeting, etc.)." "During this season, it was extremely exciting to be able to put together a plan to execute those processes.
A four-year starter at Delaware State University at first base, Underwood was one of the most prolific hitters in school history and was named first team All-MEAC in his three final seasons. He still holds the Hornets career record for hits (272), while ranking in the top three in home runs (50), runs batted in (224), runs scored (185), and extra base hits (107) while hitting .354. As a sophomore, he finished 19th in Division I with 77 RBIs, which is also a school-record.
After completing his senior year at Delaware State in 2004, he signed a free agent contract with the Boston Red Sox. Underwood attended Dickinson High School in Wilmington, Del., where he was a two-time all-state selection.