July 3, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico baseball team is proud to announce the hiring of Dan Spencer as its new pitching coach. Spencer joins the Lobos after spending the last four seasons as the head coach of Texas Tech, compiling a 115-112 record.
“This is huge for the continued success of our program as we try to get to Omaha,” UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said.
“Coach Birmingham has done a tremendous job here,” Spencer said. “He and Coach (Ken) Jacome have done a great job changing the culture and changing the roster. They’ve put together consecutive good clubs, and I just want to do my part in the pitching and recruiting.”
Before joining Texas Tech for the 2008 season, Spencer spent 11 seasons at Oregon State as the Beavers hitting coach (1997-2003) and pitching coach (2004-2007). He helped lead Oregon State to back-to-back College World Series titles in 2006 and 2007.
“Dan is a quality guy and one of the best pitching coaches in the nation,” Birmingham said.
Collegiate Baseball Magazine named Spencer the National Pitching Coach of the Year in 2007 after guiding Oregon State to a 3.48 ERA, and in 2012 he helped Texas Tech record its lowest ERA in 18 years. He will look to continue that success with the Lobo pitching staff that last season recorded its lowest ERA since 1977.
“I have a little bit of familiarity (with the UNM staff),” he said. “The pitching has improved over the years. And like I’ve said, they’ve done a good job with the roster. They’ve done a good job recruiting the right players. The talent level is good. I’m looking forward to working with a group of pitchers that did a good job last year and seeing what we can do. I’m familiar with the names, but not with the personalities and all their stuff, as far as their pitches and what they can and can’t do, but I’m very excited to get started.”
After spending one year in charge of the pitchers, catchers, and recruiting at Texas Tech, Spencer took over the head coaching duties for the 2009 season. He went on to set several Red Raider records during his first four years as head coach. He was the first to win at least 25 games during his first four seasons, and his teams defeated 32 nationally ranked opponents and 113 Division I opponents, both of which are the most all-time in a coach's first four seasons at Texas Tech. His players excelled in the classroom as well as the Red Raiders produced 31 Academic All-Big 12 players in his four years, almost as many as the school had (34) in the 12 years before he got there. He also spearheaded the efforts to raise $5 million to renovate the university's baseball stadium, which was completed in February 2012.
In addition to winning back-to-back national titles while at Oregon State, he was part of the staff that led the Beavers to three straight College World Series appearances (2005-2007) and back-to-back Pac-10 titles in 2005-2006. He helped Oregon State to the most wins in program history in both back-to-back seasons (99) and back-to-back-to-back seasons (145). His pitching staffs led the Pac-10 in ERA in both 2005 and 2006 and in saves in 2006 and 2007. He also served as the program’s recruiting coordinator and brought in three nationally ranked recruiting classes.
In his career at Texas Tech and Oregon State, Spencer coached 11 players to 25 All-American awards, and he had 31 players selected in the first 10 rounds of the Major League Baseball draft, including 14 in the top five rounds and three first round picks.
He began his head coaching career at Green River Community College in Auburn, Wash., where he was the head coach from 1992-1996. In 1992 and 1994 he was named the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Coach of the Year.
A native of Vancouver, Wash., Spencer received his bachelor’s degree in history from Portland State University in 1990. He and his wife, Susie, have three children: Wade, Logan, and Elizabeth.