On Friday, the Stanford baseball program finalized their coaching staff for the 2015 season. Mark Marquess, Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball, named Brock Ungricht as an assistant coach, Jon Karcich as a volunteer assistant coach, and Eric Smith as an undergraduate assistant coach.
Prior to a brief, one-month stint as an assistant coach for the Arizona Wildcats, Ungricht spent the previous four months as a volunteer assistant coach. Ungricht will step into the full-time role that former Stanford assistant coach Ryan Garko left vacant a little more than a week ago. Ungricht’s responsibilities include working with Stanford’s hitters, infielders, catchers, coaching third base, and playing a critical role in the recruiting process.
Ungricht’s coaching career began in 2009 as the head coach at Kearny High School in San Diego. That year, Ungricht led the program to its first Central League title in 28 years and produced the league’s Player of the Year in Chris Pernicano. Following his year at Kearny, Ungricht was hired at his alma mater, San Diego State, to be a volunteer assistant.
As a corner infielder and catcher at San Diego State, Ungricht finished his collegiate career with a batting average of .318, 44 doubles, and 117 RBI. After his playing days with the Aztecs came to a close, Ungricht was selected by the New York Yankees in the 30th round of the 2006 MLB Draft. During his two seasons in rookie ball and independent ball, Ungricht hit .282 with 34 RBI in 58 games.
Karcich joins the Cardinal staff after stretches at Chandler-Gilbert Community College (Ariz. – assistant coach) and the Shelter Island Bucks of the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League (head coach). Before starting his coaching career, Karcich was drafted as a shortstop by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the seventh round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of Santa Clara University. While in the minors with the Angels’ organization, Karcich posted a .237 batting average with 15 HR and 79 RBI in 241 games and reached as high as Triple-A Salt Lake.
Smith has become the program’s first undergraduate assistant since Marquess took over the program 39 years ago. As the Cardinal’s starting catcher during the 2012 season, Smith had the team’s fifth highest batting average at .321, a .373 on-base percentage, and a .422 slugging percentage. Following the 2012 season, Smith was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 18th round. Over his two seasons in the minors, Smith hit .295 with an on-base percentage of .390 and a slugging percentage of .428 over 109 games, but was forced to retire at the age of 22 due to injuries. Smith will also complete his political science degree while coaching at Stanford.
*Section Photo credit to Stanford Athletics;Featured Photo (above) credit to Don Montague, Stanford Photo