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Will Coggin - Baseball - University of Kentucky Athletics

WillCoggin

BIO

Will Coggin, a former player and coach in the Southeastern Conference, is entering his third season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator on Kentucky’s baseball staff.

Coggin is reunited with head coach Nick Mingione after the duo had a successful tenure together at Mississippi State. The former Bulldogs infielder and assistant coach has proven his salt as a recruiter and hitting guru who has helped develop 15 big leaguers.

“I’m ecstatic to welcome Will to Kentucky,” Mingione said. “I watched his transition from player to coach first hand and then his evolution into one of the elite recruiting coordinators in the country.

“He’s a winner. He’s won at every step of his career: he’s been to Omaha as a player, he won multiple conference championships while coaching at St. Johns River State College and the SEC title at Mississippi State. He was an integral part of the success we enjoyed in Starkville and will be an indispensable piece of reaching our goal at Kentucky of reaching Omaha.”

“I’m excited for and appreciate the opportunity to reunite with Coach Mingione,” Coggin said. “The University of Kentucky is a special place and I can’t wait to get started.”

Coggin was a staff member on the 2016 club that won the SEC championship, was a national seed in the NCAA Tournament and saw 11 players selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. It was his second stint in Starkville, having played for the Bulldogs from 2007-08 and served on former UK and Mississippi State coach John Cohen’s staff from 2009-12. He spent three seasons at St. Johns River State College in Palatka, Florida before returning to State before the 2016 season.

During that 2016 season, the Bulldogs showed drastic offensive improvement, as their team batting average improved by 42 points (.271 to .313), on-base percentage jumped from .372 to .407 and slugging percentage exploded by 91 points. The club hit 30 more home runs, 60 more extra-base hits and scored 90 more runs on the way to 20 more wins.

Perhaps most impressive was Coggin’s work with then-freshman outfielder Jake Mangum, who took the batting title en route to becoming the first Mississippi State player to win SEC Freshman of the Year and first freshman to win the C Spire Ferriss Trophy, which is awarded to the best college baseball player in Mississippi. Mangum, of course, would go on to become the SEC’s all-time hits leader in leading the program to back-to-back trips to the College World Series in 2018 and 2019.

He also played an important role in the development of 2017 SEC Player of the Year and First-Team All-American Brent Rooker, who won the SEC’s Triple Crown for batting average, home runs and RBI on his way to being named the Roy F. Kramer SEC Male Athlete of the Year. Rooker made his debut with the Minnesota Twins in 2020.

Following the 2016 campaign, Coggin, a native of Booneville, Mississippi, was promoted to the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator role Mingione held before accepting the Kentucky job. The two worked hand-in-hand at State for five seasons, during which time the program went to two Super Regionals and won the SEC regular season title and conference tournament title (in different seasons).

In between his two stints at Mississippi State, Coggin helped St. Johns River State College post 122 victories in three seasons, including a 57-14 mark in the Mid-Florida Conference. The 122 wins from 2013-15 were the most by a Florida junior college and the program spent time in the top five nationally in 2014 before being ranked No. 1 for much of the 2015 campaign. The Vikings won a school-record 47 games in 2015, won three straight league titles for the first time since 1966-68 and won their first Florida State Tournament game in 38 years.

While at SJRSC, Coggin’s calling card was player development, where 25 players went on to sign with Division I-A programs and 45 with four-year schools. Current big-leaguer Nate Lowe (Texas Rangers) earned NJCAA First-Team All-American honors in 2015 after hitting .372 with 59 runs, 53 RBI and 17 home runs in 56 games before signing with Mississippi State.

Before getting into coaching, Coggin was a middle infielder on Mississippi State’s 2007 and 2008 teams after two seasons at Northeast Mississippi Community College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in 2010 from Mississippi State before adding a master’s degree in sports administration in 2012.

What They Are Saying About Coggin:
“Will is a winner. He has been a big part of postseason championships at Mississippi State and then became an integral part of the most successful run in St. Johns River State College history. His work ethic and expertise in offensive baseball is among the best in the country.” – Mississippi State Athletics Director and former head baseball coach John Cohen

“I owe Coach Coggin an enormous amount of credit for my growth and success as a hitter. His extensive knowledge of the swing is something that is extremely hard to find and would be incredibly valuable to any hitter. His relationships with recruits and players is second to none and will no doubt aid in the building and sustained success of any program.” – Brent Rooker, 2017 SEC Player of the Year and All-American and Minnesota Twins outfielder

“Coach Coggin was the man! It always blew my mind when I would go to the field late at night and still see his car there (and him) working in his office. He loves baseball and loves to win. He brought the energy every day and his work ethic is unmatched. That’s what you’re looking for in a coach.” – Jake Mangum, SEC all-time hits leader

“Never have I been helped as much by any coach, and by a human, as the things Coach Coggin has done for me. From a small-town junior college to the biggest stage in college baseball, he has been the first person that I look to for support. Twenty-four hours a day and 365 days a year, I know that I’ll receive honest advice. There is not a harder working coach in all of baseball that Coach Coggin.” – Texas Rangers first baseman Nate Lowe

“Coach Coggin has made the biggest impact on my life and career of anybody I’ve ever been around. He would take any hour of his day to make me a better player. He is the most dedicated and motivating person I’ve ever been around in baseball. All he wants to do with his life is make people around him better. The most important thing to me was that not only was he the best coach I’ve ever had, he made sure you left a better person.” — Houston Astros infielder Myles Straw

The Will Coggin File
Hometown: Amory, Mississippi

Education
High School: Booneville (Miss.)
College: Mississippi State (Kinesiology, 2010; Master’s in Sports Administration, 2012)

Playing Career
2007-08: Mississippi State
2005-06: Northeast Mississippi Community College

Coaching Career
2020-: Kentucky, Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
2016-17: Mississippi State, Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
2015-16: Mississippi State, Coordinator of Baseball Camps
2013-15: St. Johns River (Fla.) State College, Assistant Coach
2009-12: Mississippi State, Student Assistant

MLB Draft History
2013-15: St. Johns River, Five draft picks, seven players sign pro contract
2009-12, 16-17: Mississippi State, 33 draft picks, 39 players sign pro contract

By the Numbers

  • 15 – Players to reach MLB
  • 9 – All-SEC selections
  • 8 – All-Americans
  • 5 – NCAA Regionals (2007, 2010-12, 2016-17)
  • 4 – NCAA Super Regionals (2007, 2011, 2016-17)
  • 4 – MLB First-Round Draft Picks
  • 2 – SEC batting title winners
  • 1 – College World Series appearance
  • 1 – SEC regular season championship
  • 1 – SEC Tournament championship
  • 1 – SEC Player of the Year
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