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Baseball’s Jeff Duncan earns extension after posting program-high 24 MAC wins

Anthony Scilla
Freshman Kolton Schaller is congratulated by coach Jeff Duncan as he passes third base April 30, 2023.

Randale L. Richmond, Kent State’s Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, announced Wednesday baseball coach Jeff Duncan’s contract would be extended through the 2027 season.

“Coach Duncan has done a tremendous job continuing the storied success and history of our baseball program,” Richmond said. “He and his staff have their student-athletes prepared to succeed on the field, in the classroom, and in their careers. I look forward to seeing the continued growth of the program under his leadership.”

Duncan will be coaching in his 11th year with the program this season and is coming off one of his best campaigns. 

Last season, KSU finished with a 42-16 overall record and had a program-record 24 wins against Mid-American Conference opponents.

The team won its 16th regular season conference title, earning Duncan his fourth MAC Coach of the Year, his other three coming in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Last season, Kent State had six All-MAC first team players – catcher Justin Miknis, first baseman Aidan Longwell, outfielder Collin Mathews, and pitchers Joe Whitman, Ben Cruikshank and Mitchell Scott.

In his tenure with the Flashes, Duncan won two MAC tournament titles, coming in 2014 and 2018, three consecutive regular season conference titles (2016,2017 and 2018) and was 2018’s Collegiate Baseball Chuck Tanner Coach of the Year.

Duncan has also coached 45 All-MAC performers, five All-Americans, nine All-Region players and 45 players who have gone on to be drafted into the MLB during his time at Kent State.

Off the field, Duncan has coached 68 Academic All-MAC players and two Academic All-Americans, and his teams have combined to post a 3.24 cumulative grade point average.

Last season, Duncan became the third coach in university history to reach 300 wins. Currently standing at 321 wins, he ranks third all-time in Kent State’s history and is ranked second in conference victories, with 171.

A Kent State baseball team member waves the team’s flag after the team scores a run. (Matthew Brown)

“I want to thank President Diacon, Randale Richmond and the entire Kent State family for supporting our outstanding student-athletes and for giving me the opportunity to continue to lead this great program,” Duncan said. “I also want to thank my coaching staff, Coach Birkbeck and Coach Serrato, for doing a great job recruiting and developing our players. 

“We have amazing student-athletes in this program, and we will continue to grow.  I can’t wait for the future, and I am so honored to lead this program.”

John Hilber is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
John Hilber, Reporter
John is a sophomore majoring in journalism with a minor in psychology. This is his second year with the KentWired team as a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].
Matthew Brown, Photo Editor
Matthew is a junior photography major. He has a passion for photography and traveling. Contact him at [email protected].
Anthony Scilla, Assistant Photo Editor
AJ is a sophomore studying public relations. Photography has always been a passion of AJ’s, and he is excited to take this position. Last semester, he had the opportunity to write articles on housing and dining, and he helped cover the mill fire downtown.

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