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Known for his high energy coaching style and as one of the top offensive minds in college baseball, Brian Green is in his fifth season as an assistant coach for the Kentucky baseball program.
Green is in his fifth year guiding the Kentucky attack as UK's offensive coordinator, also serving as the infield and baserunning coach after joining the UK staff from UCLA.
During his time in Lexington, Green has guided one of the top offensive units in the nation, with the Wildcats consistently boasting a well-rounded approach among the Southeastern Conference leaders. Green has implemented an offensive style that puts emphasis on speed and athleticism, with an aggressive approach at the plate and on the base paths, a system that proved to brilliantly foreshadow the NCAA change in bats.
Green's impact on the UK program led to the Wildcats entire middle infield earning All-SEC honors in 2009, including second baseman Chris Bisson and shortstop Chris Wade. It was the first time in the 117-year history UK had both its middle infielders named All-SEC. In 2010, Bisson earned All-SEC accolades and shortstop Taylor Black ranked second in the SEC in assists, while UK turned the fourth-most double plays in the league.
Using an offensive philosophy geared towards utilizing the athletic ability of his hitters, Green has turned UK's offensive attack into a high-energy threat. In 2010, UK ran all over the base paths, leading the SEC with an eye-popping 120 stolen bases, with Bisson leading the league with 32 stolen bases and Neiko Johnson ranking fourth with 24 stolen bags in just 21 starts.
During the 2011 campaign, Green's offensive approach shined with the new NCAA bat standards, as the Wildcats finished the year ranked second in the SEC in slugging percentage, doubles, homers and total bases, with UK leading the league in hit by pitches and ranking fourth in average and fifth in stolen bases.
Individually in 2011, Green's tutelage could be seen in the development of outfielder Chad Wright, who transformed into one of the top hitters in the nation, signing as a ninth-round MLB Draft pick of the Tigers after his junior season. Green also worked closely to help third baseman Thomas McCarthy bat .371 with seven homers and 39 RBI in his first year as a junior college transfer. McCarthy earned first-team All-SEC honors, the first UK third sacker to earn first-team All-SEC accolades since 1972.
Green's 2012 UK team was a historic campaign, as the Wildcats won a school-record 45 games, soared to No. 1 for three weeks for the first time in UK history, and equaled their best finishes in the NCAA and Southeastern Conference Tournaments in program annals. His 2012 offensive approach finished the season ranked No. 3 in the SEC in average (.294), No. 2 in slugging (.433), No. 2 in on-base percentage (.380), No. 2 in runs scored (383), No. 1 in hits (641), No. 2 in RBI (351), No. 1 in doubles (123), No. 2 in homers (56) and No. 2 in totals bases (942).
His offensive tutelage could be seen directly in the individual 2012 output from freshman All-Americans Austin Cousino and A.J. Reed. Catcher Luke Maile earned All-SEC honors after leading UK with 12 homers, with J.T. Riddle, Matt Reida, Cameron Flynn, Lucas Witt and Zac Zellers forming a dynamic offensive approach.
As the infield defense coach, Green had a tremendous impact in helping UK shatter the school-record with a .976 fielding percentage. In both of Green's last two coaching stops he has directed his club to a new school mark in fielding. Green's coaching could be seen directly in the defensive output of middle infielders Reida and Riddle, who formed a dynamic duo up the middle.
When UK head coach Gary Henderson served as the head coach of Chapman University (Calif.) in 1993, Green was a player. After finishing out his playing career at New Mexico State, Green embarked on a coaching career at his alma mater, serving as a student assistant. Green and Henderson reconnected in 2001, as Green served as the volunteer assistant at Oregon State when Henderson was the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator.
Green helped lead the UCLA Bruins to 115 wins in four years, posting 33 wins in his last three seasons. Green had a huge impact in recruiting the bulk of the Bruins roster, in addition to coordinating the UCLA infield defense and overseeing the Bruins offensive attack.
Green's instruction as the infield coach the past four seasons had tangible results, as Bruins cornerstone infielders Jermaine Curtis (third base) and Brandon Crawford (shortstop) earned All-Pac-10 recognition all four years. Likewise, second baseman Alden Carrithers gained All-Pac-10 honorable mention accolades in 2007 before earning All-Pac-10 honors in 2008.
The Bruins turned a Pac-10-leading 65 double plays in 2008, as Crawford and Carrithers helped steady UCLA's defense up the middle.
Crawford burst onto the MLB map during a 2012 season as the everyday shortstop for the San Francisco Giants. Crawford starred for the Giants in the postseason, as San Francisco won the 2012 World Series.
"You just feel comfortable with him as a player," Crawford said about his relationship with Green. "You can go up and talk to him about anything. It may not be baseball related. He is just an easy guy to get along with and that is what you want in a coach. You don't want to be scared to go talk to them you want to have a conversation with them and be buddies with them afterwards."
In 2007, Green guided UCLA's hitters to a .296 batting average and 51 home runs, the fourth-highest total in the Pac-10 Conference. That spring, Gabe Cohen compiled a .345 batting average, belting 10 home runs and totaling 36 RBI to earn Pac-10 Co-Newcomer of the Year honors with USC shortstop Grant Green.
In his two seasons as the UCLA recruiting coordinator, Green helped secure the No. 13 and No. 7 best recruiting classes in the nation in the fall of 2006 and fall of 2007, respectively, as ranked by Baseball America. Green also played a large role in assisting UCLA land the No. 5 ranked recruiting class in 2005, as rated by Baseball America.
While serving as an assistant at the University of Hawaii in 2003 and 2004, Green doubled as the team's hitting instructor, infield coach and baserunning coach. He also assisted with recruiting efforts. In 2004, Green helped Hawaii head coach Mike Trapasso earn 2004 Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors, and in 2003 he coached two Warriors who earned Freshman All-America accolades.
Prior to his time at Hawaii, Green was an assistant at the University of San Diego for the 2002 season. Green helped the Toreros capture their first West Coast Conference title in school history, as USD led the conference in batting average, runs scored, walks and fewest strikeouts. Head coach Rich Hill gained WCC Coach of the Year honors that season.
In the summers of 2001 and 2002, Green served as head coach of the Kenai Peninsula Oilers of the Alaskan Summer Baseball League. In 2001, Green's Oilers became the only Alaskan League team to defeat the U.S. National Team, winning 4-1.
Green also spent time as a volunteer assistant in 2001 at Oregon State as well as serving stints at Chapman University, Cal Poly Pomona and Riverside Community College. At Chapman in 2000, Green helped lead the school to a third-place finish at the Division III World Series. In 1999, he helped lead Chapman to a 39-5 overall finish. That season, Green guided the Panthers' infield corps, which led the nation in double plays turned.
In 1994, Green began his coaching career, serving as a student assistant at his alma mater, New Mexico State. He played two years of Division I baseball - one at Chapman (1993) and one at New Mexico State (1994). Green spent his first two collegiate seasons playing at Riverside Community College (1991-92).
Green, 41, graduated from New Mexico State with a degree in business management in 1995 and earned his Master's degree in education from National University in 1997.
He is married to the former Becki Francis. The couple resides with their daughters, Emily Rae (nine) and Zoe Addison (three) in Lexington.
QUOTING UK GREAT CHAD WRIGHT
On his relationship with coach Brian Green ...
San Francisco Giants SS and World Series Hero Brandon Crawford on Brian Green
NOTE: During his time as the recruiting coordinator, hitting and infield coach at UCLA (2005-08), Brian Green recruited and coached All-American shortstop Brandon Crawford. Crawford helped lead the San Fransico Giants to the World Series Title in 2012 with clutch hitting and emerged as one of the top defensive shortstops in baseball. Below, Crawford talks about Green's impact on his career and their continued relationship.