Keith Madison, the winningest baseball coach in the 106 years of Kentucky baseball, added the following milestones in 2002 to his already impressive list of accomplishments…
Now in his 25th year at the helm of the Wildcats, Coach Keith Madison continues to build upon the rich baseball tradition in the Bluegrass, while laying the foundation for national prominence at the University of Kentucky.
Since becoming the Wildcats' coach in 1979, Keith Madison has guided his team to 713 victories - more than any other baseball coach in school history and the second-highest mark among active coaches in the Southeastern Conference. Four of his teams have broken the school record for wins in a season, while 83 of his players have gone on to play professional baseball, with 14 having played in the major leagues.
Madison picked up his 600th career victory on April 11, 1998 at Mississippi State, where he started as a graduate assistant in 1979. With UK's win over Tennessee on April 13, 1996, Madison moved into third place on the SEC all-time victories list. Against Ohio on March 12, 1996, Madison achieved another milestone by coaching in his 1000th career game.
Last season, he led his Wildcats to a 3-1 win over No. 17 Texas A&M in the Continental Express Aggie Baseball Classic on Feb. 25 to earn his 700th career victory. Less than a month later, he guided the Cats to a 3-1 win at No. 24 Auburn to reach 250 league victories.
Off the field, Madison continues to leave his mark, not only on the Kentucky baseball program, but also on the national college baseball scene. In Lexington, he has overseen and helped raise money for several of the baseball program facilities, including Kentucky baseball's home site, Cliff Hagan Stadium at Shively Field.
In the fall of 1987, Madison's efforts to upgrade the UK baseball program brought about the installation of lights to Shively Field. During the off-season before the 1989 campaign, he helped oversee a complete renovation of the facility. The $520,000 renovation of Shively Field was the largest single improvement project to the field since it opened as part of the Bernie A. Shively Sports Center in 1969. The seating capacity was increased from 1,400 to 2,500. A new press box, sky boxes and dugouts were added. Madison raised half of the needed funds through private donations, while the UK Athletics Association provided the other portion.
Stepping up to the plate again in 2000, Madison conducted and directed painstaking efforts to raise funds for the $4.2 million renovation of Cliff Hagan Stadium. If the American dream is to build a home, Madison’s dreams became reality, as he will lead his Wildcats into the state-of-the-art facility this spring. The new home of the Wildcats will allow UK to raise its program to the next level, on the field, in recruiting, and in the entire game experience to fans and guests that visit the park.
On the national scene, Madison was recognized in 1995 for his knowledge, integrity and concern for college baseball at the American Baseball Coaches Association convention when his peers elected him the organization's fourth vice-president. With the ABCA officer rotation system, Madison served as the president in 2000. He ran the national convention in Atlanta, drawing the largest turnout ever with over 3,500 in attendance. He now continues to serve on the ABCA board. Madison also served as the pitching coach for the USA Baseball's national team for a stint during the summer of 1999.
Madison was 26 years old when he brought his blueprint for building a successful collegiate baseball program to Kentucky's campus. He unveiled a philosophy to run a class program by emphasizing academic success and personal responsibility both on and off the field. The desired results were immediate. Taking over a program that had just finished last in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division and had set the school record for most losses in a season, Madison guided his first team to a 29-18 mark in 1979 and set a school record for most wins in a season. In his second season, the Wildcats went 25-21, as Madison coached UK to the best fielding percentage (.965) in the SEC.
Over the last 24 seasons, UK has averaged 30 wins a season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 1988 and 1993, with the team's 1988 berth representing the school's first national tournament appearance in 38 years. After setting the school record for wins in his first season, Madison improved that mark from 39 wins (1981) to 41 (1991).
Through all the success, Madison has guided 10 All-Americans, 20 first-team All-SEC players, and an impressive 89 SEC academic honors selections. He has placed 16 players on SEC All-Tournament teams, including the 1981 MVP, Jeff Keneer. Keener also led the nation in lowest earned run average that season, posting a 0.51 ERA in 1981. Madison has also coached three .400 hitters: Brandt Ely- .422 in 1983, Jeff Abbott- .445 in 1994, and Paul Blandford- .403 in 1996.
A native of Brownsville, Ky., Madison attended Edmonson County High School, where he was an all-district selection in both baseball and basketball. After high school, Madison turned down scholarship offers and signed a professional contract with the Montreal Expos. Madison played five years of professional baseball, two in the Montreal organization and three with the Cincinnati Reds, reaching the AAA level before a knee injury ended his career.
During the off-seasons, Madison attended Western Kentucky University, where he received a B.S. degree in geography in 1975. Madison began his coaching career at Lake Wales High School in Florida, where he coached for two seasons before moving to the collegiate ranks. As a graduate assistant coach at Mississippi State, he helped lead the Bulldogs to an NCAA Central Regional Final. Madison also earned his master's degree from State in education administration.
The Wildcats' skipper devotes much of his time speaking at coaching clinics, alumni clubs, church groups and civic organizations. He is also actively involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Madison is married to Sharon Massie of Niceville, Florida. They reside in Wilmore, Ky., and have two sons: Austin, 24, a former UK baseball player who finished his career in 2001, and Tyler, 21.
Madison's Record Career: 713-602-5 (24 years/.542)
Record vs. Opponents: Air Force 1-0 Alabama 18-28 Alabama-Birmingham 4-2 Appalachian State 1-1 Arkansas 13-18 Arizona 1-1 Armstrong State 3-1 Army 1-0 Auburn 15-22 Augusta 2-0 Austin Peay 10-2 Ball State 2-3 Belmont 3-0 Bellarmine 4-0 Birmingham-Southern 2-1 Bowling Green State 1-0 Bradley 0-1 Brigham Young 0-1 Butler 2-0 Central Michigan 1-0 Charleston Southern 2-0 Cincinnati 18-5 The Citadel 3-2 Clemson 2-1 Cleveland State 2-1 Coastal Carolina 1-2 Cumberland (Ky.) 1-0 Cumberland (Tenn.) 4-1 Dayton 7-0 East Tennessee State 1-0 Eastern Connecticut 1-0 Eastern Illinois 1-0 Eastern Kentucky 25-10-1 Eastern Michigan 10-2 Eckerd 0-1 Evansville 3-7 Florida 29-67-1 Florida Atlantic 2-4 Florida Southern 2-1 Fresno State 0-1 Furman 0-2 Georgetown (Ky.) 10-1 Georgia 33-42 Georgia Southern 0-1 Georgia State 1-0 Georgia Tech 2-0 Grand Canyon 1-0 Howard 5-0 Illinois 1-1 Illinois State 1-0 Indiana 8-7 Indiana State 3-2 Indiana Southeast 2-0 Iowa 1-1 IUPUI 2-0 Jacksonville 3-3 Kent State 2-0 Kentucky State 12-0 Kentucky Wesleyan 3-0 Lee University 1-0 Lincoln Memorial 5-0 Lipscomb 0-1 Long Beach State 0-3 Louisiana State 13-26 Louisville 31-11 Maine 3-1 Marshall 18-5 Maryland 2-0 Memphis 1-0 Mercer 2-0 Miami (Ohio) 8-2 Middle Tennessee 10-9 Minnesota 3-0 Mississippi 18-27 Mississippi College 1-0 Mississippi State 15-35 Missouri 1-0 Morehead State 26-18 Murray State 4-2 Navy 3-0 New Mexico 1-1 New Mexico State 1-0 New York Tech 3-1 NC State 0-2 North Florida 0-1 Northern Kentucky 4-0 Northwestern 2-0 Notre Dame 4-1 Ohio 7-1 Ohio Dominican 2-0 Ohio State 0-1 Oklahoma State 1-2 Old Dominion 0-1 Oral Roberts 0-1 Penn State 2-1 Pepperdine 1-1 Richmond 1-0 Rutgers 1-0 Samford 2-2 St. John's 1-0 St. Xavier 4-0 Seton Hall 1-0 South Alabama 0-6 South Carolina 17-20 South Florida 2-2 Southeast Massachusetts 2-0 Southern California 0-1 Southern Illinois 9-5 Southern Missississippi 1-1 Spring Hill 0-1 Stanford 0-2 Stephen F. Austin 0-1 Stetson 0-3-1 Tampa 6-0 Tennessee 40-52 Tennessee Martin 2-0 Tennessee Tech 3-1 Tennessee Wesleyan 0-1 Texas 0-1 Texas A&M 1-3 Toledo 1-0 Troy State 1-1 Union 1-0 Vanderbilt 47-41-2 Washington 0-1 Washington State 0-2 West Florida 5-2 West Virginia 10-1 Western Carolina 0-1 Western Kentucky 23-15 Western Michigan 4-2 Winthrop 1-2 Wofford 1-0 Wright State 4-6 Xavier 13-1 Yale 1-0 Youngstown State 1-1
Madison by the Numbers…
Wildcats in the Pros
SEC Individual Statistical Leaders
* NCAA Statistical Champion
SEC Team Statistical Leaders
Cats at the Plate
Jeff Abbott- .445 (102 for 229), 1994
Brandt Ely- .422 (49 for 116), 1983
Paul Blandford- .403 (94 for 233), 1996