Corral hired as UGA pitching coach - WRBL

Corral hired as UGA pitching coach

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ATHENS, Ga. -

Fred Corral, one of the most respected pitching coaches in the country, has been named an assistant coach for the Bulldogs, Georgia coach Scott Stricklin announced Thursday.

Corral, 47, comes to Georgia to direct the pitching staff after spending the past four seasons as pitching coach at the University of Memphis. During his career, he has served as an assistant coach in charge of the pitching staff at Tennessee, Oklahoma, Sacramento City College and San Joaquin Delta College plus as an instructor in the professional ranks with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Montreal Expos. A total of 65 pitchers have been drafted under his tutelage including 11 in the top 10 rounds with eight reaching the Major Leagues.

"I am so excited that Fred Corral has decided to come to the University of Georgia," Stricklin said. "He is regarded as one of the best pitching coaches in our game, and he will be an excellent teacher and mentor to our student-athletes. We are looking forward to welcoming Fred and Cynthia and their entire family to Athens."

Corral's work with the Memphis pitching staff saw the Tigers steadily improve their Earned Run Average each season including posting a 3.05 mark this year, which was the best for the program since 1976. In three of his four seasons with Memphis, the staff registered 400-plus strikeouts including a record 462 in 2010. This year, Memphis' top two pitchers were drafted for the first time in their career: Sam Moll (3rd round, Colorado) and Erik Schoenrock (11th round, San Diego), and Schoenrock became the first Tiger in school history to be named Conference USA Pitcher of the Year. Under Corral, eight Tiger pitchers had an opportunity to play professional baseball including a pair of third round picks.

"Words cannot express my happiness to become part of the coaching staff of Scott Stricklin's and Georgia Baseball," said Corral. "My family and I are very blessed to have this opportunity. I am very thankful for the opportunity that I had at the University of Memphis under Coach Daron Schoenrock, the staff and players. Many wonderful memories were made there, and I am a better person and coach. I am very grateful. It's time for a new chapter in my life and returning to the SEC is a goal fulfilled. The SEC brings that out in you, once you have been out, it calls on you. This is a great conference. The day-to-day grind is intense. I embrace the challenge, especially with, and for Scott Stricklin and the staff. "

Prior to arriving at Memphis, Corral worked two stints at Tennessee under different head coaches (2003-04, 2008-09) and three years at Oklahoma (2005-07). In Corral's most recent stint at Tennessee, he helped develop several pitchers who would eventually get drafted including left-hander Bryan Morgado. He went on to earn Freshman All-America honors and strike out 104 batters, marking just the second time in Volunteer baseball history that a freshman eclipsed the 100-strikeout plateau. Morgado was drafted in the fourth round by Philadelphia in 2010.

Corral made the move to head the pitching staff at Oklahoma following the 2004 season in Knoxville. During his three years with the Sooners, he helped OU to a pair of NCAA Regional appearances, including the program's first Super Regional showing in 2006. During Corral's tenure with the Sooners, nine pitchers were taken in the MLB Draft (including 13th-rounder Daniel McCutchen) and six OU hurlers earned All-Big 12 honors.

During Corral's first stint at Tennessee, the Volunteers' pitching staff ranked among the best in the SEC. His staffs posted consecutive sub-3.90 ERAs, and UT's 3.51 ERA in 2004 was the 13th best in the country. The 2004 Volunteer staff recorded the fifth most strikeouts in school history and held opponents to a .243 batting average, which was UT's lowest mark in nine seasons. Tennessee also had three pitchers in 2004 with ERAs that ranked among the top 12 in the SEC. Four of Corral's pitchers at Tennessee were selected in the MLB draft. He signed James Adkins and coached Luke Hochevar, hurlers who rank first and third on UT's all-time strikeouts list, respectively.

Corral began his collegiate coaching career in 1993 as a pitching coach at his alma mater, San Joaquin Delta Junior College in Stockton, Calif. He spent two seasons there before going to Sacramento (Calif.) City College (SCC) from 1996-2002. Corral served as the pitching coach at SCC, where he was a vital part of the program's success, working for one of the most successful junior college coaches in the nation in Jerry Weinstein. During this time, SCC produced one national championship, five Bay Valley East Conference titles and a pair of state runner-up finishes. SCC posted a 281-56-1 record for a .833 winning percentage during his tenure. Of the 36 drafted pitchers under his tutelage at SCC, 13 signed professional contracts. Every pitcher Corral coached at SCC was either drafted or transferred to a four-year institution.

Corral's former pupils who have reached the Major Leagues include Matt Riley, Adam Bernero, Mike Neu, Joe Horgan, Daniel McCutchen, Garrett Richards, Charlie Zink and Luke Hochevar. Overall, Corral's instruction has helped 69 pitchers reach the professional level.

Corral's coaching experience in the professional ranks came as a pitching instructor in the Los Angeles Dodgers (2000-01) and Montreal Expos (1999) organizations. Also he served as coach for Major League Baseball International when it toured Switzerland in 1994.

As a player, Corral was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection as a left-handed relief pitcher at the University of California in 1987. The Golden Bears' eighth 10-game winner, Corral set a school record for single-season win-loss percentage with a perfect 10-0 record as a junior in 1987. The southpaw added five saves and a 3.75 ERA in en route to earning the team's Most Valuable Pitcher honor. Corral helped lead the Golden Bears to their fourth College World Series appearance in 1988. He finished his two-year Bear career with a 13-5 mark, a 4.50 ERA and six saves. Corral starred at San Joaquin Delta Junior College where he garnered All-Camino Notre Conference honors in 1985 and 1986 before transferring to Cal.

Corral is married to the former Cynthia Drost, of Ripon, Calif., and they have three children, Kaitlyn Joy (13), Justin Jerome (9) and Jordan Patrick (2). Also, they raised two nieces, Marisa (23) and Chelsea (20), and two nephews, Michael (24) and Robert (18).

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