- IMAGE: Kent State Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen (right) introduces new head baseball coach Jeff Duncan (left) during a press conference at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Kent.
- IMAGE: New Kent State head baseball coach Jeff Duncan speaks to the media and members of the baseball team during a press conference held at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center.
- IMAGE: (From left to right) Kent State President Lester A. Lefton poses with new head baseball coach Jeff Duncan and Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen after a press conference introducing Duncan.
- IMAGE: New Kent State head baseball coach Jeff Duncan (left) and Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen (right) answer questions during a press conference announcing Duncan as coach.
Jeff Duncan Named Head
Baseball Coach at Kent State
Jeff Duncan, former associate head coach at Purdue University, was named the new head baseball coach at Kent State on June 25, as announced by Kent State Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen.
“One year removed from the College World Series, this head coaching position was very attractive and it was evident throughout the search,” Nielsen said. “In no particular order, we set out looking for someone that could coach and motivate our current players and incoming class, a dynamic recruiter, a person familiar with successful college baseball in the North, a serious commitment to academics and a good role model. Needless to say, we’re excited to introduce Jeff Duncan to the Kent State community, along with his wife, Lauren, and son, Bryce, and I’m looking forward to building on our success. Kent State baseball is in good hands moving forward.”
“Today is the most exciting day of my coaching career,” Duncan said. “The opportunity to be the next head coach at Kent State, a storied program with tradition, 21 major leaguers, 12 regional appearances and a trip to Omaha in 2012. The program has great former players, a fantastic alumni base and a great university and community behind it. I look forward to replicating and building upon the great program that Scott Stricklin and the coaches before him have built.
“I would like to thank Joel Nielsen and Janet Kittell for their professionalism during the search and their confidence in me to lead Kent State into the future,” Duncan continued. “I look forward to meeting everyone in the coming days and getting to work.”
Duncan spent four seasons at Purdue, helping lead the team to a school-record 45 wins in 2012, including a Big Ten Regular Season Championship, Big Ten Tournament Championship and a NCAA Regional Host. He was named associate head coach in September of 2012. Duncan was named the assistant in the Big Ten most ready for a head coaching job by College Baseball Insider and was listed as one of the top assistant coaches in the nation by Baseball America.
While a part of the Boilermakers program, Duncan served as the hitting, base running and outfield coach and also as the recruiting coordinator. He signed three recruiting classes that were ranked nationally by Collegiate Baseball Magazine. He helped lead the Purdue program to 133 wins in his four years on staff.
Prior to Purdue, Duncan was an assistant coach at Auburn University from August 2008 to September 2009 where he served as the third base coach and assisted with the team’s offense and outfielders. While there, he coached nine position players that were drafted by Major League Baseball and helped the team set a single-season record of 103 home runs.
Duncan played baseball professionally for nine seasons in the Mets, Padres, Blue Jays and Dodgers organizations. He spent two of those years at the Major League level with the Mets during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Duncan also was a three-time All-Star selection while in the Minor Leagues. He was drafted twice: in the seventh round by the Mets in 2000 and in the 1997 MLB Draft by the Cubs out of high school.
Before going pro, Duncan played baseball at Arizona State. Batting .360 in his career as a Sun Devil, Duncan was captain of the 2000 team that went on to win a PAC-10 Championship.
Duncan and his wife, Lauren, have one son, Bryce, who is eight months old.
For more information about Kent State Athletics, visit www.kentstatesports.com.