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Eric Valenzuela Nominated for National Pitching Coach of the Year

July 23, 2007

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego 's fourth-year assistant coach Eric Valenzuela has been nominated for the 2007 National Pitching Coach of the Year Award.  Valenzuela has been an integral part of the Toreros record-setting success this past season.  He helped guide the Toreros to a program-best No. 4 National raking, a No. 8 National Seed in the NCAA Regionals and the program's first 40-win season.  Valenzuela is also the head recruiting coordinator for the Toreros baseball team and he has helped to bring in one of the nation's top classes for the 2008 season.  With his recruiting efforts since his arrival at USD, the Torero baseball program has been taken to new heights. 


A native of West Covina, the 28-yea old Valenzuela no stranger to coaching having served as an assistant coach at St. Mary's College for two seasons (2002 & 2003). While at St. Mary's, Valenzuela coordinated much of the team's community programs, including directing youth camps and clinics. Valenzuela served as the Gaels third base coach, managed recruiting efforts and also directed the team's strength and conditioning program. Valenzuela's background in developing young talent includes managing the pitching staff of the Brewster White Caps of the Cape Code League in 2003.


Valenzuela garnered All-America honors as a prep athlete at Bishop Amat High School and went on to accept a baseball scholarship at Arizona State University where he was a member of the Sun Devil's 1998 College World Series team. After transferring to Pepperdine, Valenzuela would be honored as the Wave's team captain his senior year, leading Pepperdine to the 2001 West Coast Conference Championship title.


Valenzuela graduated from Pepperdine in 2001 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice. His father, Victor, was an assistant boxing coach for the United States in the 1984 Olympic Games and currently runs the Azusa Boxing Club in East Los Angeles. Valenzuela and his wife Betty reside in downtown San Diego .


Below is a list of accomplishments that Valenzuela helped the Toreros achieve this past season.


Under Valenzuela's Guidance USD has...

ü       Two All-American Pitchers (Brian Matusz, Josh Romanski)

ü       One Freshman All-American (Closer AJ Griffin)

ü       Two Team USA Pitchers (Josh Romanski, Brian Matusz)

ü       2008 Recruiting ranked No. 6 nationally by StudentSportsBaseball.com

ü       Team posted a 3.37 ERA, eighth best in the nation

ü       Best Team ERA in the West Coast Conference

ü       Four All-WCC Pitchers

ü       Three WCC Pitcher's of the Month

ü       Three National Pitcher of the Week

ü       Four WCC Pitcher of the Week

ü       Two pitchers named to the College Baseball Foundation's National Honor Roll

ü       One Player named as a quarterfinalist for the Wallace Award

ü       Brian Matusz named Insidepitching.com's West Region Pitcher of the Year


What Others are Saying about Coach Valenzuela...

"Eric Valenzuela is one of the premiere pitching coaches/assistance coaches in the country! There is no way we would have Brian Matusz, Josh Romanski and AJ Griffin here at USD without him (please note team USA & All-American achievements). The development of these guys in particular has been amazing! All of our pitchers have taken it to the next level physically and mentally. Our recruiting class is top ten also".

- Rich Hill, Head Coach University of San Diego


"Eric Valenzuela is one of the bright young coaching minds in college baseball.  Not only is he a terrific coach, but an outstanding person and wonderful role model for the young men he coaches.  Eric has a great feel for pitching and a tremendous ability to articulate his points and get the most out of a player."

- Pat Murphy, Head Coach Arizona State University


"Eric Valenzuela is one of the up and coming bright pitching coaches in America . His dedication to his pupils and their development is unmatched. It's no secret why the University of San Diego baseball has been so successful with his tireless work."

- Dave Serrano, Head Coach UC Irvine


"After having two University of San Diego pitchers with us on Team USA ,  its obvious that Coach Valenzuela knows what he is talking about."

- Mike Weathers, Head Coach Long Beach State/Team USA