Thursday, April 19

Baseball coach John Savage extends contract with UCLA

John Savage was named National Coach of the Year by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper after guiding UCLA to a title.

John Savage was named National Coach of the Year by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper after guiding UCLA to a title. Katie Meyers / Daily Bruin

This post was updated at 5:56 p.m.

After winning the program’s first national championship and bringing home multiple awards recognizing him as the nation’s top coach, UCLA baseball coach John Savage and UCLA agreed to terms on a contract extension that will keep him in Westwood until 2025. The deal was approved today by the UC Board of Regents.

“Total excitement,” Savage said when asked how he felt about the extension.

“Very thankful for (Athletic Director) Dan Guerrero and (UCLA Chancellor) Gene Block and the entire administration for having faith in myself and our program and (I) couldn’t be happier to be a Bruin and it’s an honor and privilege to be able to carry on the tradition of UCLA baseball and just very, very excited.”

Guerrero reciprocated that sentiment, expressing his appreciation and respect for the work Savage has done building the team.

“I cannot begin to express how much John Savage means to this program and to our university,” Guerrero said in a statement.

“We’ve been together for many years, and this commitment is well-deserved for a person as extraordinary as John. … We are thrilled to have John leading our program and are very excited for the future of UCLA Baseball.”

Savage, who just completed his ninth season at UCLA, was named Coach of the Year by both Baseball America and College Baseball Newspaper, and was one of seven finalists for’s National Coach of the Year award.

In Savage’s nine seasons as head coach of UCLA baseball, his teams have reached the postseason seven times, and have reached the College World Series three of the past four years. That stretch culminated with a national championship this year, after sweeping Mississippi State in the CWS Championship Series.

Beyond the success of his teams, Savage also helped develop many successful players. Sixty-five of his players have been selected in the MLB Draft, most notably Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer in 2011, who were chosen No. 1 and No. 3 overall, respectively. This year, seven UCLA players were selected.

After the Bruins 10-0 playoff run to end the season, UCLA was not alone in trying to get Savage to sign a contract. According to an L.A. Times report last week, Savage turned down an offer from USC, where he previously served as a pitching coach, for more than $1 million, although Savage declined to comment on the report, saying he wanted to focus on enjoying UCLA’s national title instead. UCLA did not disclose details on Savage’s new salary.

Compiled by Kevin Bowman, Bruin Sports senior staff.

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