Orloff joining 'Eaters coaching staff


One of UCI's all-time great players set to become assistant coach. Shine leaving, perhaps CSUN-bound.

June 18, 2013|By Barry Faulkner

A spokesman for UC Irvine athletics confirmed Tuesday that the school was making changes to its baseball program, adding validity to a published report on Monday that former UCI All-American Ben Orloff had joined the program as an assistant coach and that Associate Head Coach Pat Shine had left.

UCI baseball coach Mike Gillespie and UCI Athletic Director Mike Izzi did not return phone messages Monday or Tuesday asking for comment and Associate A.D. for Athletic Communications, Bob Olson, said in an email on Tuesday that "some changes are being made with the UCI baseball program, but we can't get into specifics at this time."

Kendall Rogers, a national college baseball reporter representing Perfect Game USA Baseball, reported on Twitter on Monday that Shine was out and Orloff, who retired recently as a minor-league player in the Houston Astros organization, had been added to the staff.

Additional sources close to the UCI program also stated that such a change had occurred.


It remains to be seen what role Orloff will assume on a staff that includes assistant Bob Macaluso and volunteer pitching coach Daniel Bibona, both of whom are expected to return. Macaluso has spent six seasons on the staff while Bibona, a former UCI All-American pitcher whose professional career was cut short by an arm injury, was a first-year coach in 2013.

Shine, rumored to be a candidate for the head-coaching vacancy at Cal State Northridge, worked six seasons under Gillespie as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. Shine was also an assistant at UCI from 2002 through 2004 under then-coach John Savage.

Gillespie, who has one year remaining on a two-year contract extension to a five-year deal he signed when he took over before the 2008 season, has failed to guide the team to NCAA regional berths each of the last two seasons, halting the Anteaters' run of six straight years in the postseason.

The aforementioned postseason streak included the program's only appearance in the College World Series in 2007, as well as Super Regional appearances in 2008 and 2011.

But after averaging 42.3 wins in the first four seasons under Gillespie, 73, a member of the American Baseball Coaches Assn. Hall of Fame who is four wins shy of 1,000 in 26 seasons as a Division I head coach, UCI averaged just 32 wins the last two seasons.

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