As the West Coast League and its partners look forward to a holiday season with family and friends, we as a league wish our loyal coaching friends and wonderful partner schools the very best during the holidays and this upcoming spring.
The WCL is fast approaching its 12th season in 2016, and is thankful to have forged such mutually-beneficial relationships with college coaches over its first 11 years. The west’s leading summer collegiate baseball league is grateful to work with some of the very best coaches; to serve them, their programs and their student-athletes.
Delivering the very best fan and player experiences in the west has resulted in a trust that is appreciated by each and every WCL member club. Confidence and long-term bonds have resulted in several endorsements from leading head coaches in the Pac-12, Big West and West Coast Conferences; testimony that makes the league very proud and appreciative.
The most recent of which comes from University of Washington skipper Lindsay Meggs. The Huskies have been placing players in the WCL since the league’s inception, and the relationship continues to get better and better every season.
“The West Coast League is great for player development. The league is competitive, the coaches are talented, and the players are well taken care of. The WCL is everything you want from a collegiate summer league,” said Meggs.
Lindsay’s son Joe Meggs, the director of baseball operations at University of Washington, will return for a second season as an assistant coach with the Victoria HarbourCats in 2016. Joe’s younger brother Jack Meggs, a junior outfielder at UW, played for the Bellingham Bells in 2013.
Conference of Champions – PAC-12
Two-time National Champion head coach Pat Casey of the Oregon State Beavers of the Pac-12 has always been very supportive of the west’s leading summer league.
“The West Coast League has been a great collegiate league for our players to compete in during the summer,” said Casey.
National Champion head coach John Savage of UCLA is yet another Pac-12 coach to entrust his kids to the WCL.
“The West Coast League provides the college player with a great experience in regards to competition, ballparks and organizations. UCLA has had many players get better in the WCL,” said Savage.
Former Pac-12 head coach Mike Gillespie, who won a national title in 1998 at USC, is now the skipper of the highly successful UC Irvine Anteaters program of the Big West.
Like Meggs, Casey and Savage; coach Gillespie is a big fan of the WCL and has placed many players in the league over the years, and most of his top freshmen.
“The West Coast League is on the shortest list of best summer opportunities anywhere in the nation for the college baseball player,” said Gillespie.
WCL Best for Big West and WCC
UC Irvine is one of many BWC programs that send players to the Pacific Northwest following their spring seasons, as the West Coast League is the Big West’s preferred summer home west of the Mississippi.
Perennial contender Cal Poly San Luis Obispo – Big West champions in 2014 – places most of their freshmen in the league.
“The West Coast League has had a big impact on our program. The majority of our rosters have played in the WCL and have returned to Cal Poly better players,” said Cal Poly head coach Larry Lee.
Two up-and-coming head coaches – Andrew Checketts at UC Santa Barbara and Geoff Loomis at University of Portland – got their college coaching careers started with the Aloha Knights, now the Corvallis Knights of the West Coast League, and have placed some of their best student-athletes in the league.
“The West Coast League has been a fantastic training ground for our players. Across the board our players have returned to campus with an exceptional summer baseball experience and improved skills,” said Andrew Checketts.
Under Checketts’ leadership, UC Santa Barbara hosted an NCAA Regional last spring while Loomis had another successful season as the skipper at Pacific Lutheran (NCAA DIII); where he placed his very best players in the WCL. An alum of UP, Loomis was hired this past summer to lead the Portland Pilots of the West Coast Conference.
Loomis’ natural WCC rival – Gonzaga – has historically placed its very best players in the WCL (including four Zags who have earned WCL MVP honors) as both Bulldogs head coaches during the WCL era, Steve Hertz and Mark Machtolf, have shown an affinity for the West Coast League.
“Portland and the West Coast League have been great partners since the inception of the league. When I send one of our players to the WCL, I know they will be treated with professionalism and care,” said the Pilots new head coach, Geoff Loomis.
ABOUT THE WEST COAST LEAGUE
The West Coast League is the premier summer collegiate baseball league west of the Mississippi. The twelve-year-old, eleven-team, professionally-operated wood-bat league located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest features pro prospects from major conferences across the nation and an unparalleled history out west of great fan and player experiences – not to mention the best summer weather in North America. In 2015, 59 players with WCL experience were selected in the MLB June draft, and over 200 WCL alums appeared in affiliated professional baseball including 25 in the big leagues such as MLB home run leader Chris Davis (Baltimore), NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Matt Duffy (San Francisco) and rising star pitchers Matt Andriese (Tampa Bay) and James Paxton (Seattle). Overall member attendance exceeded 400,000 last season. The 2016 54-game campaign opens Friday, June 3.