Eric Valenzuela

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Eric Valenzuela
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamLong Beach State
ConferenceBig West
Record0–0 (–)
Biographical details
Born (1978-07-22) July 22, 1978 (age 41)
Covina, California
Playing career
1997Arizona State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2002–2003Saint Mary's (asst.)
2004–2009San Diego (asst.)
2010–2013San Diego State (asst.)
2014–2019Saint Mary’s
2020–presentLong Beach State
Head coaching record
Overall180–156 (.536)
Tournaments0–2 (NCAA)
Accomplishments and honors
As player:

As assistant coach:

As head coach:

  • WCC Tournament (2016)
  • WCC regular season (2016)
  • WCC Coach of the Year (2016)

Eric Matthew Valenzuela (born July 22, 1978) in an American college baseball coach and current head coach at Long Beach State.

Early life and education[edit]

Born and raised in Covina, California, Valenzuela graduated from Bishop Amat Memorial High School. A pitcher, Valenzuela attended Arizona State University from 1996 to 1998 and played as a true freshman with the Arizona State Sun Devils baseball team in 1997, with 3.0 innings pitched in two appearances.[1] Valenzuela redshirted during the 1998 season, during which Arizona State made the College World Series.[2][3] Among his teammates at Arizona State were future NFL quarterback Chad Pennington and future MLB outfielder Willie Bloomquist.[3] Valenzuela transferred to Pepperdine for the remainder of his college career, which spanned from 1999 to 2001.[2]

As a sophomore at Pepperdine in 1999, Valenzuela made three appearances with 1.2 innings pitched on a team that won the West Coast Conference West Division and made the NCAA Regional Finals.[4][5] In 2000, Valenzuela made 16 appearances with 13 starts and one complete game, with a 5–4 record and 4.20 ERA and helped Pepperdine win a second straight WCC West Division title.[5][6] Valenzuela made 13 appearances with seven starts with a 1–2 record and team-worst 7.20 ERA, as a senior on the 2001 Pepperdine team that won not only a third straight WCC West Division title but also the WCC Tournament that automatically qualified the team for the NCAA Tournament.[5][7] Valenzuela graduated from Pepperdine in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Assistant coach (2002–2013)[edit]

From 2002 to 2003, Valenzuela served as an assistant at Saint Mary's under John Baptista. He then served as pitching coach at the University of San Diego (USD) under Rich Hill from 2004 to 2009, during which USD made three straight NCAA Tournaments from 2006 to 2008 and won back-to-back WCC regular season and tournament titles combined in 2007 and 2008.[5] At USD, Valenzuela built two nationally recognized recruiting classes, first in 2006 named among "Dandy Dozen" by Baseball America and the 2008 class that Baseball America ranked as the best nationally.[8] He also coached 2008 WCC Pitcher of the Year and fourth overall selection in the MLB Draft Brian Matusz, in addition to other future Major Leaguers A. J. Griffin and Sammy Solis.[8][9]

On September 15, 2009, rival San Diego State hired Valenzuela to be pitching coach on the staff of Tony Gwynn.[10][11] Serving as pitching coach from 2010 to 2013, Valenzuela brought in two recruiting classes in 2010 and 2011 ranked in the Baseball America top 25 and coached future MLB pitcher Addison Reed at San Diego State.[2][12] Thanks to a pitching staff that dominated many statistical categories in the Mountain West Conference, the 2013 San Diego State team won the 2013 Mountain West Conference Baseball Tournament for its first conference title since 2000 and first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2009.[2]

Saint Mary's (2014–2019)[edit]

On July 31, 2013, he was hired as head coach at Saint Mary's.[2] After going 16–39 in 2014, Saint Mary's improved to 28–27 in 2015. In 2016, Valenzuela led Saint Mary's to a 33–25 record with the first WCC Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, for which he earned WCC Coach of the Year honors.[2]

Long Beach State[edit]

On June 9, 2019, Valenzuela was named the head coach of the Long Beach State Dirtbags baseball program.[13]

Head coaching record[edit]

Below is a table of Valenzuela's yearly records as an NCAA head baseball coach.

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Saint Mary's Gaels (West Coast Conference) (2014–2019)
2014 Saint Mary's 16–39 8–19 9th[14]
2015 Saint Mary's 28–27 10–17 T–8th[15]
2016 Saint Mary's 33–25 18–9 T–1st[16] NCAA Regional
2017 Saint Mary's 37–20 18–9 T–4th[17]
2018 Saint Mary's 31–23 14–13 5th[18]
2019 Saint Mary's 35–22 17–10 3rd
Saint Mary's: 180–156 (.536) 85–75 (.531)
Long Beach State Dirtbags (Big West Conference) (2020–present)
2020 Long Beach State 0–0 0–0
Long Beach State: 0–0 (–) 0–0 (–)
Total: 180–156 (.536)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1997 Arizona State Season Statistics (Baseball)". Arizona State University. Archived from the original on February 19, 1999. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Eric Valenzuela". Saint Mary's Gaels. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Arizona State Season Statistics". Arizona State University. June 8, 1998. Archived from the original on December 1, 1998. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  4. ^ "1999 Pepperdine stats" (PDF). Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d 2018 WCC Baseball Almanac (PDF). West Coast Conference. pp. 25, 29.
  6. ^ "2000 Pepperdine stats" (PDF). Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  7. ^ "2001 Pepperdine stats" (PDF). Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Eric Valenzuela". University of San Diego. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  9. ^ Kenney, Kirk (March 1, 2010). "Aztecs, coach have eventful weekend". San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on March 4, 2010. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  10. ^ "Aztec baseball names Eric Valenzuela pitching coach". San Diego State Aztecs. September 15, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  11. ^ "Eric Valenzuela Bio". San Diego State Aztecs. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  12. ^ Hammon, Stephanie (August 6, 2013). "New Saint Mary's College baseball coach Eric Valenzuela has strong credentials". Contra Costa Times. Archived from the original on January 1, 2017. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  13. ^ Mike Guardabascio & JJ Fiddler (June 9, 2019). "Dirtbags Hire Eric Valenzuela As Next Head Coach". Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  14. ^ "WCCSPORTS.COM :: West Coast Conference Official Athletic Site West Coast Conference Official Athletic Site :: Baseball". Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  15. ^ "WCCSPORTS.COM :: West Coast Conference Official Athletic Site West Coast Conference Official Athletic Site :: Baseball". Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  16. ^ "The Automated ScoreBook : STANDINGS (as of Jun 09, 2016)" (PDF). Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  17. ^ "2017 West Coast Conference Baseball Standings". West Coast Conference. June 5, 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  18. ^ "2018 West Coast Conference Baseball Standings". West Coast Conference. May 25, 2018. Retrieved May 29, 2018.