Former Long Beach State head coach Troy Buckley will join the Nevada baseball staff as announced by head coach T.J. Bruce today. Buckley will assist Bruce and serve as an associate head coach and work with the pitchers for the Wolf Pack.

“We are very excited about Troy joining the program,” said Bruce. “He is a dedicated coach who is not only one of the best pitching coaches in the west, but in the country. He will bring tremendous passion and energy to the program.”

In his collegiate coaching career, Buckley has coached 31 major leaguers, with 99 players getting drafted and five going in the first round. As an assistant and head coach at Long Beach State, he made nine postseason appearances including three trips to NCAA Super Regionals.

“I am extremely excited and thankful to be part of the University of Nevada,” said Buckley. “I would especially like to thank Doug Knuth and T.J. Bruce for their trust and for this opportunity. I am looking forward to serving the student-athletes, the program, the university and the community of Reno with the goals of excellence and a return to the post season. Go Pack!”

Buckley has had an illustrious baseball career, beginning as a standout catcher for three years at Santa Clara University where he was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year and second-team All-American in 1988. That season, he slashed .442 with 82 RBI with both marks setting single-season school records.

The Los Altos, Calif. native was drafted in the ninth round of the 1989 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins, and was in the minor leagues from 1990-1995 where he played as high as Triple-AAA before becoming a coach.

Buckley began his coaching career with the Montreal Expos Double-AA affiliate as a hitting instructor and third base coach. Following that season, he became a pitching coach for the Gulf Coast League Expos before returning to his alma mater from 1998-2000 to serve as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator with the Broncos.

Following three seasons at Santa Clara, Buckley took on the same role at Long Beach State, where he made a huge impact on the storied program. In 2002, he helped the Dirtbags post a 2.99 ERA which ranked fifth nationally and coached current Nevada volunteer assistant Abe Alvarez to Big West Pitcher of the Year honors.

The following year, Buckley coached another big leaguer in Jared Weaver to two more dominant seasons as LBSU reached the Super Regionals with a 39-21 record. Weaver then led the staff to a 3.11 ERA in 2004 under Buckley’s guidance, which ranked as the fourth-best nationally. 

Weaver was selected 12th overall in the 2004 MLB Draft after posting a 15-1 record, 1.62 ERA and 213 strikeouts while being named the National Player of the Year that season. Buckley led the Dirtbags to a Division I best 2.53 ERA the following year after losing his ace.

Along with Weaver and Alvarez, Jason Vargas, Cesar Ramos, Andrew Carpenter, Bryan Shaw, Andrew Liebel, Vance Worley and Andrew Gagnon were all drafted in the first three rounds of the MLB Draft after being coached by Buckley.

After spending two seasons as a pitching coordinator in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system, Buckley returned to the Dirtbags as the team’s associate head coach. The following season, he was named the head coach of the LBSU baseball team.

In three of his seasons at the helm, Buckley led the Dirtbags to NCAA Regional appearances in 2014 and 2016, with a NCAA Super Regional berth in 2017. That year, Buckley led LBSU to a 42-20-1 record and Big West Conference championship with a 20-4 record.  He was named the Big West Coach of the Year that same season as his Dirtbags were ranked No. 8 in the nation by Baseball America, as eight players from that team went on to be drafted.

Buckley will join a Nevada staff that has finished in the top-four in the conference all four years under Bruce, including a Mountain West regular-season championship in 2018. Bruce played under Buckley during LBSU’s dominant 2004 season, and served as an assistant coach for the Dirtbags for five seasons, including under Buckley.

(University of Nevada)