Another standout assistant will make his way to Starkville, as MSU baseball head coach John Cohen has announced Mike Brown as the Diamond Dawgs’ new camps coordinator and volunteer assistant.
Brown joins the 2016 SEC Champions after spending the last two seasons at New Mexico State as the Aggies’ assistant coach. Brown helped oversee New Mexico State’s hitters, hitting system and coached third base, while also overseeing the NMSU outfield. Brown was an instrumental part in NMSU making the biggest turnaround in college baseball last season, as the Aggies won 23 more games than the 2015 season, finishing 34-23.
“Michael Brown has one of the great young baseball minds in the country,” Cohen said. “His tremendous success at each stop along the way and his ability to blaze his own trail within the collegiate baseball community made him the right fit for Mississippi State.”
“I’m honored to be part of this historic program,” Brown said. “Having played and coached in the SEC, I have always had a tremendous admiration for Mississippi State baseball. I look forward to this incredible opportunity.”
Under Brown’s leadership, the Aggies’ offense made impressive strides from 2015 and dominated the Western Athletic Conference, leading the way in a multitude of categories. In total, NMSU led the WAC in batting (.297), slugging percentage (.445), runs (371), RBIs (344), doubles (112), home runs (49), HBPs (65) and total bases (887).
Brown’s leadership also helped provide one of the best individual seasons in New Mexico State history, as junior outfielder Daniel Johnson became the first Aggie since 2009 to earn All-American honors. Along with being named to the ABCA/Rawlings All-American Third Team, Johnson also garnered WAC Player of the Year honors, All-WAC Team laurels and was listed to the ABCA/Rawlings First Team All-Region.
Along with Johnson, the 2016 season saw the Aggies have the first All-American pitcher in school history, as Kyle Bradish was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. In total, Brown and NMSU had two All-Americans, one conference player of the year and five total All-WAC honorees.
Prior to joining the Aggies, Brown spent two years working at the University of Kentucky under current MSU pitching coach Gary Henderson. In his two seasons at UK, Brown helped direct the Wildcats to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament and an NCAA Regional Finals appearance. Brown had a number of responsibilities with the Wildcats, including serving as first-base coach for six Southeastern Conference games. Brown assisted in practice management, planning and coordination, while also working directly with the Wildcat hitters.
Once again, Brown’s offensive prowess was on display, as the Wildcats led the SEC in batting (.299), runs (472), home runs (60), RBIs (423), slugging percentage (.446), on-base percentage (.398) and HBP (109).
In his two seasons as UK’s graduate assistant coach, Brown helped develop one of the top players in collegiate baseball history in A.J. Reed. Reed was a dominant double threat, sweeping the national awards while leading the NCAA in home runs, slugging percentage and OPS and pacing the rigorous SEC in wins on the mound. Reed’s success led him to be named the unanimous national player of the year and the highest-drafted player under Brown (2nd round, Houston Astros, 2014).
Brown also served on the UK coaching staff in 2008 under both Cohen and Henderson, his first season after starring on the diamond for the Wildcats in 2007.
The Woodland, Calif, native was also the manager for the Fulton Railroaders Summer Baseball Club in the Ohio Valley League during the summer of 2014. Brown managed the team to a 22-18 record, finishing second place in the league. The Railroaders capped the year on a high note, winning 12 of their last 14 games, losing their final two in the playoffs. The Railroaders led the Ohio Valley League in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, total hits and walks under Brown’s management.
The summer prior, Brown spent time with the Amsterdam Mohawks in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL). As an assistant coach, he helped coordinate the offense while also helping on the defensive side. The Amsterdam Mohawks Baseball Club won the PGCBL Championship with a record of 25-18, while winning 20 of its last 22 games.
Brown arrived to Kentucky after spending the past three years as the director of baseball of KOA Sports. There he coached the 16-and-under and the 18-and-under showcase teams. While expanding the KOA Sports name, Brown held after-school clinics and served as a mentor to kids both on and off the field.
Brown graduated from UK in 2008, earning a degree in agricultural economics. Immediately following graduation, Brown served as a student assistant to the Wildcats baseball program, with UK winning a school-record 44 games and advancing to the championship game of the 2008 NCAA Ann Arbor Regional. Brown also helped develop two All-American positon players in Sawyer Carroll (OF) and Collin Cowgill (OF).
As a former baseball player at UK from 2006-2007, Brown led the Wildcats to a historic pair of seasons and finished with his name all over the Wildcats’ record book. After helping UK to the 2006 SEC Championship and hosting an NCAA Regional in his first season as a reserve utility man, Brown emerged as a star for SEC Coach of the Year Cohen’s 2007 squad. Brown led the club with a .369 average (8th in the SEC) and 68 runs. Brown’s 1.28 average runs scored per game earned him a ninth-place finish in the NCAA that season as well. He finished 2007 ranked seventh in single-season history in runs, ninth in on-base percentage (.486), fourth in sac bunts (12) and ninth in hit by pitches (18).
He also played for Cuesta College before transferring to UK, where he was the only player in school history with a career average over .400 after earning a scorching .409 clip. In 2005, Brown was awarded the Western State Conference Player of the Year and was also named a California Junior College Baseball All-American. Brown was also recognized for being the Cuesta Athlete of the Year in 2005.
In his nine years in the coaching field, Brown helped produce top collegiate talent that has advanced to the professional level. Brown has had 23 players drafted, including six in the top five rounds. Four of those players have reached the highest level in baseball, playing in the Majors.
Brown was born in Woodland, Calif. and is the son of Scott and Sandra Brown, with an older brother, Rich. Brown earned his masters of education in sports management and leadership in June 2014 from Kentucky.
(From MSU Media Relations)