Tulane removes interim tag, promotes Jay Uhlman to head baseball coach

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Jay Uhlman
(Photo: Parker Waters)

Redondo Beach, California native to lead Green Wave’s baseball program 

NEW ORLEANS – Ben Weiner Director of Athletics Chair Troy Dannen announced Tuesday that Tulane has removed the interim tag from Jay Uhlman, as the latter has been installed as the program’s head baseball coach.

Uhlman was promoted from assistant to interim head coach in May, leading the program to three victories and a trip to the American Athletic Conference’s semifinal round for the second time in as many years. His 2022 recruiting class was ranked 25th by D1Baseball.com.

“I’m thrilled to be able to announce that Jay will remain a part of the Green Wave baseball program as our head coach,” said Dannen. “He has proven to be an outstanding recruiter and has demonstrated great tenacity in building this program. He brings head coaching experience, along with tremendous passion and love for the city of New Orleans and Tulane University. After evaluating Jay against a number of other assistant and head coaches during the search process, it became clear the best candidate was already in our midst.”

A veteran with over 24 years of experience as both an assistant and head coach, Uhlman joined the Green Wave staff on July 15, 2019.

In his first season, Uhlman helped guide Tulane to a 15-2 mark during the 2020 campaign – the program’s best start to a season since 1972. Tulane’s 15 wins at the end of the shortened season were tied for the most in the AAC. In addition, the Green Wave had five players with a batting average of .300-or-better. Following the season, outfielder Hudson Haskin was selected in the second round of the Major League Baseball Draft.

In 2021, catcher Bennett Lee and shortstop Collin Burns were each named to the AAC’s first team with Lee being tabbed the league’s Newcomer Position Player of the Year. Burns also made the conference’s All-Tournament Team, after hitting .381 with a pair of doubles, a triple, one home run and 11 RBI in Clearwater, Florida. The duo then went on to claim All-South Region honors, in addition to All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA. Burns was also a national finalist for the Brooks Wallace National Shortstop of the Year award.

Burns, a sixth-round selection by the Baltimore Orioles, was one of five Green Wave student athletes taken in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft. He was joined by Braden Olthoff (Los Angeles Angels, ninth round), Donovan Benoit (Cincinnati Reds, 10th round), Keagan Gillies (Baltimore Orioles, 15th round) and Jack Aldrich (Kansas City Royals, 20th round).

Uhlman arrived at Tulane after he spent eight seasons as a member of the University of Oregon staff and was the associate head coach for the last three.

A native of Redondo Beach, California, Uhlman has spent time coaching in the junior college ranks while also having stints in the Western Athletic Conference, Pac-12 and Big 12 conferences. During his career, Uhlman has coached and recruited 85 all-conference honorees, 22 All-Americans and seven league players of the year. He has had 106 players go on to play professionally, with 24 reaching the Major League Baseball ranks.

As the assistant, and then associate head coach at Oregon, Uhlman served as the team’s recruiting coordinator. He also coached hitting, worked with the infielders, base running, opponent scouting and coached third base. He also assisted with team travel, scheduling, developed the practice schedule and assisted as a liaison with the compliance and academic departments on campus.

During his last nine years with the Ducks, Uhlman was part of a program that won 60 percent of its games, including a three-year stretch with 40-plus victories from 2012-14. In 2013, Oregon won a program-record 48 games and finished second in the league with a 22-8 record. During that stint, the Ducks qualified for the NCAA Tournament in four consecutive seasons, twice being selected as an overall national seed, and hosted an NCAA Super Regional in 2012.

In six of his last seven seasons with Oregon, Uhlman’s classes were consistently ranked in the top 40 by Perfect Game, including bringing in a host of players who went on to earn All-America and all-conference honors. During that time, Oregon had a player named as a finalist for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year three times, two semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy and three semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award.

Fifty (50) of Uhlman’s Oregon players went on to play professionally, with two being first round picks in the MLB Draft. Ten of those players have gone on to play in the majors.

For one season in 2011, Uhlman served as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Kansas, helping pull in a class that Perfect Game ranked 32nd nationally. He served as the Jayhawks’ hitting coach and worked on the offense, as four players earned All-Big 12 honors and six were Big 12 All-Academic picks.

Uhlman began his tenure at Oregon in the summer of 2009, as he served as the Ducks’ volunteer assistant coach, working with the hitters and being the head of on-campus recruiting efforts. In the team’s second year as a varsity sport (after being dormant for 28 years), Oregon tied the NCAA record for turnaround wins in a season, going from 14 in 2009 to 40 in 2010. Oregon also went from winning four conference games to 13, qualifying for the NCAA Storrs Regional at UConn.

Prior to moving to Eugene, Uhlman returned to his alma mater in 2001 as the assistant coach at Nevada. He was the team’s hitting and infield coach, helping drive recruiting efforts and overseeing the Wolf Pack’s camps and clinics. Nevada qualified for the WAC Tournament from 2006-2009, finishing second in the league three times.

Forty-two (42) Wolf Pack players were All-WAC selections, with three players earning WAC Freshman of the Year honors and one garnering WAC Player of the Year acclaim. During his stint, 42 players went on to play professionally, with 12 being called up to Major League Baseball.

Uhlman earned his bachelor’s degree from Nevada in 1998, going on to serve as a graduate assistant for the Wolf Pack for a season. He then moved on to be the assistant coach at L.A. Harbor Junior College. In 1999, he became the head coach for two seasons at LAHC, eventually finishing with an overall record of 61-22-2 and 35-15 in the South Coast Conference.

In 2001, Uhlman’s Seahawks went 33-6-1 on the season and 20-4 in the SCC to claim the league and regional championship, as he was named the conference’s coach of the year. Twenty-four (24) total players were named All-SCC, including having the conference’s pitcher of the year among six All-California Community College Athletic Association picks and two NCJAA All-Americans.

An All-CIF performer at Redondo Union High School, Uhlman culminated his prep career by being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. He moved on to LAHC where he was a two-time all-conference and All-Southern California shortstop.

He then finished his collegiate career playing at Nevada in 1995 and 1997, the latter seeing him earn honorable mention All-Big West Conference honors as a shortstop. The Wolf Pack led the NCAA in double plays and double plays per game during Uhlman’s senior season, advancing to the Lubbock Regional before the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams.

“I first want to thank Troy (Dannen) for the opportunity to lead this program,” Uhlman said. “Tulane Baseball has such a rich history and tradition and we want to see this program back on top, where it belongs. Emily and I are thrilled to be part of that process and look forward to making that a reality.”

Uhlman will be officially introduced at a Tulane event Friday afternoon at the Wilson Center.

Uhlman and his wife Emily have a daughter, Zoey, and two sons, Kai and Sawyer.

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