Kinkelaar spent eight years with the program, including five as the pitching coach
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Tom Kinkelaar File
Tom Kinkelaar, a former college teammate of Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall and the Yellow Jackets' pitching instructor, is in his fifth season an assistant coach and eighth with the Yellow Jacket baseball program.
Kinkelaar took over as the pitching coach prior to the 2008 season after spending his first three years on the Flats as the Yellow Jackets' director of baseball operations.
Well-respected by his players and fellow coaches alike, Kinkelaar has been instrumental in developing the Georgia Tech pitching staff into one of the top units in the conference and country during his first three seasons. Since taking over his position as an assistant, Kinkelaar has had 10 of his hurlers drafted in the MLB First-Year player draft, including first-rounders' Jed Bradley (15th overall, 2011) and Deck McGuire (13th overall, 2010) in back-to-back seasons. Neither Bradley nor McGuire had previously been drafted out of high school.
In 2011 alone, Georgia Tech pitchers posted a 2.76 team ERA, the second lowest in school history. Only the 1971 staff's 2.65 ERA was lower. Junior pitcher Mark Pope earned All-America honors and set a modern day school record for career complete game shutouts with four. Three of Kinkelaar's pitchers earned All-ACC honors, while four were selected in the MLB draft.
The 2010 season was equally as strong as the one that would follow. The group would post a 4.02 ERA, the lowest since the 1994 season. Three of Kinkelaar's pitchers from that staff were drafted in the 2010 MLB first-year player draft. Deck McGuire earned All-America honors for the second-straight season and added a First Team All-ACC honor.
In 2009, right-handed star McGuire was named the ACC Pitcher of the Year - becoming the first pitcher in Tech history to earn the honor. McGuire went on to earn first team All-America honors, the first Tech pitcher to do so since Chuck Crowder in 1998. He was also a finalist for National Pitcher of the Year. Another pitcher, Zach Von Tersch, was selected by the New York Mets in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. The staff as a whole ranked in the top five in the conference in ERA, Strikeouts and wins, and among the top 15 in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings.
A year earlier in 2008, Kinkelaar was responsible for the development of five freshmen - more than one-third of the entire pitching staff - in his first year directing the Yellow Jacket hurlers. One of those newcomers, McGuire, became the first Yellow Jacket pitcher in five years to earn Freshman All-America accolades while another member of his starting staff, junior David Duncan, became the first Tech pitcher to receive all-ACC recognition since 2005.
Kinkelaar's first pitching staff made an immediate impact in 2008, turning in back-to-back shutouts to begin a season for the first time since 1925. Those two shutouts were followed by a one-run outing to help Tech to the fewest runs given up in a three-game series in nearly 99 years. His squad combined for five shutouts on the season, the most since Tech's 2002 College World Series campaign.
Kinkelaar brings a wealth of experience to the coaching staff, as he has served in various coaching capacities over the last 30 years. Prior to 2008, his last collegiate coaching stint came at his alma mater, Miami (Ohio), where he served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator from 1996-99. Working primarily with the RedHawk pitching staff, Kinkelaar had 12 pitchers drafted into professional baseball during his three years in Oxford. He had four drafted following his first year at Georgia Tech.
Prior to his arrival on the Flats, Kinkelaar completed a successful four-year stint as a teacher and head basketball coach at Wakefield High School in Raleigh, N.C., where he led the Wolverines to the North Carolina 4A state championship in 2004 just four years after the school opened its doors. Kinkelaar was named Wakefield's first basketball coach in 2000 after spending two years as the head basketball coach at Lemon-Monroe High School in Monroe, Ohio from 1999-2000.
Kinkelaar spent over 20 years within the high school systems in North Carolina, Ohio and Illinois teaching business, accounting and economics but turned his attention back to teaching baseball in 2008, a subject that he excelled in during his four-year stint as a pitcher on the Miami (Ohio) team from 1973-77.
A fourth-round draft pick of the New York Mets in the 1973 Major League Baseball draft, Kinkelaar went on to pitch four years in the RedHawk program before earning his degree in education in 1977.
He spent the next 19 years coaching and teaching in the Illinois and North Carolina High School Systems, including stints at Mundelein High School in Mundelein, Ill. from 1977-80 and at Sanderson (1980-93) and Leesville (1993-94) High Schools in Raleigh. From 1994-96, Kinkelaar was the head basketball coach at New Hanover High School in Wilmington while serving as the volunteer assistant baseball coach at UNC Wilmington.
Kinkelaar is married to the former Margaret Kerr, and has one daughter, Sara.