Jeff Kaier Promoted to Associate Head Baseball Coach
ALBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany Assistant Baseball Coach Jeff Kaier has been promoted to Associate Head Coach, the team announced Wednesday. It is Coach Kaier’s second promotion is as many years, after rising to first assistant and recruiting coordinator before the 2016-17 season.
“Coach Kaier has worked diligently at improving all aspects of our program here at the University at Albany,” said head coach Jon Mueller. “His commitment as a player, and now as a coach has greatly assisted in the consistency and growth of the program. This is the next natural step for Jeff.”
Kaier enters his seventh season as a member of the Great Danes’ coaching staff for the upcoming 2017-18 season. Working with the position players, Kaier’s instruction resulted in a year-to-year increase in slugging percentage from .344 to .372, and an increase in home runs from 11 to 32, the highest single-season total since 2010.
As a team, the 2016-17 Great Danes won 26 games, the most since 2009 and the third-highest total in the program’s Division I era, and had the highest winning percentage since 2007. The team placed third in the America East tournament, its highest finish since 2011. The team’s 16 non-conference victories were the most since 2007, and the 26 total victories were second most in the America East. The Great Danes landed eight All-Conference awards following the regular season, including First-Team All-Conference for Connor Powers, Second Team for Travis Collins and Kevin Donati, and All-Rookie for Marc Wangenstein. Finally, the team recorded a cumulative GPA of 3.25, the highest in program history.
A Queensbury, N.Y. native, Kaier was a pitcher and outfielder for UAlbany from 2005-09. His time as a player saw the Great Danes win their first America East title. Kaier returned to the program in 2012 as a coach, helping the team earn the second-seed in the conference tournament, recording a program-high 16 conference victories.
The Great Danes open the 2017-18 season on February 23 with a three-day, three-game series at James Madison. The first home game is scheduled for March 27 against Massachusetts.