ST LOUIS, Mo. - Illinois State's Mark Kingston was named the 2010 Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Coach of the Year, by a vote of the league's head coaches. Kingston becomes the first-ever Redbird skipper to earn this award.
In first season as head coach of the Illinois State baseball squad, Kingston fashioned the Redbirds' first-ever share of the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title. His 27 wins are the most ever by a first-year head baseball coach at Illinois State.
His 15 wins in Valley play were a seven-game improvement from a season ago. The 27 total wins are also the highest team win total since 2001.
Picked to finish fourth in the preseason poll, Illinois State finished in a tie for first in the regular-season standings, earning the second seed in this week's State Farm MVC Baseball Championship. The title was decided on the final three-game series of the season. The regular-season finish is the best-ever for the Redbirds, as they are making their first back-to-back MVC Tournament appearances since qualifying for three-straight from 1997-1999.
Kingston coached three first-team all-Valley performers this season, including sophomore Kenny Long (RP), senior Ryan Copeland (RP) and sophomore second-baseman and 2010 Joe Carter MVC Player of the Year, Kevin Tokarski.
Before taking over the head coaching reigns at Illinois State, Kingston spent seven years as recruiting coordinator at Tulane University and served as an assistant on the Miami team that won the 2001 College World Series. He has coached at the collegiate level for 13 years, reaching 500 wins as an assistant in 2009.
The Redbirds, the No. 2 seed in the 2010 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Championship, will face No. 7 Bradley at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25, in the opening day's second contest.