NEWBERG, Ore. (July 25, 2019) – Kevin Kopple is taking the helm of the George Fox University baseball program, Athletic Director Adam Puckett announced Wednesday, July 24. Kopple will take the lead for the Bruins after serving under Marty Hunter for 13 seasons as an assistant coach and the Bruins' recruiting coordinator.
"Kevin's passion for George Fox University baseball and his loyalty to the university, combined with his relentless pursuit of baseball knowledge and tireless work rate, makes him the perfect head coach," Puckett said. "I have every confidence that Coach Kopple will lead the program to contend for Northwest Conference championships and national championships, will guide his student-athletes toward academic success, and will mentor them in Christlike character."
Kopple was a catcher for the Bruins under Pat Bailey, the renowned former George Fox skipper. As a player, Kopple helped lead his team to consecutive Northwest Conference titles in 2005 and 2006 and an appearance in the NCAA DIII National Tournament in 2006.
Kopple joined the program as an assistant coach under Bailey for the 2006-07 season and stayed with the program through Hunter's 12-year tenure as the Bruins' skipper.
During his 13 years as an assistant, Kopple worked his way up to the role of lead recruiter and helped Bailey and Hunter lead the program to 10 winning seasons, 11 NWC Tournament appearances, an NWC championship, and a pair of NCAA DIII National Tournament appearances.
Kopple has also helped coach five NWC Player of the Year honorees and dozens of players named to All-NWC teams for the their performance on the field.
Off the field, Kopple has helped demonstrate the value of academics to his student-athletes. The Bruins' baseball program finished its most recent season, 2018-19, as a recipient of the Team Academic Excellence Award from the American Baseball Coaches Association. The award is given to programs that finish the academic year with a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or above.
"I am honored and excited to have this opportunity to lead the program and develop young men," Kopple said. "I look forward to starting this fall and getting ready for what is to come for the program."
Outside of his career at George Fox, Kopple has spent his summers coaching in the West Coast League, a summer developmental league for collegiate baseball players. Kopple led the Portland Pickles to a pair of championships and a runners-up finish, and later guided the Bend Elks to a league championship in 2015.
Kopple was also recently named the head coach of Team Northwest in the USA Baseball Championship Cup. He will coach the 15- and 16-and-under team in Cary, North Carolina in August of 2019.
Originally hailing from Vallejo, California, Kopple played baseball for Napa Valley College in Napa Valley, California, for two seasons before finishing his playing career at George Fox. Kopple graduated from the university in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in history, and earned his master's degree in sports management from the United States Sports Academy in 2015.
George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News & World Report as a "Best Regional University." Money magazine ranked it the No. 1 school in Oregon in its 2017-18 "Best Colleges for Your Money" list. More than 4,000 students attend classes on the university's campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond, Ore. George Fox offers bachelor's degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, six seminary degrees, and 13 master's and doctoral degrees.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT KEVIN KOPPLE
"From Pat Casey, to Pat Bailey, to Marty Hunter, George Fox University has such a rich tradition of having highly successful head baseball coaches who are both elite teachers of the game and molders of men. Kevin Kopple falls right in line with that tradition. He possesses both unmatched character and strong technical baseball knowledge. I am incredibly excited that Kevin has been chosen to lead George Fox baseball into a new era."
"Coach Kopple's commitment and dedication to student-athlete success is second to none. He's the perfect choice to carry on the successful tradition and high standard that those before him set. He bleeds Bruin!"
Northwest Area Scout
Chicago White Sox
"Over the years Kevin has shown me what it means to be confident with humility, strong with curiosity and caring with intensity. Kevin is a true servant leader, one that will go above and beyond for his players and his program. George Fox is getting a rising star in college baseball!"
Hitting Assessment and Run Production Coach
"Kevin Kopple is a great choice as head coach at George Fox University. Not only is he is one of the most knowledgeable coaches I've come across, but he is also an outstanding recruiter. He is a personable coach who communicates and connects with all of his players and will not be outworked both on and off the field."
Head Baseball Coach
"This is a tremendous hire for George Fox, and with Kevin leading this program, the best days for the Bruins are ahead of them! 'Kopp' has proven to be a tireless worker on the recruiting trails, a passionate and thoughtful teacher and a loyal ABCA member that will lead his players with integrity, plus will continue to build on the first-class program at George Fox!"
Assistant Executive Director, Coaching Development & Outreach
American Baseball Coaches Association
"George Fox has made an excellent decision in Kevin Kopple to be their next head coach. Coach Kopple is an excellent young coach who has paid his dues, and learned with some of the best coaches out there. He is a strong recruiter who will continue to bring in high-quality student-athletes who represent the university well. I have no doubt that the future of George Fox baseball is in excellent hands going forward. Congratulations to both Kevin and George Fox University baseball!"
Head Baseball Coach
UC San Diego
"Kevin is an outstanding young coach with energy and high standards. He is a tireless worker in building a positive culture and will help grow young men through his program. Kevin is a great recruiter and knows exactly what he's looking for. Kevin will also be a great example to his players both on and off the field through his actions and words. Kevin will help the entire athletic department as well with his intelligence and people skills. The future is bright for Kevin and the George Fox baseball program."
Head Baseball Coach
Point Loma Nazarene University
"Kevin is an outstanding hire for George Fox University. He is a tireless worker on the recruiting trail and has done a great job in the development of his players. The overall development and investment Kevin gives to his players is second to none. It is without question that he will do well in his new role as head coach."
Head Baseball Coach