John Savage (minors03)

From BR Bullpen

John Joseph Savage

  • Throws Right
  • Height 6' 3", Weight 190 lb.

BR Minors page

John Savage is a college coach.

Savage was picked by the New York Yankees in the sixth round of the 1983 amateur draft out of high school but opted for college. As a junior out of Santa Clara University, the Cincinnati Reds picked him in the 16th round of the 1986 amateur draft. John went 2-3 with two saves and a 7.98 ERA for the Billings Mustangs, with a WHIP of almost two.

In 1987, Savage pitched for two independent clubs, the Boise Hawks (1-4, 5.05) and Salt Lake City Trappers (2-0, 6.61). Salt Lake City set an Organized Baseball record with 29 consecutive wins. John wrapped up in '88 with the Reno Silver Sox, going a deplorable 2-14 with a 8.21 ERA. In 118 1/3 innings, he allowed 175 hits and 74 walks for a WHIP over 2. He was two losses behind California League leader Gary Geiger.

Savage coached pitchers at his alma mater, Reno High School, in 1988-1989. He went back to school to finish a degree in secondary education at the University of Nevada. From 1992-1996, he was an assistant coach at Nevada, the team going 177-82 and taking the 1994 Big West Conference title.

John then became pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Southern California, from 1996-2000. He worked with Seth Etherton, Mark Prior, Barry Zito and Rik Currier in that role. In 2000, he coached for Team USA at the Haarlem Baseball Week. He was named Assistant Coach of the Year by Collegiate Baseball in '98 when USC won the 1998 College World Series.

From 2002 to 2004, Savage was head coach at University of California, Irvine, to revive a baseball program that had not been active. His first team was 33-26. In 2004, UC Irvine was 34-23-1 and made the NCAA Division I tournament for the first time.

UCLA then hired Savage as head coach, replacing Gary Adams, also a former UC Irvine skipper. In 2006, his second season, the Bruins were 33-25. They fell to 33-28 in '07 but made it to the Super Regional for the first time in seven years. In 2008, the Bruins again won 33, this time with 27 losses. For the first time in school history, they had made the NCAA postseason three years in a row. During those seasons, he helped develop David Huff and Josh Roenicke.

Savage's UCLA club fell to 27-29 in 2009. One source ranked them as having the third-toughest schedule in NCAA Division I. The team included Gerrit Cole, a former first-round pick, now a freshman in college. John's club made a huge leap forward the next year, going to the finals of the 2010 College World Series, where they fell to the University of South Carolina. No UCLA team before had even won a game in a College World Series. The school finished 51-17 for the year.

Primary Source: UCLA bio