On the eve of college baseball's final night, Duke made sure to lock up the man who came just one win short of carrying the Blue Devils to their sport's biggest stage.
Duke announced in a Thursday afternoon press release that head coach Chris Pollard has been extended through the 2025 season. Pollard was hired away from Appalachian State in 2012 and has since led the Blue Devils to some of their best seasons since the program last made the College World Series in 1961.
“What Chris Pollard has accomplished...is nothing short of astonishing,” Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White said in the statement. “To be sure, we are beyond thrilled that an elite coach such as Chris will lead Duke baseball well into the future, which has never looked brighter."
Not only did the Blue Devils make it to their first-ever super regional in 2018, but a program-tying-record seven players were drafted in the 2018 MLB Draft including second-round selection Griffin Conine and third-round pick Jimmy Herron.
“First and foremost, I am thrilled to stay at Duke for a very long time,” Pollard said in the announcement. "I want to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Price, Dr. White and Brad Berndt for demonstrating continued confidence in me and our staff to lead this program."
“I am very proud of what this 2018 squad accomplished. They will be forever remembered as one of the best teams in program history. However, there are goals we have not yet reached. With a supportive administration, great staff and hungry group of players, I have no doubt we will get there.”
The program's 25th all-time coach helped the Blue Devils to more than 40 wins in 2018—the first time in school history they have eclipsed the mark—and Duke was ranked in Baseball America's top 25 for a record 13 weeks.
Conine, Herron and catcher Chris Proctor have all signed professional contracts and will forego their remaining seasons as Blue Devils. Zack Kone, who was picked by the Pirates in the 13th round, could opt to turn pro, but may return for his senior season in Durham.
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.