In Mike Cummins, the Cougars this year landed an experienced coach whose background includes four years as head coach at Santa Clara and 17 years as a college assistant, giving him the coaching background needed to recruit the West Coast and help rebuild the Cougar baseball program.
Cummins is charged with developing the Cougar catchers and outfielders and also helps tutor WSU batters.
The newest Cougar coach joined the program after a 24-year association with Santa Clara University as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
Playing for his father Larry at Monterey Peninsula College in 1975-76, Cummins earned his associate of arts degree in physical education after two years as a catcher for the Lobos. Following his sophomore season, he was named the team’s most valuable player and earned all-conference honors.
In 1977, Cummins began his association with the Broncos. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1979 after playing baseball for head coach Sal Taormina for two seasons. A two-year starter as a catcher, Cummins was named the team’s most inspirational player and most valuable player following his senior season.
The next baseball stop for the WSU assistant was Buchser High in Santa Clara, where he was head baseball coach for one season, 1980. His team finished 13-8 and second in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League.
The next fall Cummins served as a junior varsity football coach at St. Francis High in Mountain View while teaching social science classes. His JV team finished the campaign 8-2. In the fall of 1981 Cummins returned to his alma mater, serving for 17 years as an assistant baseball coach, first for Jerry McClain, then for John Oldham for 13 seasons.
His responsibilities at Santa Clara included scheduling, physical conditioning, academic counseling, fund raising and recruiting. And of course on-the-field coaching and mentoring. The Broncos won four West Coast Conference championships during his tenure as an assistant, the first in 1982 and the last in 1997. Santa Clara also earned berths in three NCAA Regional tournaments, 1988, 1994 and 1997. The Broncos were 558-439 during his 17 years as an assistant.
When Oldham retired following the 1997 season, the Broncos named Cummins his replacement. In 2001, prior to his departure from Santa Clara, the Broncos won the West Coast Conference divisional title at 17-13. In 2000 they were champions of the UNLV Coors Light tourney and in 1998 the Broncos captured the title at the Florida Marlin Spring tournament.
The Chico, Calif., grew up in the Monterey area, graduating from Monterey High in 1974, where he starred in basketball and baseball.
The Cummins family includes wife Velma, sons Lawrence (20) and Patrick (16), and daughters Vanessa (11) and Marilyn (4).