Steve Kittrell

  • Title
    Head Coach
  • Email
  • Phone
    251-461-1397

Steve Kittrell, one of the most respected leaders in all of college baseball, directs the University of South Alabama baseball program. For 27 seasons, Kittrell has continued the legacy of his mentor, the legendary Eddie Stanky.

 

Heading into the 2010 season, Kittrell continued to make college baseball coaching history. In his 28 seasons of collegiate coaching, Kittrell has amassed 1,055 wins. His 990 wins entering the 2010 season ranked as the 10th most among active coaches in Division I.

 

He became the 50th coach in NCAA history – and the 37th in Division I – to reach the 1,000-win milestone when the Jags knocked off sixth-ranked Ole Miss on Feb. 22, 2009. With 10 wins this season, Kittrell will reach 1,000 wins in his career at South Alabama.

 

He earned his 1,000th career win as head coach at South Alabama with a 3-0 victory over UALR in the Jags' Sun Belt Conference opener on March 12, 2010.

 

Kittrell, who returned to his alma mater in the summer of 1983, has led South Alabama to 18 NCAA Tournament appearances and 10 SBC championships. He has also directed the program to within one win of the College World Series six times.

 

As Kittrell enters his 28th season as Jaguar skipper, he remains focused on a trip to Omaha and the College World Series.

 

“Certainly, that’s one of our top goals,” he said. “Every year we set that as one of our goals. It’s something that we haven’t done and it’s frustrating. It’s been very exciting for us to go to the Regionals as often as we do and to experience things a lot of teams don’t get to do.”

              

Kittrell’s trek began in 1968 when he signed to play for the Jaguars. From 1968-71, Kittrell compiled a batting average of .368, a record that still stands as the highest among four-year lettermen at USA.

              

After earning a degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from South Alabama in 1971, Kittrell went on to sign a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox organization. He spent one season in the Florida State League before returning to his alma mater where he served a one-year stint as graduate assistant coach. What he learned in that one year will never be forgotten.

              

Following his completion of a master’s degree in Physical Education in 1973, Kittrell began his head coaching career at Niceville High School in Niceville, Fla. In two seasons, he won 70 percent of his contests while compiling a 35-15 mark. He returned to the Port City for the 1976 prep season as a coach of the UMS Bulldogs. In five seasons, Kittrell built a legitimate state power by posting a 95-34 record, including the school’s first-ever state championship in any sport in 1978.

              

From there, Kittrell continued his move up the coaching ladder by becoming the head coach at Enterprise State (Ala.) Junior College. He posted back-to-back winning seasons of 25-17 and 27-13 in 1979-80.

              

In 1981, he returned to UMS where he coached another two seasons before taking over the Spring Hill College program in 1983. He led the Badgers to the NAIA District 30 championship and a berth in the national tournament. He garnered three coaching honors during his one-year stint at Spring Hill, including District 30 Coach of the Year, Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Co-Coach of the Year, and NAIA Area Two Tournament Coach of the Year.

              

After taking over for his idol, Stanky, in 1984, Kittrell didn’t waste any time showing his hometown folks his coaching abilities. He led the Jags to their second-best record (50-19) in school history and a runner-up finish at the South I Regional in Tallahassee, Fla.

              

During the early days of the Sun Belt, when the league played a divisional format, Kittrell coached the Jags to eight divisional crowns.

              

The former Davidson High center field standout has gone on to lead the Jags to 10 Sun Belt Championships and eight tournament crowns. Along the way, he has been awarded six conference coaching honors and two regional coaching accolades.

              

In 1996, Kittrell surpassed Stanky in becoming the winningest coach in Jaguar history.

              

One of the top 30 winningest coaches of all-time in college baseball, Kittrell’s records are as follows – in 27 seasons at USA, 1,022 wins, 616 losses and one tie for a .624 winning percentage.

              

Another amazing fact is that in 27 seasons directing the Jaguar program, Kittrell has compiled 24 winning seasons of 30 or more wins. His only losing seasons were in 1985 (22-32), 2000 (27-33) and 2009 (25-30). The 2000 team reached the NCAA tournament despite having a losing record.

 

He has developed the Jaguar program into somewhat of a factory for professional baseball players. Since inheriting the program in 1984, 98 of his players have gone on to sign professional contracts – 17 of those players have reached the big leagues.

              

In addition to coaching, Kittrell serves on the American Baseball Coaches Association All-America committee, which is responsible for selecting postseason All-American teams.

              

In 1993, Kittrell was inducted into the University of South Alabama Athletic Hall of Fame.

              

He and his wife Carol, the Director of Alumni Affairs at USA, have two children – Stacy and Scott. They also have three grandchildren – Hayden and twins Braxton and Bennett.

 

The Steve Kittrell File:

Born:

Nov. 1, 1948

Hometown:

Mobile, Ala.

High School:

Davidson High School

College:

South Alabama, 1971

Playing Career:

Four years at USA (1968-71)
One season with Boston Red Sox Minor League Class A organization (1971)

Coaching Experience:

USA Graduate Assistant Coach (1972)

Niceville High School;

Niceville, Fla. (1974-75); 35-15 (.700)

UMS Prep School;
Mobile, Ala. (1976-78); 95-34 (.736)

Enterprise State Junior College;
Enterprise, Ala. (1979-80);
52-30 (.634)

Spring Hill College;
Mobile, Ala. (1983); 33-19 (.635)

University of South Alabama;
Mobile, Ala. (1984-present);
1,022-616-1 (.624)