William Jessup’s McKinley Accepts Coaching Position
ROCKLIN, Calif. – After an historical season for the William Jessup University baseball team, head coach Jake McKinley announced today he will continue his coaching career at the next level as the new Pitching Coordinator for the Milwaukee Brewers.
“The opportunity to work with professional baseball players is a dream realized…”
“It’s with great excitement and a heavy heart that I’m making this transition,” said McKinley, who grew up in Placerville and was a former assistant baseball coach at Sacramento State. “The opportunity to work with professional baseball players is a dream realized. But it’s difficult to leave such a great team at William Jessup.”
The Warriors quickly elevated associate head coach Trevor Paine to the head coaching position. Paine inherits a team that is ranked 13th in the NAIA Top-25 Preseason Coaches Poll. The 2019 season begins Jan. 25.
“The last 18 months at William Jessup has been the best time of my life,”
William Jessup Athletic Director Lance Von Vogt said it’s a bittersweet departure, knowing McKinley is moving to bigger and better places after guiding the Warriors to a record-setting 41-17 finish in 2018, their first Golden Empire Athletic Conference championship, and first-ever appearance in the NAIA postseason.
“Major League Baseball is getting what I consider to be the best young baseball coach in the country. We have been blessed to have Jake build our baseball program into a conference champion and national power,” Von Vogt said. “Whenever you have the major leagues recruiting your coaches to help them win a World Series, then you know you are doing something right.”
Transformed WJU Baseball
In his lone season at William Jessup, McKinley transformed a 10-win team into a nationally-ranked program. The power-hitting Warriors led the NAIA in home runs for much of the regular season. They finished third overall with 83 homers and were No. 9 in slugging percentage (.542).
William Jessup hosted its first NAIA opening round at McBean Park in Lincoln and reached the championships game, losing a heartbreaker in extra innings.
McKinley credits his players and support staff for his successful time with the Warriors.
“The last 18 months at William Jessup has been the best time of my life,” McKinley said. “The support of the administration and the opportunity to work alongside great coaches was a tremendous opportunity. Most of all, it was incredible to work alongside such talented players every day.”
Paine was an assistant coach last season, focusing on hitting and recruiting. He was promoted to associate head coach early this fall after the outstanding offensive performance by the Warriors in the 2018 campaign.
Paine will take over with McKinley’s departure after working under his tutelage last year at Jessup and two seasons prior at Menlo College.
“It’s comforting to know that the program is in such great hands with Trevor taking over,” McKinley said. “Trevor is one of the best young coaches in college baseball and I’m certain the Warrior program will continually evolve into one of the best destinations to play NAIA baseball.”
McKinley was praised for developing a strong coaching staff that was designed with the future in mind.
“One of the best things that Jake did in his time here is surround himself with amazing people and put together arguably the best NAIA baseball staff in the country,” Von Vogt said. “That being said, we’ve been preparing for this day for quite some time, just in case. Without hesitation we named Trevor Paine our next head baseball coach.”
The 2018 William Jessup roster, which included 16 local players, made history with 41 wins, five all-GSAC selections, an All-American and Player of the Year in Austen Swift, and the school’s first-ever MLB draft pick in Andrew Shaps.
Nationally Recognized Program in Rocklin
From a 10-win season in 2017 to 41 wins in 2018, McKinley has built a nationally recognized program that expects to continue being an NAIA power. His impact on Jessup Athletics is forever engraved in the history books and the future looks bright for this young coach.
“This is an opportunity that doesn’t come around every day and I couldn’t be happier for Jake to have the chance to pursue his dreams,” Von Vogt concluded. “He will remain as a valued lifetime member of our Jessup Athletics family moving forward and I know he will be integral in the continued success of our baseball program even from afar and while working for the majors.”