The University of Georgia Athletic Association and Ike Cousins head baseball coach Scott Stricklin recently agreed to a new contract extension through 2026, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Josh Brooks announced Thursday.
“Coach Stricklin has built a strong program the right way,” said Brooks. “His teams play with skill and toughness, which is a direct reflection of his leadership. This year, we’ve continued to improve under difficult circumstances, and I believe in their potential and the future of this program with Coach Stricklin at the helm.”
Competing in the rugged Southeastern Conference, Georgia’s 39 SEC wins the past two full seasons ranks tied for first in the league. The 2019 Bulldogs posted a school record 21 SEC victories and finished with 46 overall wins, the third most in school history. The 2018 and 2019 seasons saw Georgia play host to NCAA Regionals as a national seed. The No. 4 national seed in 2019 was the best ever for the Bulldogs.
For the first time in school history, Georgia had sold out of its season tickets for the 2020 season. When the ongoing pandemic ended the campaign after 18 games, the Bulldogs were ranked No. 2 nationally. Currently, Georgia is 21-11 and ranked 20th nationally in Stricklin’s eighth year at the helm. With his previous contract set to expire in 2023, an extension at the existing salary structure was reached earlier this year.
The Bulldogs have excelled in the classroom and on the field in the Stricklin era. The baseball program was the only one in the Southeastern Conference to receive NCAA APR (Academic Progress Rate) recognition in 2020. The Bulldogs posted the program’s highest grade point average ever at 3.14 for the spring semester of 2020. A program record 26 student-athletes made the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
During Stricklin’s tenure, there have been 100 selections to the SEC Academic Honor Roll and 28 members on the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll. Last season, pitcher Emerson Hancock became only the fourth student-athlete in Georgia history to be a first team Academic All-American and a first round draft pick. In 2019, Keegan McGovern was the SEC Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
A total of 32 Bulldogs have gone on to play professional baseball including a pair of first round selections. There have been four Bulldogs earn All-America honors and seven tabbed Freshman All-Americans. Georgia’s national award winners under Stricklin include Aaron Schunk who won the John Olerud Award as the nation’s top two-way player, and Cam Shepherd, who earned a Gold Glove as the country’s top defensive shortstop.
Stricklin came to Georgia from Kent State in 2013, and he received a contract extension after the 2018 season.