Michael Bradshaw was hired as the Cougars’ pitching coach in August 2018 and has made an immediate impact on the program.
In his first season in 2019, Bradshaw guided the Cougar staff to one of the best seasons in school history. Almost every team pitching statistic was among the program’s best all-time, including the following: ERA fifth-lowest ever and lowest since 1982, runs allowed per game lowest since 1970, walks allowed per game third-lowest ever, strikeout to walk ratio lowest since 1967, and 7.7 strikeouts per game the third-highest average all-time, among others.
Three pitchers finished with an ERA under 3.00 with at least 50 innings pitched for the first time since 1967 – the only other time such a feat has occurred in program history. Sophomore Easton Walker returned from his mission and didn’t allow an earned run in the first 34.1 innings he pitched in 2019, starting in a reliever role before moving into the starting rotation. Walker led the NCAA for multiple weeks with the lowest ERA in the country, finishing at a team-best 2.20 with a 7-2 record, one save and 48 strikeouts to earn All-WCC Second Team honors.
Freshman Reid McLaughlin stepped right into college baseball from Desert Mountain High School in Arizona, boasting the lowest ERA among freshmen nationally for much of the year. Named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game, McLaughlin became the first player in BYU history to have at least seven wins and four saves in a single season. The freshman finished with a 2.61 ERA in 51.2 innings over 25 games, totaling a 7-1 record, four saves and 46 strikeouts.
Bradshaw comes to Provo from the University of Arizona where he was the assistant director of baseball operations from 2015-18 under head coach Jay Johnson.
During his time with the Wildcats, Bradshaw was a part of two NCAA Tournament runs, including an NCAA runner-up finish after Arizona advanced to the College World Series final.
Before working at Arizona, Bradshaw spent a year at the University of Nevada, Reno, helping the Wolf Pack win the school’s first Mountain West Conference title with a 41-15 record. Bradshaw was a pitcher at Nevada from 2012-14, making 20 appearances with 14 strikeouts over two seasons. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in general studies in 2014.