Clemson Head Baseball Coach Jack Leggett announced the addition of Kyle Bunn to the coaching staff on Friday. Bunn replaces Kevin O'Sullivan, who became head coach at Florida in June, as Clemson's pitching coach. Tom Riginos, who has been at Clemson for five seasons, will assume the role of recruiting coordinator, a job that O'Sullivan held.
A former pitcher at The Citadel, Bunn completed his first season as a full-time assistant at Mississippi in 2007 after serving five seasons as the Rebels' volunteer coach and working with the pitchers. In his six years working with the pitchers, Mississippi had 13 pitchers drafted by Major League teams.
"We are very excited to have Kyle join our staff," said Head Coach Jack Leggett. "His enthusiasm, experience, and work ethic are qualities that drew me to him. He has ties to the state and is very excited to be at Clemson. He is going to be an outstanding asset to our program in both recruiting and in handling our pitching staff. His personality and drive to excel are attributes that made him the right person for this job."
The 2007 season saw the Rebels emerge as one of the top pitching staffs in the SEC under Bunn's tutelage. The team's 3.58 ERA was second-best in the SEC and 17th-best in the nation. Mississippi's 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings pitched was also the ninth-best mark in the country.
Lance Lynn and Will Kline claimed the top two spots on the school's single-season strikeout list with 146 and 134, respectively. The Rebels saw three pitchers claim All-SEC honors, as Lynn and sophomore Cody Satterwhite were named Second-Team All-SEC, and Nathan Baker was named to the All-Freshman team. Baker was also named a freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Lynn and Satterwhite were selected to represent the United States as part of USA Baseball's National team in the summer of 2007 as well.
Three Rebel hurlers heard their names called in the 2007 draft, as Kline (2nd round, Devil Rays), Craig Rodriguez (28th round, Rockies), and Scott Bittle (48th round, Yankees) were all selected in June.
In 2006, Bunn saw one of his biggest challenges as a pitching coach, as the Rebels replaced the entire starting rotation from the 2005 season. Mississippi lost four pitchers and a pair of two-way players who both earned All-America status on the way to leading the Rebels to within one out of the College World Series.
In 2004 and 2005, both Rebel teams played host to an NCAA Regional, including an SEC Western Division title in 2005. The 2003 team also played in the Houston (TX) Regional at Rice, while the 2002 squad had three pitchers drafted.
Prior to Mississippi, Bunn spent the 2001 season as an assistant coach at Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton, AL, where he worked as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. Bunn helped coach Jefferson Davis CC to the NJCAA Division II Region 22 Southern Division Championship.
A 1999 graduate of The Citadel with a bachelor of science degree in business administration and minor in law & legal processes, the 30-year-old was a three-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs, earning the team's Ace Pitching Award in 1999. He helped The Citadel to back-to-back Southern Conference titles in 1998 and 1999, and he was a member of the Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll. He started for the Bulldogs in the 1999 Southern Conference Championship game, striking out 11 in a complete game.
Bunn is no stranger to Clemson and Doug Kingsmore Stadium. On March 25, 1998, he made a relief appearance against the Tigers. Then two years later to the day in 2000, he pitched 4.0 innings in a starting role against the Tigers at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. His 1998 team played in the NCAA East Regional at Clemson, while his 1999 squad played in the NCAA Tallahassee (FL) Regional.
Bunn was a cadet captain and regimental liaison for baseball to the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. He was also a recipient of the Joseph T. Isaac, Jr. Memorial Scholarship at The Citadel.
Bunn, who is single, was born Kyle Stone Bunn on November 8, 1976 in Georgetown, SC. He is a distant relative of former Tiger slugger Michael Johnson (2000-03), who also hails from Georgetown, SC, and played for Johnson's father (Mike) at Georgetown High School.