|Position:||Assistant Head Coach|
|Hometown:||Huntington Beach, Calif.|
|Alma Mater:||Cal State Fullerton|
Mike Kirby joined the Nebraska baseball staff in August of 2014 as the team’s assistant head coach. Kirby assists Coach Erstad in directing the Husker offense, coaches Nebraska’s infielders and catchers, and coaches third base.
Kirby’s fourth season on staff in 2018 saw All-Big Ten performers Scott Schreiber and Jesse Wilkening lead the Husker offense before being drafted in June. Schreiber, who ended his Husker career in the top 10 in hits, home runs and RBIs, earned All-America honors from ABCA/Rawlings after the season.
Wilkening, who led the Huskers with a .372 batting average, signed with the Philadelphia Phillies organization following his junior season in 2018. As a team, NU blasted 47 home runs in 2018, tying the most in a season since Coach Erstad took over in 2012.
Kirby helped the Huskers win the Big Ten regular-season crown in 2017, which also marked NU’s second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. In 2017, Jake Meyers earned All-America honors from three publications and was one of two first-team All-Big Ten honorees, along with Schreiber.
Both were drafted in addition to Luis Alvarado following the 2017 campaign. Meyers signed with the Houston Astros, while Schreiber and Alvarado elected to return for their senior seasons. Angelo Altavilla earned third-team All-Big Ten accolades and Luke Roskam made the All-Freshman Team.
A pair of Husker infielders earned All-Big Ten honors during Kirby’s second season, including first-team first baseman Schreiber and second-team shortstop Steven Reveles. As a team, the Huskers finished fourth in the Big Ten with a .281 average, while ranking third in home runs (43), fourth in doubles (102) and fourth in RBIs (292). Nebraska’s defense ranked third in the league with a .976 fielding percentage and it led the Big Ten with 60 double plays.
The Huskers qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2016 after posting a 37-22 record. NU finished second in the Big Ten with a 16-8 mark during conference play.
In Kirby’s first season at Nebraska in 2015 the Huskers reached the Big Ten Tournament for the fourth straight season. Once again the Huskers played solid defense behind their pitchers with a fielding percentage of .976, which was tied for 20th nationally. Two Husker position players were taken in the MLB Draft, including catcher Tanner Lubach in the ninth round by the Angels and infielder Blake Headley in the 20th round by the Cubs.
Kirby joined the Huskers after three seasons at Cal State Fullerton, his second stint with the Titans, where he coached first base, infielders and served as the program’s recruiting coordinator. His first class in 2012 was ranked 23rd in the country by Baseball America, producing National Freshman Pitcher of the Year Thomas Eshelman and Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year Justin Garza. Both Eshelman and Garza pitched for the USA Collegiate Baseball National Team during the summer of 2014. Eshelman was named an All-American each of the past three seasons and was a second-round pick by Houston in 2015.
Before returning to Fullerton, Kirby was instrumental in helping George Horton put the Oregon Ducks on the national scene. Kirby played a large role in four consecutive top-25 recruiting classes, including three ranked in the top 10 and a program-best No. 5 ranking in 2010. Kirby was also responsible for coaching first base and working with the team’s outfielders.
In his three seasons with the Ducks, the program produced seven All-Pac 10 position players and four major league draft picks.
In 2010, the Ducks made a remarkable jump after finishing 14-42 in 2009. They finished the year with a 40-24 mark, having advanced to the postseason for just the third time in school history and the first since 1964. It was the second-biggest turnaround by a college baseball team since the NCAA began keeping the stat in 1998. The Ducks finished the season on four national polls after reaching the elimination game at the Norwich Regional.
After spending nine years working in sales for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (1999-2008), Kirby joined Buddy Goldsmith’s UNLV coaching staff for the 2008 season. While in Las Vegas he served as the Rebels’ third base coach and helped develop the catchers. While in Las Vegas, Kirby was instrumental in helping Xavier Scruggs win the Mountain West Conference’s triple crown with a .379 average, 20 home runs and 65 RBIs.
Kirby saw his first action in Fullerton in 1991 and spent eight of the next nine seasons as either a student assistant (one year), facilities manager (three years) or assistant coach (four years). He left the Titans briefly to assist at Los Angeles City College in 1996.
From 1991 to 1999, Kirby helped the Titans to six Big West Conference titles, four College World Series appearances (1992, 1994, 1995, 1999) and a national championship in 1995. He helped groom nine (Frank Charles, Steve Sisco, Phil Nevin, Dante Powell, Jeremy Giambi, Mark Kotsay, Mike Lamb, Aaron Rowand and Reed Johnson) former Titan position players for the major leagues and tutored four of the five Titan Olympians (Brian Loyd, Kotsay, Jason Moler and Nevin).
Kirby worked on Cal State Fullerton coaching staffs that included current Division I head coaches Horton and Vanderhook. Former head coaches Augie Garrido (Texas) and Dave Serrano (Tennessee) also worked on Fullerton coaching staffs with Kirby. Kirby played his last season of college ball under then-Long Beach State Head Coach and former Titan assistant Dave Snow.
Kirby played two seasons of junior college ball at Cerritos College under Horton in 1988 and 1989, when the Falcons won two state championships. He finished his collegiate career with the 49ers in 1990.
Kirby earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Cal State Fullerton in 1994. He and his wife, Melissa, have two daughters, Payten and Lauren.