At Duke (2013-Present): Chris Pollard became Duke University's 25th head baseball coach in June of 2012, taking over the reins of the Blue Devil program after successful stints at Pfeiffer University and Appalachian State University.
Under Pollard's guidance, Duke put together a historic 2018 campaign. Ranked in the preseason for the first time in program history, the 2018 Blue Devils lived up to the early season hype, recording the first 40-win season in program history while also earning a program-record 18 ACC wins and advancing to the first NCAA Super Regional in school history.
Baseball America ranked Duke in its top 25 for 13 weeks during the regular season, more than doubling the total number of weeks the Blue Devils were ranked in the first 36 years of the publication’s rankings (6). With a 45-18 overall record, Duke not only set a program record for wins in a season but also reached 30 wins for the fifth straight year, the program’s longest such stretch since the Blue Devils compiled a run of seven-straight 30-win campaigns from 1992-98.
Just two years earlier, Pollard led Duke to an at-large bid to the 2016 NCAA Tournament, ending the program’s 55-year drought without making the postseason event. After beginning the season 10-13 (1-7 ACC), the Blue Devils went 23-9 over their final 32 regular season games, including a 13-8 ACC record. During that span, Duke went 9-7 against Top 20 RPI teams, collected series victories over Georgia Tech, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Pitt, and posted a perfect 10-0 mark in non-conference play.
The first head coach to lead Duke to the NCAA Tournament since the Kennedy administration, Pollard is also the fastest Blue Devil head coach to reach 100 wins in Durham. In over 110 seasons prior to his arrival, Duke totaled 10, 30-win seasons. Since taking over the program, Pollard has guided the Blue Devils to five seasons of 30 or more wins.
In just his second season in Durham, Pollard led the 2014 Blue Devils to the ACC Tournament for the first time since 2009 as Duke finished fourth overall in the league standings. Duke's 16 ACC wins in 2014 tied the program record while the Blue Devils finished in the top four in the conference standings for the first time since 1994. The Blue Devils cemented their status as one of the top teams in the North Carolina, finishing the season 8-1 against in-state ACC rivals North Carolina, NC State and Wake Forest. In addition, the Blue Devils entered the national rankings, earning the No. 30 spot in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper national poll May 6. The 2014 Blue Devils earned a spot in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's rankings for the first time since the organization began its poll in 1998.
Pollard began the task of revitalizing the program and his effect was felt immediately as the 2013 Blue Devils eclipsed their win total from the previous season, securing 26 victories for their first-year head coach. Duke's 26 victories during Pollard's inaugural campaign marked the most by a Blue Devil head coach in his first season in school history.
Pollard and his staff have excelled at bringing top talent to Durham. During Pollard's tenure, 25 Blue Devils have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, including a school-record-tying seven in 2018. Of those 25 players, six were selected in the first 10 rounds of the draft, accouting for a fifth of Duke's total top-10-round picks in program history.
At Appalachian State (2005-12): Prior to accepting the head coaching position at Duke, Pollard successfully transformed an Appalachian State program saddled with back-to-back 10-win seasons into a team on the verge of the College World Series.
Pollard garnered 2012 Southern Conference Coach of the Year honors after leading Appalachian State to its most accomplished season in the program's 109-year history as the Mountaineers set a school record for victories with a 41-18 overall record in addition to winning the Southern Conference championship with a 21-9 league mark. Appalachian State earned a berth to the 2012 NCAA Championship and advanced to the championship round of the Charlottesville Regional with victories over national powers Virginia and Oklahoma.
In addition, the 2012 Mountaineers won their first conference championship since 1987, advanced to NCAA postseason play for the first time since 1986 and won their first NCAA Tournament game since 1973. Appalachian State also claimed four wins over nationally-ranked opponents and spent six weeks in the national rankings. Prior to the record-breaking 2012 campaign, the Mountaineers boasted just one win over a nationally-ranked team since 1982 and one appearance in a major college baseball poll.
Pollard took the helm of the Mountaineer program in 2004 and guided ASU to 24 wins, four more than the previous two seasons combined, in his second season with the program. Six consecutive 30-win seasons would follow as the Mountaineers won at least one Southern Conference Tournament game every season and finished among the top 50 teams in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) rankings twice during that span.
Pollard's tenure at Appalachian State was punctuated by his ability to recruit top-notch talent. After Appalachian State went without a Major League Baseball draftee for a dozen years, three members of Pollard's initial ASU recruiting class were selected in the first 12 rounds of the 2008 MLB Draft. In total, Appalachian State produced 13 MLB draftees under Pollard's watch, including a school-record four in both 2008 and 2012.
At Pfeiffer University (2000-04): Prior to his arrival at Appalachian, Pollard served as the head coach at Pfeiffer University from 2000-04. In his final year at Pfeiffer, he coached the Falcons to the winningest season in school history, a 41-14 campaign that culminated with Pfeiffer's second straight Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference regular season championship and a berth in the 2004 NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional. In addition, Pfeiffer reached as high as No. 2 in the South Atlantic Regional rankings and No. 9 in the national polls according to Collegiate Baseball newspaper. Pollard was named the 2004 CVAC Coach of the Year both by the league's coaches and the American Baseball Coaches Association for his efforts.
The 2004 Falcons' baseball team was inducted into the Pfeiffer Sports Hall of Fame Sept. 23, 2017.
Similar to his time at Appalachian State, Pollard took over a Pfeiffer squad which had suffered three losing seasons in the four years prior to his arrival and began a rebuilding project that led to the Falcons' record improving in each of his five seasons as head coach. In addition, he also served as Pfeiffer's director of athletics for the 2003-04 year, overseeing the daily supervision of the school's 16 varsity sports, including NCAA compliance, budget and salary management, public relations, fundraising and facility oversight.
At Davidson: Before his stint at Pfeiffer, Pollard served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Davidson College. His primary responsibilities for the Wildcat staff included serving as the team's pitching coach and recruiting coordinator.
Pollard also gained coaching experience in the NCAA-certified Coastal Plain Summer League as the head coach of the Durham Braves in 1998 and pitching coach with the Rocky Mount Rock Fish in 1997.
As a player at Davidson from 1993-96, Pollard became just the third pitcher in program history to win 20 games for a career. He ranks among the top 10 in Davidson history with 20 wins (3rd), 168 strikeouts (8th), 59 appearances (t-7th), 309 innings pitched (4th), 39 starts (6th) 18 complete games (t-7th) and two shutouts (t-3rd). As a sophomore, Pollard defeated both No. 1 Georgia Tech and No. 25 Western Carolina before tying an NCAA record by earning victories in both ends of a doubleheader versus Georgia Southern as a junior.
Personal: Pollard graduated from Davidson in 1996, earning a B.A. in psychology with a concentration in child and adolescent development. He played professionally in both the Western League and the Northern League before returning to Davidson to begin his coaching career.
Pollard also received a Master's degree in physical education/health education from Mississippi State in 2004.
His wife, Stephanie, is a 1997 Davidson graduate. The couple resides in Durham with their two sons: Thomas and Brady.
|2013-Present||Duke University||Head Coach||198-146 *|
|2005-12||Appalachian State||Head Coach||244-210-2|
|2000-04||Pfeiffer University||Head Coach||141-108-1|
|1996-99||Davidson College||Assistant Coach|
|* As of June 28, 2018|
|2005||Appalachian State||10-42||.192||Southern Conference||5-24||.172||11th|
|2006||Appalachian State||24-31-1||.438||Southern Conference||9-18||.333||8th|
|2007||Appalachian State||33-26||.559||Southern Conference||14-13||.519||4th|
|2008||Appalachian State||32-27||.542||Southern Conference||14-13||.519||6th|
|2009||Appalachian State||33-21||.611||Southern Conference||15-13||.536||6th|
|2010||Appalachian State||38-18||.675||Southern Conference||14-14-1||.500||7th|
|2011||Appalachian State||33-27||.550||Southern Conference||15-15||.500||6th|
|2012||Appalachian State||41-18||.695||Southern Conference||21-9||.700||t-1st|
|2013||Duke||26-29||.473||Atlantic Coast Conference||9-21||.300||11th|
|2014||Duke||33-25||.541||Atlantic Coast Conference||16-14||.533||4th|
|2015||Duke||31-22||.585||Atlantic Coast Conference||10-19||.345||t-12th|
|2016||Duke||33-24||.579||Atlantic Coast Conference||14-16||.467||7th|
|2017||Duke||30-28||.517||Atlantic Coast Conference||12-18||.400||9th|
|2018||Duke||45-18||.714||Atlantic Coast Conference||18-12||.600||4th|