DURHAM, N.C. – Duke baseball head coach Chris Pollard was honored Friday as the 2018 recipient of the Walter Rabb Award, presented annually to the North Carolina Amateur Baseball Coach of the Year. The honor marks the second of Pollard’s career after previously winning the award in 2014.
Ranked in the preseason for the first time in program history, the 2018 Blue Devils lived up to the early season hype, recording Duke’s first 40-win season while also earning a program-record 18 ACC wins and winning the NCAA Athens Regionals to advance to the school’s first NCAA Super Regional.
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 longest such stretch for the Blue Devils since a run of seven-straight 30-win campaigns from 1992-98.
Pollard became Duke’s 25th head baseball coach in June of 2012, and has revitalized the program in six seasons at the helm. After Duke did not make the NCAA Tournament for 55 consecutive years, he has led the Blue Devils to the postseason event in two of the past three seasons.
A native of Amherst, Va., Pollard graduated from Davidson College in 1996 before beginning his coaching career at his alma mater. Prior to his arrival at Duke, Pollard served as the head coach at Pfeiffer University and Appalachian State University, leading both programs to 40-win seasons and conference championships.