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DURHAM, N.C. - First-year Duke baseball head coach Chris Pollard was named one of Baseball America's top-10 coaches under 40 as announced by the organization.

Joining Pollard on the list are Josh Holliday (Oklahoma State), Casey Dunn (Samford), Erik Bakich (Michigan), Andrew Checketts (UC Santa Barbara), Dan Heefner (Dallas Baptist), Monte Lee (College of Charleston), Mervyl Melendez (Alabama State), Darin Erstad (Nebraska) and Justin Blood (Hartford).

The 2012 Southern Conference Coach of the Year, Pollard was named Duke's 25th head baseball coach in June after guiding Appalachian State to six consecutive 30-win seasons. He took over the reins at ASU in 2004 and transformed a program saddled with back-to-back 10-win seasons into a team on the verge of the College World Series.

This past year, he lead the Mountaineers to one of their most accomplished seasons in the program's 109-year history as Appalachian State set a school record for victories with a 41-18 overall record and won the Southern Conference championship with a 31-9 league mark. Appalachian earned a berth to the 2012 NCAA Championship, advancing to the championship round of the Charlottesville Regional with wins over national powers Virginia and Oklahoma.

Prior to his arrival at Appalachian, Pollard served as the head coach at Pfeiffer University from 2000-04. In his final year with the Falcons, he coached Pfeiffer to the winningest season in school history, a 41-14 campaign which culminated in the program's second straight Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference regular season championship and a berth to the 2004 NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional.

The Blue Devils are just weeks away from the start of the 2013 campaign, which kicks off with a three-game series Feb. 15-17 against perennial power Florida in Gainesville, Fla.


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