Tim Corbin, Vanderbilt Head Baseball Coach
The 2021 season is the 19th as head coach at Vanderbilt for Tim Corbin. During his tenure Corbin has turned the Commodores into a national power, leading Vanderbilt to two national championships in the last seven seasons (2014, 2019).
Corbin’s record of 753-359-1 (.677) is first all-time in wins at Vanderbilt and first in winning percentage for coaches with 100 games or more. In his career as a head coach Corbin is 859-497-1 (.633). Corbin’s efforts have paid off in the win column and across the board as D1Baseball.com tabbed Vandy the top program in the nation in 2015 and second in 2017 and 2019.
In January, Corbin was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2020. Corbin was among six individuals to be enshrined at the 76th annual ABCA Convention.
Over the last seven seasons, the Dores have secured three trips to the College World Series finals while running their streak to 14 consecutive NCAA Tournament berths — the longest active streak in the Southeastern Conference.
Since taking over in 2003, 48 players have been named All-America including 14 who have received first-team All-America recognition. During that stretch, 28 Commodores have been named freshman All-America and 24 have made MLB appearances.
The Commodores capped their shortened 2020 campaign ranked No. 5 by Collegiate Baseball. Vanderbilt led the nation in ERA (1.84) while finishing third in hits allowed per nine innings (5.51), fourth in strikeouts per nine innings (12.1) and fifth in shutouts (4).
Vanderbilt posted an SEC-record 59 wins during its historic 2019 College World Series championship campaign. The Commodores captured the SEC regular season and tournament titles, becoming the first program to accomplish the feat outright since Vandy’s 2007 program did so.
The Commodores set single-season records in home runs (100), RBIs (541), walks (339), runs (578) and strikeouts (765). For his efforts, Corbin was named American Baseball Coaches Association and Collegiate Baseball’s coach of the year.
In June, Vanderbilt matched an SEC record with 13 players selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. Outfielder JJ Bleday became the ninth Vandy player to be selected in the top-10 in the Tim Corbin era.
The Commodores became the first school to reach the College World Series finals three times since the event moved to TD Ameritrade Park in 2011 and first to win multiple titles at the ballpark.
Right-hander Kumar Rocker etched his name into Commodore lore, becoming the first pitcher in NCAA Super Regional history to toss a no-hitter, doing so behind 19 strikeouts against Duke. The Athens, Georgia, product went on to be named freshman of the year by Baseball America and D1Baseball as well as the College World Series Most Outstanding Player. Rocker was among eight student-athletes to earn All-America status.
Vanderbilt reached the NCAA Tournament for the 13th straight year in 2018 and advanced to its seventh NCAA Super Regional in nine seasons. The Commodores set a program record and finished fifth nationally with a .981 fielding percentage. With 101 stolen bases, Vandy finished atop the SEC for the third time in six seasons.
The Dores won 10 of their final 14 games highlighted by three straight wins at the NCAA Clemson Regional while capturing the event for a second consecutive season. With the result, Vandy went on to host the Super Regionals for the first time since 2014.
Vanderbilt matched a national-best as four players were named to the 2018 Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America team (Philip Clarke, Pat DeMarco, Mason Hickman and Austin Martin). Eight players were selected in the MLB Draft including a pair of third-round selections in Connor Kaiser and Reid Schaller.
The 2017 squad captured the program’s fourth NCAA Regional title in five years, running off three victories in four days including an 8-0 statement victory to capture the event against host Clemson.
Following the season, Baseball America tabbed juniors Kyle Wright and Jeren Kendall All-America. Four days later, the duo was selected in the first round of the MLB Draft with the fifth pick and 23rd selection, respectively. In total, 15 Commodores have been selected in the first round since Corbin arrived to campus in 2003, including seven in the past four years.
Meanwhile, fresh off a phenomenal sophomore campaign, starting pitcher Patrick Raby became the 17th Commodore to play for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team not including Corbin, who coached the 2006 team to a 28-2-1 mark while winning the gold medal at the World University Championship in Cuba.
A young roster helped lead the 2016 Vanderbilt squad to a successful season in which the Commodores and Hawkins Field host NCAA Regionals for the fifth time in six seasons before finishing the year 43-19. The season came to an abrupt end in the NCAA Nashville Regional following the tragic death of freshman Donny Everett the night before the tournament began.
The Commodores were led by third-team All-Americans Jeren Kendall and Bryan Reynolds, who combined to drive in 116 runs, score 122 runs and hit 22 home runs – led by Reynolds’ 13 homers. Three Vandy freshmen earned freshman All-America status with Alonzo Jones, Ethan Paul and Patrick Raby all earning the honor. Fellow freshman Connor Kaiser picked up All-SEC Freshman honors along with Paul.
Jordan Sheffield led the way for the Dores’ pitching staff going 8-6 with a 3.01 ERA and 113 strikeouts over 101.2 innings en route to becoming the 13th first round pick under Corbin and 10th Vanderbilt pitcher to hear his name in the first round when the Los Angeles Dodgers tabbed him with the 36th overall pick. Fellow pitcher Ben Bowden followed quickly in the second round to the Colorado Rockies before Reynolds was selected later in the second round by San Francisco to give the Commodores three selections in the first two rounds of the MLB Draft. John Kilichowski, Jason Delay and Will Toffey were all selected to give Vanderbilt six players selected in the draft, marking the 10th straight year that at least five Commodores have been selected in the draft.
The 2015 Commodores marched back to the College World Series for the second straight year to give the program its first consecutive trips to Omaha. Vanderbilt finished as the national runner-up behind a 51-21 mark, making it the only program in the nation with three straight 50-win seasons.
The Dores rallied to win nine straight games, the team’s longest winning streak of the season, in the NCAA Tournament to reach the CWS finals sweeping through the NCAA Nashville Regional in dominant fashion before toppling national seed Illinois on the road to reach Vanderbilt’s third trip to the College World Series. Vanderbilt rolled through the NCAA Regional with wins over Lipscomb, Indiana and Radford. The 21-0 victory over Radford shattered the school record for margin of victory in the NCAA Tournament and matched the NCAA mark. The Commodores continued the roll in Illinois with a pair of dominating wins over the Illini to win the school’s first road Super Regional. Back in Omaha for the third time in five years, the Commodores rolled through their half of the bracket with a come-from-behind victory over Cal State Fullerton and two wins over TCU. The Dores provided plenty of drama in the win over the Titans, winning on Jeren Kendall’s walk-off home run for a 4-3 victory in the resumption of a suspended game. Vandy won it’s third straight game at TD Ameritrade Park via the home run in the team’s first game against TCU with Zander Wiel’s seventh inning solo homer scoring the only run of the game. Vanderbilt breezed into the championship series with a 7-1 victory in the rematch against the Horned Frogs three days later. Vanderbilt claimed the opening game against Virginia 5-1 behind a dominant Carson Fulmer start with the right-hander turn in 7.2 scoreless innings in his final start as a Commodore.
Dansby Swanson and Fulmer led the team in their final season in black and gold earning first-team All-America honors with Swanson picking up National Player of the Year honors from D1Baseball.com and Perfect Game. Fulmer was named National Pitcher of the Year with Swanson earned the Brooks Wallace Award as the nation’s top shortstop. The duo also became the second pair of Vanderbilt teammates and the fourth in the history of the Golden Spikes to be finalists in the same year joining Price and Pedro Alvarez from 2007. Corbin has coached three different pairs of teammates to be finalists for the Golden Spikes with the four Vanderbilt players joining Clemson’s Khalil Green and Jeff Baker. Fulmer became the third Vanderbilt pitcher to pick up SEC Pitcher of the Year honors after becoming just the fourth pitcher in the league’s history to win the pitching triple crown, leading the nation’s premier league in wins, ERA and strikeouts. Freshmen Will Toffey, Jeren Kendall and Kyle Wright were consensus freshman All-America.
Three Commodores were selected in the first round of the MLB Draft, another program first, with Swanson, Fulmer and Walker Buehler all joining a growing group of Vanderbilt first round picks. Swanson became the second Commodore to hear his named called first with the Arizona Diamondbacks taking him No. 1 overall. Vanderbilt is one of two colleges to have multiple top picks with Price and Swanson. Fulmer was taken eighth overall by the Chicago White Sox and Buehler 24th overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Fulmer and Buehler became the eighth and ninth Vanderbilt pitchers under Corbin to be selected in the first round joining Jeremy Sowers (6th overall, Cleveland 2004), Price (1st overall, Tampa Bay 2007), Casey Weathers (8th overall, Colorado 2007), Mike Minor (7th overall, Atlanta 2009), Sonny Gray (18th overall, Oakland 2011), Grayson Garvin (59th overall, Tampa Bay 2011) and Tyler Beede (14th overall, San Francisco).
Vanderbilt finished off the school’s second national championship and first men’s title with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Virginia in the finals of the College World series to cap a 51-21 season in 2014. The Vanderbilt skipper was named the consensus National Coach of the Year. Corbin’s Commodores rose to the occasion in the postseason sweeping through the Nashville Regional with wins over Xavier and Oregon before taking down Stanford in three games of the Super Regional to advance to Vanderbilt’s second College World Series in school history. Hawkins Field hosted NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals for the third time in four years. In Omaha, Corbin continued to push the Commodores with wins over rival Louisville in the first round and comeback win over UC Irvine. Vanderbilt reached the championship series with a dramatic, walk-off win over Texas on Tyler Campbell’s bases loaded, infield single. The team sealed the national title in the third game thanks to an eighth inning, solo homer from John Norwood and clutch pitching from Adam Ravenelle.The final victory in Omaha gave the Dores a 10-3 record in the NCAA Tournament.
Corbin reached two more milestones during the regular season with his 500th victory at Vanderbilt, a 5-1 victory at Missouri on May 3, 2014, and his 600th career victory with a win at Arkansas on April 19, 2014.
Vanderbilt’s middle infield of Swanson and Vince Conde led the way much of the season with the duo earning first team All-SEC honors. Both garnered All-America honors along with freshmen Bryan Reynolds and Hayden Stone, who picked up freshman All-America status. Fulmer was picked as a second team All-SEC and All-Defense team member by the league’s coaches. Over the summer the Dores pulled off another program first with four players – Swanson, Fulmer, Bryan Reynolds and Buehler – suiting up for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, matching the Collegiate National Team’s record for players from one school.
Tyler Beede became the ninth player under Corbin to be drafted in the first round of the MLB Draft in June when the San Francisco Giants picked Beede with the 14th overall selection.
For the second time in his career Corbin was named the SEC Coach of the Year by the league’s coaches after the Commodores posted one of the best seasons in school history in 2013. The Commodores matched a school record with a 54-12 mark and smashed the Southeastern Conference record, finishing the conference slate an amazing 26-3. Vanderbilt won every series during the regular season, including nine series sweeps. The squad outscored opponents by an average of 8.2-3.9 runs per game with the pitching staff turning in a sub 3.00 ERA for the second time in three seasons.
The Commodores’ SEC regular season championship was the team’s second in three years and third under Corbin. For the fourth time in five years the Dores played in the SEC Tournament championship and made their eighth straight NCAA Tournament while hosting regionals for the third time and super regionals for the second time.
Five Commodores earned All-American honors led by first-team All-Americans Tony Kemp and Beede. Kemp became just the second Commodore in history to be named SEC Player of the Year and just the third in league history to win both Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year awards in his career. Over the summer, Beede pitched for Team USA to become the 12th Vanderbilt player to don the stars and stripes.
The 2012 Commodores overcame a slow start to post the team’s seventh straight trip to the postseason. The Dores finished the season as one of the hottest teams in the nation winning four consecutive SEC series, including series victories over No. 3 Kentucky and No. 4 LSU. Vanderbilt rolled into the SEC Tournament having won 12 of the last 15 regular season games. Corbin guided the Commodores to the tournament championship game for the sixth time in nine trips, losing to a red-hot Mississippi State team. Vanderbilt made the NCAA Tournament with a trip to the Raleigh Regional finishing runner-up to host NC State to end the season 35-28.
For the second consecutive season, the Commodores’ freshman class was tabbed the nation’s best by Baseball America, becoming the first school in the poll’s 13-year history to post back-to-back top classes. Vanderbilt’s 2012 freshman class was the unanimous top class, also picking up the honor from Collegiate Baseball. Since Corbin’s arrival in 2003, Vanderbilt has earned three top-ranked recruiting classes (2005) and is the only school in the nation to have more than two top classes.
In 2012, one of Corbin’s prize pupils, Price, was named the American League Cy Young Award winner. Price was the top overall pick by Tampa Bay in 2007 after a stellar career at Vanderbilt. The southpaw went 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA and 205 strikeouts over 211 innings for the Rays to become the first Commodore to win the Cy Young.
The Commodores’ magical run to Omaha featured several school records equaled or passed. Vanderbilt won 54 games to match the school record set in 2007 and set the SEC record with 12 players selected in the Major League Baseball draft. Hawkins Field hosted the NCAA Regional round for just the second time in history and Super Regionals for the first time with the Dores sweeping through both rounds en route to the College World Series. Individual awards supplemented the team’s success with Grayson Garvin earning SEC Pitcher of the Year and Kemp picking up SEC Freshman of the Year honors. Garvin became the second Vanderbilt pitcher to earn the prestigious league award joining Price, while Kemp is the second Commodore to be named the league’s freshman of the year along with Pedro Alvarez. All four awards have come under Corbin’s watch. Sonny Gray, Jason Esposito, Aaron Westlake and Garvin all garnered All-American honors with Kevin Ziomek, T.J. Pecoraro, Conrad Gregor and Kemp being named Freshmen All-American.
The 2010 Commodores racked up the second-most wins in school history finishing the year with a 46-20 mark, eventually falling at Florida State in the third game of the Super Regional. In order to get to Florida State the team advanced out of the Louisville regional, a place where the Dores’ 2009 season end. During the regular season, Corbin led the Commodores to a 16-12 mark, good enough for third in the Southeastern Conference East Division behind Florida and eventual national champion South Carolina.
In 2009, Corbin took a young squad with seven new offensive starters and molded them into a team that finished with a 37-27 record and runner-up finishes in the SEC tournament and the NCAA Louisville Regional. The 2009 draft featured six Commodores selected, highlighted by junior pitcher Mike Minor’s selection with the seventh overall pick by the Atlanta Braves. His selection marked the fifth time in the last three seasons a Vanderbilt student-athlete has been picked in the first round.
In 2008, Corbin guided the Commodores to their second straight 40-win season (41-22) and third consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Commodores battled through the first half of the season without the services of Preseason Player of the Year Pedro Alvarez and managed to record road sweeps over Mississippi State and Tennessee for the first time in school history.
The 2008 draft had eight Commodores selected, highlighted by Pedro Alvarez who was taken with the second overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Vanderbilt became the first school in draft history to have the first overall pick (Price in 2007) and second overall pick in consecutive drafts.
In 2007, Corbin guided the Commodores to their best season ever, finishing with a school-record 54 wins. The team also achieved a No. 1 national ranking for the first time in school history and held that honor for 13 of 15 weeks during the regular season.
Vanderbilt also swept through the SEC, winning both the regular season and tournament crown for the first time ever, and it marked the first time an SEC team had done it since 1996. The team lost only one conference series the entire season against SEC West Division winner Arkansas in Fayetteville and avenged the series loss by defeating the Razorbacks in the SEC tournament title game.
The conference recognized Corbin for the work he had done, naming him SEC Coach of the Year. Corbin also picked up co-National Coach of the Year honors from College Baseball Insider and regional Coach of the Year honors by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
The Commodores hosted their first NCAA Regional as the No. 1 national seed and arrived as a power in college baseball. Corbin’s success and methods of running the Vanderbilt program has earned him respect among the college and international baseball communities. In the summer of 2006 he managed the USA Baseball National Team to a 28-2-1 record that culminated with a gold medal finish at the International University Sports Federation World University Championship in Havana, Cuba. The .919 winning percentage set a national team high and garnered special recognition by the United States Olympic Committee.
In 2006, he led a youthful Commodore squad to a 38-27 record and sixth-place finish in the rugged SEC. The team was the youngest team in the league, with seven everyday starters being freshmen or sophomores. For the second time in three seasons, Corbin guided the team to the SEC championship game and the young squad also gained valuable NCAA experience after advancing to the championship round of the Atlanta Regional. The team posted impressive series wins over College World Series participant Georgia, Super Regional participants South Carolina and Ole Miss, and took series on the road against Florida and LSU. The team handed LSU its worst conference loss at home in school history.
In 2005, Corbin directed the squad to its second consecutive 30-win season, an achievement that had not been done in over 15 years. The campaign was highlighted with series wins over Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and College World Series participant Tennessee.
In 2004, Corbin not only directed the Commodores to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 24 years, but their first-ever Super Regional as they swept through the Charlottesville Regional with victories over George Mason, Princeton and host Virginia. In the Super Regional, they fell to the eventual national runner-up, Texas, still carved out a piece of history as the first team in NCAA baseball history to make it that far one year after finishing with a sub-.500 record. Vanderbilt racked up 45 wins, was the only team to rank among the SEC’s top five in earned run average (first), batting average (fourth) and fielding percentage (first) and finished with a .703 winning percentage, third-best in the highly competitive conference, which sent nine schools to the NCAA Tournament. The Commodores’ school-record .978 fielding percentage was second in the nation, and their 30 error-free games were 11 more than the previous season.
His first Vanderbilt team in 2003 finished 27-28 overall and 14-16 in the SEC, good enough for second in the Eastern Division. It earned a conference tournament berth with a season-ending sweep of Tennessee capped by a dramatic ninth-inning rally in the series finale. The overall and conference victory totals were the most by a first-year Vanderbilt coach and made more impressive by the fact that the Commodores were 12-5 in one-run games. That squad set then school records for fielding percentage (.972), fewest errors in a season (60), most saves in a season (15) and fewest walks allowed in a season (168). The team notched series victories over nationally-ranked conference foes LSU, Auburn and Florida, each among the top 15 at the time. On May 6, 2003, Vanderbilt recorded the first perfect game in school history, which was a collective effort. Four different pitchers contributed to the 4-0 victory over Western Kentucky.
In addition to the on field successes, the baseball program itself has had significant upgrades to the facilities with a new fieldhouse, complete with new locker rooms for players, coaches and Commodore alums playing professional baseball. Also included are coach’s offices, a classroom that overlooks Hawkins Field and a new weight room.
In 2009, permanent seats in the outfield pushed Hawkins Field seating capacity to double the amount when Corbin arrived in 2003. These upgrades reinforced the excitement and commitment made to the baseball program due to the successes Corbin achieved. In the latest facility improvement the playing surface at Hawkins Field was replaced during the summer of 2012 with a synthetic surface. The timing of the change to turf was perfect as the Commodores played multiple games in bad weather during the 2013 season.
Corbin, along with his coaching staff’s recruiting efforts paid off in 2005, 2011 and 2012 as each recruiting class was labeled the nation’s best by Baseball America.
Before Corbin was hired as the 21st coach in program history, Vanderbilt had not earned a spot in the conference tournament in a decade but made the post-season tournament in 2004. During the 2004 regular season, Vanderbilt swept a series against Mississippi State for the first time. It was one of three conference whitewashes and one of five series wins in all. His efforts earned him the 2004 Vanderbilt Coach of the Year award and a nomination for the Nashville Sports Council’s Sports Person of the Year. Plus, a school-record five players were named to the SEC All-Tournament team, five players were drafted on the first day and seven Vanderbilt players in all were chosen in the Major League Baseball Draft, topped by No. 6 overall pick, Jeremy Sowers.
Corbin came to Vanderbilt following nine seasons as an assistant coach at baseball power Clemson. During his time there (1994-2002), the Tigers had more victories than all but four programs. Clemson won more than 71-percent (434 wins, 172 losses) of its games, captured two Atlantic Coast Conference regular season titles, made nine appearances in the NCAA Tournament and reached the College World Series four times (1995, 1996, 2000 and 2002). The Tigers ended the 2002 season with their ninth consecutive top-25 finish and sixth top 10-finish since 1994. Corbin was promoted twice during his tenure. He received the title of assistant head coach in 1998 and in September 2001 became associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. He crafted a national reputation as one of the most respected assistant coaches in the country while helping produce nine straight top-25 ranked recruiting classes. His on-field work with outfielders and hitters helped 20 Clemson players earn All-America honors and 36 drafted to play professional baseball.
Corbin’s dedication and attention to detail caught the eye of the national baseball publication Baseball America on numerous occasions. In 1997, it touted the Clemson coaching staff as one of the top five “College Recruiting Staffs” in the country. It later tabbed the 1999 Tiger freshman class as No. 1 nationally. In 2000, Baseball America and the American Baseball Coaches Association named Corbin its National Assistant Coach of the Year. Also in 2000, Southern California head coach Mike Gillespie served as skipper of the USA Baseball team and chose Corbin as an assistant for his staff. That group guided the Americans to a gold-medal finish at the World Championships in the Netherlands, and that team set a national program record for best winning percentage (.900).
Prior to his tenure at Clemson, Corbin was head coach at Presbyterian College for six seasons beginning in 1988. There he restarted a baseball program that had been dormant for several years. He directed Presbyterian College from NAIA to NCAA Division II status and had a 106-138 overall record. Along the way, the Blue Hose made three consecutive appearances in the South Atlantic playoffs (1991-93), and Corbin earned South Atlantic Coach of the Year honors in 1990.
Vanderbilt – 2003-present (Head Coach) • Corbin’s record of 753-359-1 (.677) is first all-time in wins at Vanderbilt and first in winning percentage for coaches with 100-plus games … Boasts a career record of 859-497-1 (.633) … Has led Vanderbilt to 14 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, matching Arkansas’s Dave Van Horn (2003-15) for the longest in SEC history … Helped Vanderbilt to four College World Series appearances including three trips to the finals and two national championships … Since taking over in 2003, 48 players have been named All-America including 14 who have received first-team All-America recognition … Tutored 28 freshman All-Americans and 24 future MLB players.
Team USA – 2006 (Head Coach) • Guided National Team to its then-best record, finishing 28-2-1 (.919) … Club became first Team USA contingent to win a tournament on Cuban soil … Team hit .300 while pitching staff sported a 1.24 ERA and 10 shutouts.
Clemson – 2001-02 (Associate Head Coach) • Helped Clemson to its ninth consecutive top-25 finish during 2002 College World Series run … During his tenure with the Tigers, the program won more than 71% (434 wins, 172 losses) of its games, captured two Atlantic Coast Conference regular season titles, made nine appearances in the NCAA Tournament and reached the College World Series four times (1995, 1996, 2000 and 2002) … His on-field work with outfielders and hitters helped 20 student-athletes earn All-America honors and 36 play professional baseball.