Bill Deckerwas introduced as the Joseph J. O'Donnell '67 Head Coach for Harvard Baseball on September 26, 2012. He will begin his seventh season at the helm of the Crimson in 2019.
The 2018 season was one of the most successful seasons yet, with a 22-20 (.524) overall record and 12-9 (.571) conference record. The season contained the most wins for the Harvard baseball program since 2005 and the most Ivy League wins since 2007, with its best conference finish since 2010. Decker coached to a career-best 22 wins with the Crimson, reuniting with a series sweep after nine years in a three-game win over Princeton.
Harvard won its first Beanpot Championship title since 2014 and fifth in program history, going 3-0 against Massachusetts and recording its first win over Northeastern since 2010. In addition, the Crimson closed out their season with a series win over Dartmouth for the first time in 13 years.
Seven members of Decker’s team were awarded All-Ivy recognition in nine separate awards, more than any other team in the conference. The three All-Ivy first team honorees included Ben Skinner, Patrick Robinson and Noah Zavolas (by unanimous selection). Hunter Bigge, Simon Rosenblum-Larson, Matt Rothenberg and Jake Suddleson were all named All-Ivy Second Team.
Zavolas was also named Ivy League Pitcher of the Year after tossing a no-hitter against Yale, the first in 17 years. Zavolas and Rosenblum-Larson were both drafted in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft as picks for the Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays, respectively.
Twenty-one players earned ECAC Academic Honors for the season, with the program receiving the NCAA Academic Progress Rate Public Recognition Award for the 13th year. Rothenberg and Devan Peterson were also picks for CoSIDA Academic All-District, making Harvard the only team in District I to have two honorees.
Decker led the 2016 Harvard squad to a 17-24 overall record, including a 9-11 mark in Ivy League play, with an impressive win over Wake Forest. Under his leadership, Nick Gruener, John Fallon, Matt Rothenberg, and Josh Ellis earned All-Ivy League recognition, as the program continued its upwards trend.
Harvard continued its improvement under Decker in 2015, tallying an 18-24 record in the program's most successful season since 2007. Harvard finished second in the Ivy League Red Rolfe division, and tallied seven wins in conference play. Ethan Ferreira was named to the All-Ivy first team, and Mike Martin and Jake McGuiggan were selected to the second team.
Decker's Crimson also saw improvement in 2014, earning an 11-28 record, including a Baseball Beanpot Championship, Harvard's first since 2005. Three Crimson, Mike Martin, Kyle Larrow and Carlton Bailey, earned All-Ivy League honors under his guidance last season as well.
After taking over in September of 2012, Decker led the Crimson to a 10-31 record in 2013, including a third-place finish in the Ivy League's Red Rolfe Division. The Crimson had three All-Ivy choices in Tanner Anderson, Mike Martin and Brandon Kregel.
Decker, the 2008 ABCA National Coach of the Year, spent 22 season as head coach of the Trinity College (Conn.) baseball team before coming to Harvard. Trinity’s all-time winningest coach, he owned a 529-231 (.696) record while winning five conference championships and advancing to nine NCAA Tournament appearances and winning one national title.
In 2008, Decker led Trinity to a 45-1 mark en route to the school's first-ever NCAA Division III National championship. After finishing the regular season undefeated, the Bantams ran their record streak to 44 games, which is the longest winning-streak in Division III history. The .978 winning percentage set a new NCAA record in any division in any sport.
On top of being selected as the 2008 ABCA National Coach of the Year, Decker was also selected as the New England Coach of the Year in 1999, 2004, 2008 and 2009 as well as the New England Small College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2009.
In 2012, Decker led the Bantams to a 34-11 record and a fifth NESCAC Championship title. In 2009, the Bantams won the NESCAC Championship, and the New England Regional Championship to earn a second consecutive bid to the Div. III College World Series. In 2007, Decker's team advanced to NCAA Tournament play for the third time in five years and won four games in the regional.
In 2005, Decker guided Trinity to a 35-9 record and was named the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) Coach of the Year. Trinity also won its second NCAA Division III Regional Championship title in three years and made its second trip to the NCAA Division III World Series.
All told, Decker owns 537 wins as a head coach at the collegiate level including one year at Macalester College in 1990. He got his college coaching start in 1989 as an assistant coach at Wesleyan (Conn.) Prior to that, Decker served single years in assistant roles at Deerfield Academy (Mass.) and Phillips Exeter Academy (N.H.) In all four of those stops, Decker also served as a member of the schools' football programs. He also served as a graduate assistant coach in football at his alma mater, Ithaca College (N.Y.)
Decker has been an active member of the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association as a regional coordinator. In 1997, Decker was a member of the USA Baseball National Trials coaching staff and has made summer trips as part of Major League Baseball International. Eight Trinity players have continued their baseball careers at the professional level in the past seven years, and Jonah Bayliss became the first NESCAC player in 10 years to appear in a major league game in 2006. Decker-coached athletes compete annually in the NCAA-sponsored collegiate leagues each summer.
A 1985 graduate of Ithaca College, Decker received a bachelor's degree in physical education with a minor in business. He also holds a master's degree in physical education with a concentration in coaching, which he received from his alma mater in 1992. Decker’s baseball career was cut short due to injury in college but the two-sport star was a team captain and an All-America defensive back for the football team.
Decker and his wife, Nancy, have three children, Kyle, Sarah and Kacey.
Bryan Stark joined the Harvard baseball team as an assistant coach in the fall of 2014 after two seasons at Navy in the same capacity.
In his fourth season with the Crimson, Stark accompanied a successful Harvard team to a Beanpot Championship title — its first since 2014 and fifth in program history — and its most wins since 2005 with a 22-20 overall record. Harvard tied for third in the conference with a record of 12-9, with contribution from seven All-Ivy players and four NEIBA All-New England selections.
In 2018, Stark was a part of the coaching staff that helped Noah Zavolas and Simon Rosenblum-Larson become 2018 MLB Draft picks for the Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays, respectively. In addition, the team was recognized for the NCAA Academic Progress Rate Public Recognition Award, with 21 players recognized by the ECAC for academic accomplishments.
In 2016, Stark helped Harvard to their most successful season since 2010, going 17-24 overall, and 9-11 in Ivy League play. Under his mentorship John Fallon and Matt Rothenberg emerged as dangerous threats in the Harvard lineup.
In his first season at Harvard, he played a key role in helping the team to an 18-24 record in the 2015 season, giving the program its most wins since 2007.
While in Annapolis, Stark served as the first base coach, while working with hitters and infielders. Stark guided a handful of Midshipmen to first team all-conference honors during his tenure as well.
Before arriving at Navy, he spent one season as an assistant coach at the University of Rochester in his home town. While at Rochester, Stark maintained various responsibilities for the Yellow Jackets, including working with the team's hitters and outfielders.
Stark has also served as general manager of the Youses Orioles, the Baltimore Orioles' collegiate summer league affiliate, and as the head coach of the Brockton Rox of the Future Collegiate Baseball League, where he was named Manager of the Year in 2014.
After graduating from SUNY Oswego, Stark was an assistant coach at his alma mater for a season. He played four seasons at SUNY Oswego where he earned all-conference honors and captained the team in his final two years.
Brady Kirkpatick was added to the Harvard baseball staff in July 2018. Kirkpatrick will primarily work with the pitching staff and comes to Cambridge after a two-year stint at Monmouth University, with prior coaching and recruiting experience at the University of Rochester and the University of San Diego.
While at Monmouth, Kirkpatrick helped lead the Hawks to a MAAC regular season title in 2018 and coached Dan Klepchick to MAAC Rookie of the Year as well as a Collegiate Baseball News Freshman All-America recognition.
Prior to his coaching career, Kirkpatrick pitched collegiately for three seasons at the University of Maryland before completing his career at the University of San Diego while obtaining his master’s degree. With the Terrapins, Kirkpatrick started 11 games as a junior and held opponents to a .256 batting average, third on the team, after pitching to a 3.04 ERA as a sophomore. In total, he tossed 169 innings as a Terp, striking out 122. He was part of the 2014 South Carolina Regional championship team as well as the first Super Regional Team in Maryland history. He spent the summer of 2012 pitching for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod Summer League, throwing to a 3.51 ERA.
Kirkpatrick graduated from Maryland with a degree in criminology and criminal justice, and from San Diego with a master’s degree in global business leadership. He is a 2010 graduate of Marist Catholic High School in Eugene, Oregon.
Kyle Decker joined the Crimson as a volunteer assistant coach in September 2018. Decker, a former infielder at Oberlin College (OH) and Trinity College (CT), also played professionally in Australia and Belgium.
Decker comes to Harvard following a season as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts under the guidance of head coach Matt Reynolds. He previously served as an assistant coach for the Plymouth Pilgrims in the New England Collegiate League (2017) and as the head coach of the Torrington Titans in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (2015).
At Oberlin, Decker helped the Yeomen to a North Coast Athletic Conference title and a berth in the NCAA Division III Regional tournament. He received postseason recognition on both the All-Conference and All-Regional Tournament teams. Decker was also a member of Trinity's New England Small College Athletic Conference championship squad in 2012.
Before beginning his college coaching career, Decker played baseball professionally for the Louvain-la-Neuve Phoenix Baseball Club in Belgium (2016) and the Baulkham Hills Baseball Club in Australia (2016-2017).
Decker graduated from Oberlin in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in politics.
Morgan Brown '06 made a move to Director of Baseball Operations for Harvard in the summer of 2014. One of the Ivy League's top shortstops during his tenure with the Crimson, Brown initially returned to the team in the fall of 2010 as an assistant coach, a position he held for four seasons.
As a player at Harvard, Brown was the 147th Captain of Harvard Baseball (2005-06). He received All-Ivy League recognition as a shortstop twice and won Ivy League and Beanpot titles in 2005, along with Rolfe Division titles in 2003, 2005, and 2006. Additionally, he was named the Harvard Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year in 2006 and to the All-Ivy Academic Team and ESPN the Magazine All-Region teams. He was awarded the Francis Burr '09 Scholarship as a senior, the oldest continually awarded prize in Harvard Athletics. Brown was also a national finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship.
Following his collegiate career, Brown signed with the Can-Am League’s North Shore Spirit, putting in 20 games with that team in 2006. In 2008, he returned to professional baseball and played overseas in Belgium and spent the 2008-09 winter season playing in Australia.
He returned to the Can-Am League in 2009, playing for Quebec and Brockton and then completed his professional career with Quebec in 2010.
While at Harvard, Brown played summer baseball in the Cape Cod Collegiate Baseball League with the Wareham Gatemen as well as in the New England Collegiate Baseball League with the North Adams SteepleCats.
Upon graduation, Brown was awarded Harvard's prestigious Michael Rockefeller Fellowship. He spent September of 2006 through August of 2007 in India where, among other duties, he worked in an HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment program.
In addition to his coaching and administrative duties Brown has previously worked for Oxfam America in the Humanitarian Response Department where he focused on setting up development and humanitarian relief programs in Haiti following the January 2010 earthquake, and was stationed in Port-au-Prince for much of 2010-11. Following the 2011 spring season and through until the early part of the 2012 season, he was stationed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia assisting in the response to the drought in the Horn of Africa. In addition to his continued role with baseball, in his full-time role, he also now serves as a senior international program consultant for Harvard University focusing on the international operations of the university and its faculty and schools.
Brown is also now back at Harvard as a student, pursuing his Masters Degree in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Jordan Knight joined the Harvard Sports Medicine staff during the 2014-15 academic year, and handles the athletic training needs for the baseball, football, and sailing programs. He is also the site coordinator for NCAA Drug Testing.
Knight came to Harvard after spending the last three years (2012-2014) at Auburn University. Knight was most recently a graduate assistant athletic trainer with the Tigers, where he worked closely with the football and baseball programs as well as serving as the liaison between the athletic trainers and team physician. He coordinated bi-weekly orthopedic clinics for athletes seen by Dr. James Andrews.
A native of East Waterboro, Maine, Knight graduated with a Master’s degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in sport biomechanics from Auburn University in 2014, and a Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from the University of Southern Maine in 2012.