Alabama Baseball Adds Terry Rooney to Coaching Staff
University of Alabama head baseball coach Greg Goff officially announced the addition of Terry Rooney to the Crimson Tide coaching staff on Friday evening. Rooney will hold the title of associate head coach while working as the team’s pitching coach and assisting with recruiting efforts. He brings a wealth of experience to Tuscaloosa, spending 20 years in the collegiate baseball coaching profession, including the past eight as a head coach at the University of Central Florida.
“There is no doubt that this is a huge day for our program,” Goff said. “To have the opportunity to hire a guy with the coaching pedigree like Terry Rooney is tremendous. He has experienced so many things in his coaching career from working his way up to being a top assistant in the SEC and helping take a team to Omaha, to becoming a well-respected head coach. It is a great opportunity for our program to have someone with that kind of experience come to be a part of what we are building at the University of Alabama.
“The thing I am so excited about is Terry’s ability to recruit,” Goff continued. “Everywhere he’s been, he has recruited top-10 classes and that’s why I was really attracted to what he brings to our program. In addition, the development that Terry has done with his pitching staffs at every stop is good as anybody in the country.”
Rooney has an extensive background in college baseball, making numerous stops prior to his most recent stint as the head coach at UCF from 2008-16. Before heading to Orlando, he was an assistant at LSU (2007-08), Notre Dame (2004-06), Stetson (2002-03), Old Dominion (2000-01), James Madison (1998-99) and George Washington (1997). In all of those stops, Rooney was involved in at least a pitching and/or recruiting role.
Rooney led the UCF baseball program to new heights during his eight seasons at the helm, helping the Knights earn a national top-30 ranking five separate years. Under his guidance, UCF reached the postseason in consecutive seasons in 2011 and 2012, marking just the second time in school history the program has achieved that feat. Rooney was named the American Conference Coach of the Year in 2014. The following season, Rooney guided UCF to a program-best No. 6 overall ranking by Baseball America.
His time at UCF was also highlighted by his recruiting efforts, where Rooney put together nationally recognized recruiting classes on four separate occasions. His 2010 recruiting class was slotted as the fourth-best nationally by Collegiate Baseball News and the 10th-ranked class by Baseball America. Among the 50 Major League Baseball draft picks across Rooney’s time as a head coach and an assistant include current standouts Justin Verlander and Jeff Samardzija.
LSU was his last stop as an assistant before becoming the head man at UCF. While with the Tigers, Rooney served as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator from 2007-08. He helped coach a 2008 squad that made it to Omaha for the College World Series, thanks in part to a standout pitching staff that walked only 201 batters compared to 554 punchouts. The Tigers’ arms allowed just 2.89 walks per nine innings to rank in the top 25, and that same staff combined to finish with a 4.11 ERA, a total that was also top-25 nationally.
Prior to his time at LSU, Rooney was the pitching coach at Notre Dame for three years, starting in the fall of 2003. The Fighting Irish were an NCAA Regional participant all three seasons, and his 2004 pitching staff maintained a 3.43 ERA that ranked ninth in the nation, while two of three years saw the Fighting Irish rank in the 20 nationally in ERA. His 2006 pitching staff allowed only 18 home runs and set or tied four ND pitching records. During his tenure in South Bend, 12 total pitchers were selected. In 2006, three Irish arms were chosen, highlighted by Samardzija in the fifth round to the Chicago Cubs. In 2004, two hurlers were taken in the first 10 rounds, marking the first time in program history that two Fighting Irish pitchers were chosen in the top 10 rounds of the same draft.
From 2000-01, Rooney worked at Old Dominion, helping the Monarchs earn an NCAA Regional berth as a No. 2 seed in 2000. Four of the pitchers that Rooney coached at ODU went on to play professional baseball, including Verlander, who he recruited and signed to play for the Monarchs.
Rooney played collegiately at Radford, where he pitched for three seasons for the Highlanders. For his career, he sported an 8-2 overall record and still ranks second all-time in school history with 79 appearances. He began his collegiate playing days at Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia, where he went 4-2 on the mound as a freshman. Rooney graduated from Radford in 1996 with his bachelor’s degree in social science.
A native of Fairfax, Va., he and his wife, Shaun, were married in December of 2007. The couple has one daughter, Milly Margaret, who was born in April of 2014.