A number of awards have been bestowed upon student-athletes during McKinley's tenure including: a Conference Player of the Year, seven All-Conference honorees, two NAIA All-Americans, six Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, and two Capital One Academic All-District selections - the first in program history.
Under McKinley's tutelage, three players have heard their names called in the MLB draft in just the last two seasons. In 2016, third baseman Lucas Erceg became the top selection of any NAIA player in the nation when he was taken in the second round, 46th overall, by the Milwaukee Brewers. Shortstop Max Dutto also cracked the top ten rounds of the 2016 draft when he was taken by the Chicago White Sox. In 2015, junior catcher Daniel Comstock was selected in the 18th round, 526th overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2015 MLB Draft.
A native of Placerville, Calif., McKinley comes to Menlo following a four-year stint as an assistant coach at NCAA Div. I Sacramento State where he helped the team to a 67-55 record over the last two seasons of his tenure. He began his tenure with Sac State as Director of Baseball Operations in 2010-11, was elevated to Volunteer assistant coach in 2011-2012, and elevated again to Recruiting Coordinator in 2012-2013. Seven players went on to sign professional contracts following the conclusion of their time at Sac State during McKinley’s tenure.
His coaching resume speaks for itself as he has amassed tremendous experience and success since entering the coaching ranks in 2006. He began his career as an assistant coach for his alma mater Bethany University (Santa Cruz) before traveling to Campbellsville University (Campbellsville, Ky.) to assume an assistant coaching role which he held from 2007-09. As an assistant coach for Campbellsville, McKinley played a crucial role in leading the team to a 39-12 record and a trip to the 2009 NAIA World Series - the first in program history. During his three year stint at Campbellsville, McKinley saw three players achieve All-American status and five named All-Conference while earning back-to-back Mid-South Conference titles. He returned to California in 2009 for a two-year stint at West Valley College (Saratoga) where he served as the team’s pitching coach. His pitching staff led all of California in shutouts thrown in 2010 and three players were selected to the All-Conference team.
In addition to his time in the college coaching ranks, McKinley spent a summer in Perth, Australia as a scout, coach and development officer for Major League Baseball in 2010.
As a player, McKinley enjoyed a standout career at NAIA Bethany University where he spent time as both a standout pitcher and first baseman. He broke multiple records for the team including: most strikeouts in a career, most strikeouts in a single season, lowest single season ERA and most innings pitched in both a season and career. He was twice named conference Pitcher of the Year and once named Most Valuable Player. Proving his versatility, McKinley still holds the third place spot in Bethany’s all-time home runs list.
McKinley received his Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications from Bethany University in 2006 and went on to earn a Master’s of Arts in Social Science from Campbellsville University in 2008.
What they’re saying:
“Jake is one of the best young coaches in California. His insight on the pitching side is beyond his years. His energy, attitude and ability to build a positive relationship with his players will allow Menlo College to take the next step as a program." – Sacramento State Head Baseball Coach Reggie Christiansen.
“Jake McKinley has the tools to be a great Head Baseball Coach. Work Ethic, very organized, great teacher and an ability to make the best of every situation. He has the character that will allow him and all those that play for him better.” – University of San Francisco Head Baseball Coach Nino Giarratano.
“The first decision I made as a collegiate head coach was to hire Jake, and it turned out to be the smartest decision I have ever made as a coach. He is simply a program changer. His work ethic is second to none, and he is a proven recruiter at every level. He is truly one of the best young coaches in the game. He is as loyal as they come and will do everything in his power to make his players, the program and Menlo College better. He will make a lifelong impact on all those around him, which is the true mark of a great coach and great man.” – Head Coach at Dawson Community College and former Bethany University Baseball Head Coach Chris Lewis.