Henderson Adds Brown to Coaching Staff
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah head baseball coach Gary Henderson adds a familiar face to his staff with the hiring of Mike Brown he announced on Wednesday. Brown will serve as Utah's third base coach and recruiting coordinator as well as the day-to-day operations.
"We are so excited to add Mike to our staff," Henderson said. "Mike joined our program at Kentucky after a stellar junior college career and blossomed into one of the best hitters in the SEC as a senior. His energy and passion for the game were obvious the moment I met him and it was clear that he was going to be a special coach when his playing career was over."
Brown, who played under Henderson at Kentucky, reunites with his former coach for the fourth time in their career. Brown joined Henderson on staff at Kentucky after graduation as a student assistant (2008-09) and then once again in 2014-15 as a graduate assistant before reuniting at Mississippi State (2017-18).
"He was instrumental in building New Mexico State for a pair of season and when I got to Mississippi State, we were fortunate to add mike to our coaching staff. His impact on the 2018 College World Series team was obvious in the way our athletes played the game and how they approached representing the community. Mike has gained valuable experience over the last three years and is poised to become one of the best young coaches in college baseball. He will have a major impact on our program and will fit right into our culture immediately. We are thrilled to welcome Mike, Sarah and his two daughters into the Utah Athletics family!"
Prior to joining the Utes, Brown served as the associate head coach at Hawaii for three seasons (2019-21). His impact for the Rainbow Warriors was immediate with Scotty Scott becoming the first UH baseball player to garner Big West Freshman Hitter of the Year honors in 2019. In addition, four other players earned All-Big West accolades that year as well.
This past season, Brown guided Dustin Demeter to first-team honors as the league's top designated hitter while Adam Fogel picked up second-team honors. Demeter was also named the National Player of the Week earlier in the season by two different publications after driving in 14 runs with three homers and 11 total hits to secure UH's series victory over Cal State Fullerton.
Brown's third stint alongside Henderson came at Mississippi State where he served as the camps coordinator and volunteer assistant in 2017 before being elevated to assistant coach in 2018 when Henderson took the helm. With Henderson at the helm and Brown by his side, Hail State went on to have a storybook season and advanced to the College World Series semifinals. MSU's run saw the Bulldogs win four-straight in the Tallahassee Regional before taking down Vanderbilt in three games and earn a spot in Omaha. Mississippi State took advantage of its opportunity and won its first two games at TD Ameritrade Ballpark before falling to the eventual champions, Oregon State.
Brown came to Starkville via New Mexico State, where he spent two seasons as the Aggies' assistant coach. Brown helped oversee New Mexico State's hitters, hitting system and coached third base, while also overseeing the NM State outfield. Brown was an instrumental part in New Mexico State making the biggest turnaround in college baseball in 2016 with the Aggies winning 23 more games than it did in 2015 and finished 34-23.
NM State's offense dominated the Western Athletic Conference while Brown was on staff, leading the league in batting (.297), slugging percentage (.445), runs (371), RBIs (344), doubles (112), home runs (49) HBPs (65) and total bases (887). In addition, he also guided Daniel Johnson to one of the best individual seasons at New Mexico State. Johnson became the first Aggie since 2009 to earn All-America honors. In total, Johnson was named the WAC Player of the Year, First-Team All-WAC, ABCA/Rawlings All-America Third-Team and ABCA/Rawlings First-Team All-Region. Johnson went on to become the 38th player drafted in program history after being selected in the fifth round (154th pick overall) by the Washington Nationals.
In his second stint with the Kentucky staff, Brown's hitting prowess was once again on display with the Wildcats leading the SEC in batting (.254), slugging percentage (.324), on-base percentage (.348), hits (323) and walks (145).
During his second tenure with UK, Brown helped develop one of the top players in collegiate baseball history in A.J. Reed. Reed was a dominant double threat, sweeping the national awards while leading the NCAA in home runs, slugging percentage and OPS and pacing the rigorous SEC in wins on the mound. Reed's success led him to be named the unanimous national player of the year and the highest-drafted player under Brown (2nd round, Houston Astros, 2014).
Brown also served on the UK coaching staff in 2008 under both John Cohen and Henderson, his first season after starring on the diamond for the Wildcats in 2007.
As a former baseball player at UK from 2006-07, Brown led the Wildcats to a historic pair of seasons and finished with his name all over the Wildcats' record book. After helping UK to the 2006 SEC Championship and hosting an NCAA Regional in his first season as a reserve utility man, Brown emerged as a star for SEC Coach of the Year John Cohen's 2007 squad. Brown led the club with a .369 average (8th in the SEC) and 68 runs. Brown's 1.28 average runs scored per game earned him a ninth-place finish in the NCAA that season as well. He finished 2007 ranked seventh in single-season history in runs, ninth in on-base percentage (.486), fourth in sac bunts (12) and ninth in hit by pitches (18).
He also played for Cuesta College before transferring to UK, where he was the only player in school history with a career average over .400 after earning a scorching .409 clip. In 2005, Brown was awarded the Western State Conference Player of the Year and was named a California Junior College Baseball All-American. Brown was also recognized for being the Cuesta Athlete of the Year in 2005.
A native of Davis, Calif., Brown earned his bachelor's degree from Kentucky in 2008 in agricultural academics before obtaining his masters of education in sports management in 2014.
Brown and his wife, Sarah, have two daughters, Riki and Anna.