Sports

Historic season earns Duke coach Chris Pollard a new contract

Duke's baseball team returns home to cheering fans

Duke coach Chris Pollard leads Blue Devils off the bus to cheering kids and fans as the team returns Tuesday June 5, 2018, after winning the NCAA baseball tournament's Athens Regional.
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Duke coach Chris Pollard leads Blue Devils off the bus to cheering kids and fans as the team returns Tuesday June 5, 2018, after winning the NCAA baseball tournament's Athens Regional.

After leading Duke to its best baseball season since 1961, Chris Pollard has agreed to a new, long-term contract.

Duke announced Thursday that Pollard has agreed to a contract extension through the 2025 season.

The Blue Devils set a school record for wins in a season, going 45-18, in 2018. Duke made the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons, winning the Athens (Ga.) Regional. By losing in the Super Regional round at Texas Tech, Duke fell one win short of the program's first College World Series appearance in 57 years.

Prior to Pollard's arrival in 2012, Duke hadn't made the NCAA Tournament since 1961, the last time it made the College World Series.

“What Chris Pollard has accomplished with the Duke baseball program is nothing short of astonishing,” Duke athletic director Kevin White said. “To be sure, we are beyond thrilled that an elite coach such as Chris will lead Duke baseball well into the future, which has never looked brighter. The extension represents an outstanding track record, including the program’s first two NCAA bids since 1961, five consecutive 30-win seasons, Duke’s first NCAA Super Regional appearance, compiling the most overall and ACC victories in a season and watching a program-tying record seven players selected in the 2018 Major League Baseball draft.”

After being ranked a total of six weeks over the first 36 years of Baseball America's top 25 poll, Duke spent 13 weeks in the rankings this season.

“I am very proud of what this 2018 squad accomplished,” Pollard said. “They will be forever remembered as one of the best teams in program history. However, there are goals we have not yet reached. With a supportive administration, great staff and hungry group of players, I have no doubt we will get there.”

The Blue Devils have posted a 198-146 overall record over Pollard's first six seasons.

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