Brandon Hennessey, a collegiate pitching coach veteran of over a decade begins his second season as the pitching coach at Emmanuel College. In his first season at EC in 2017, Coach Hennessey implemented a new analytical approach and philosophy for the EC pitching staff that revolved around run prevention. A new standard and expectation was established during Coach Hennessey’s first year that laid the foundation for the positive future for EC pitchers.
Coach Hennessey came to Emmanuel College after serving the 2017 season as the Interim Head Baseball Coach at fellow NCAA Division 2 member Young Harris College. Before being promoted to Interim Head Coach for the 2017 season, Coach Hennessey served as the Pitching Coach and coordinated recruiting for the Mountain Lions.As Head Coach at Young Harris in 2017, YHC garnered their most program wins since 2014 and as pitching coach lowered the program ERA by over two full runs. YHC drastically improved after Coach Hennessey stepped into the leadership role of YHC Baseball. The program became competitive and competed for a playoff spot all the way down to the last weekend of the season, something the YHC baseball program had ever done in the NCAA era of the program.
Before arriving at Young Harris College, Coach Hennessey served a two year stint as pitching coach at the NCAA Division 1 level’s University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). During his two-year stay with the Vaqueros, he lowered the inherited pitching staff earned run average from 4.25 to 3.84 in 2014 – the lowest in UTRGV history since 1992. UTRGV finished the season 10th in NCAA Division 1 with a starting rotation ERA of 2.27 during 2014. The Vaqueros, who finished in second place in the Western Athletic Conference in 2014, finished second in the league in ERA. During the 2014 season, Hennessey tutored starter Sam Street, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Street, who was named the 2014 WAC Pitcher of the Year, finished the season tied for first in the NCAA in wins (12), complete games (11), and 25th nationally with an ERA of 1.81. Street was a top-15 finalist for the NCAA Division I 2014 National Pitcher of the Year while being named Louisville Slugger 2nd Team All-American.
Prior to UTRGV, he served as the assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Reinhardt University in 2012-13, with his on field duties being the development of the pitching staff. In just one year under Hennessey, the Reinhardt pitching staff lowered its team ERA from 6.08 to 4.23, the lowest in the program history. Reinhardt pitchers also lowered their walks by 70 and lowered their batting average against by over 30 points.
As a collegiate player at NCAA Division 1 San Jose State University from 2005-08, when it was a member of the WAC, the right-handed Hennessey went 10-6 with one save in 67 games (15 starts). He struck out 89 while walking 40 in 158 innings. He also served as the team representative to San Jose State’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
After his playing career came to an end, Hennessey moved into the collegiate coaching ranks, first at Gavilan Junior College in 2009 where he served as the pitching coach. While with the Rams, Hennessey’s pitching staff made tremendous strides by lowering its team ERA by over three full runs. Hennessey then spent the summer of 2009 coaching the pitchers in the prestigious Alaskan Baseball League for the Peninsula Oilers. That summer, the Oilers pitching staff led the ABL in team ERA at 2.40.
Hennessey moved on to Cabrillo College in the fall of 2009 to help resurrect the Seahawk program under his former High School Coach Bob Kittle. Hennessey served as his pitching coach/recruiting coordinator for three seasons. Hennessey’s recruiting efforts garnered Cabrillo the largest single season record improvement in the state of California. The Seahawks improved from a 6-30 record to a 23-13 record in just one season and Cabrillo made a California Junior College Postseason Regional for the first time in 10 years. In all at Cabrillo, Hennessey’s pitching staffs led the Coast Conference Pacific Division in ERA in 2011 (3.00) and 2012 (3.18) and earned back-to-back California JuCO Regional appearances for the first time in program history. Cabrillo was ranked as high as No. 12 during Hennessey’s time there.
After the 2012 baseball season, Hennessey accepted the pitching coach position at his Alma Mater San Jose State University under head coach Sam Piraro where he served briefly before the retirement of Coach Sam Piraro.
Hennessey and his wife Suzanne reside in Athens, Georgia.
Professional pitchers developed under Coach Hennessey:
Shane Carle (Atlanta Braves) – Current Reliever for the Braves
Kyle Barraclough (Miami Marlins) – Current Closer for the Marlins
Chad Smith (Detroit Tigers) – MLB Debut 2014
Street, Scott Snodgress (Chicago White Sox) – MLB Debut 2014
Kevin Rath (Chicago White Sox)
Cody Kendall (Texas Rangers)
Josh Corrales (Seattle Mariners)
Sam Street (Pittsburg Pirates)
Alex Hensen (Los Angeles Angels)
Coach Hennessey's Letter of Commitment:
In my position as an assistant baseball coach at Emmanuel College; I commit to being an active participant in the lives of my players both on and off the field. I commit to being a guide and mentor for the betterment of each player. I commit to investing in each individual on a personal level and preparing our players to be productive members of society when they leave Emmanuel College. I commit to being a positive personal example for each player through commitment, integrity, and passion.