Brad Weitzel is in his sixth season at Florida after helping the Gators sweep through the 2012 NCAA Gainesville Regional and Super Regionals on their way to the College World Series for the third year in a row. In his five years on Kevin O’Sullivan’s staff, the Orange and Blue has made five NCAA Tournament appearances, captured four NCAA Regionals, seized three Southeastern Conference Eastern Division crowns, brought home consecutive SEC titles and also won the 2011 SEC Tournament for the first time in 20 years.
Involved in all facets of the program, Weitzel’s efforts have been critical to the team’s resurgence over the past five years to become a national powerhouse. His work with the Gator defense in 2010 resulted in a school-record fielding percentage of .978 that led the SEC and was ranked sixth nationally. Under his watch, UF has registered its top three fielding teams in school history (.978 in 2010, .977 in 2012 and .974 in 2011). Last season, Florida reached the 40-win plateau for the 21st time in school history and advanced to Omaha for the third-straight time for the first time in program history.
During a memorable 2011 campaign, the Gators established a school record for wins, advanced to the NCAA College World Series Championship Finals, captured their second-straight SEC title and collected their first SEC Tournament trophy since 1991. UF finished with an overall mark of 53-19 and returned to Omaha, Neb., in consecutive seasons for the first time after claiming the Regionals and Super Regionals held at McKethan Stadium.
In 2010, the Gators captured their first SEC Championship in five years and advanced to the final College World Series held at historic Rosenblatt Stadium. Along the way to an impressive 47-17 performance and a top-10 national ranking, UF also seized its second-consecutive SEC Eastern Division crown, swept through the NCAA Gainesville Regional for the second year in a row and defeated Miami (Fla.) in two games of the NCAA Gainesville Super Regional to reach the CWS.
In ’09, the Gators claimed the SEC East, captured the NCAA Gainesville Regional with three-straight wins, appeared in Super Regionals for the first time in four years and enjoyed their highest finish in the national rankings since 2005 with a consensus top-15 showing. Florida enjoyed an increase in batting average (.309) and fielding percentage (.966), as well as a drop in the staff’s earned run average (4.27), for the second-consecutive year.
During Weitzel’s first season at UF in 2008, the Gators returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the program was the runner-up at the 2005 NCAA College World Series. His efforts were instrumental in helping UF improve across the board in hitting, pitching and fielding on its way to a third-place showing in the SEC after preseason projections had the club expected to finish near the bottom of the league. In 30 league games, the Gators boasted an SEC-best .305 batting average and also registered the lowest team ERA (4.00).
Named the Florida Diamond Club Scout of the Year in 1998, 1999 and 2004, Weitzel became a member of the Gator staff in June 2007 after serving as the Florida Area Scout for the Minnesota Twins since 1991. Eighteen of his signees have reached the Major Leagues, including A.J. Pierzynski of the Chicago White Sox and Denard Span of the Minnesota Twins. Weitzel was a coach for Minnesota's organization in the Instructional League between 1996 and 2001, coached with the Gulf Coast League Twins in 1996 and was the team's pitching coach in 2000.
"When we put this staff together, what I wanted to do was have a well-rounded staff," head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. "Some guys get labeled as a hitting coach or an infielder’s coach. In coaching, you use a player’s strengths to put him in the right situation. Coaching is no different."
"When I put this staff together, Brad was at the top of my wish list. We each have the same coaching background. His hitting, fielding, and base-running philosophies are all what I would teach if my expertise was in those areas of the game. It would be a great mistake to limit either Brad or Craig (Bell) to coaching only one area on the field. They must have constant communication between each other about where they’re at with certain kids and we will do that on a daily basis. I’m going to let these guys go and do what they do best."
An assistant coach at the University of North Florida from 1987-91, Weitzel served on the staff of the Ospreys' teams which placed third in both the 1989 and 1991 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) World Series in Lewiston, Idaho.
Weitzel served as pitching coach for the Erie (Pa.) Sailors of the New York-Penn League in 1990 and guided the squad to a runner-up performance in the best-of-three championship series versus the Oneonta Yankees. He was also an assistant at Palm Beach (Fla.) Community College from 1984-87. Weitzel coached current Gator assistant Craig Bell all four years of his collegiate career, in 1986-87 at Palm Beach and in 1988-89 at UNF, and coached O'Sullivan when the UF skipper was a member of the 1987 Jupiter (Fla.) American Legion team.
Weitzel earned his master's degree in health education from Nova Southeastern University (1987) and his bachelor's degree in health and physical education (1983) from the University of Georgia, where he was an infielder for the Bulldogs under head coach Steve Webber in 1981-82. He received an associate of arts degree from Palm Beach in 1980 and was a two-year letterwinner on the baseball team for head coach Dusty Rhodes during the 1979 and 1980 seasons.
Weitzel and his wife, Lori, have been married for over 29 years and are the parents of 18-year-old twins, Layne and Lucas. Lucas, who holds the national career prep record for hit-by-pitches (71), is a freshman on Eckerd College’s baseball team.
THE BRAD WEITZEL FILE
Birthdate: November 16, 1957
Hometown: Salamanca, N.Y.
- Associate of Arts - Palm Beach Community College, 1980
- Bachelor of Science - Health and Physical Education, University of Georgia, 1983
- Master of Science - Health Education, Nova Southeastern University, 1987
- Assistant Coach, Palm Beach Community College, 1984-87
- Pitching Coach, Erie (Pa.) Sailors, New York-Penn League, 1990
- Assistant Coach, University of North Florida, 1987-91
- Coach, Minnesota Twins, Instructional League, 1996-2001
- Coach, Gulf Coast League Twins, 1996 & 2000
- Assistant Coach, University of Florida, 2007-present
Professional Baseball Experience:
- Florida Area Scout, Minnesota Twins, 1991-2007
- Palm Beach Community College, 1979-80
- University of Georgia, 1981-82
Weitzel’s Major Leaguers
|Cleatus Davidson||Minnesota Twins (1999)|
|Matt Fox||Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox (2010)|
|Gus Gandarillas||Milwaukee Brewers (2001)|
|Doug Mientkiewicz||Minnesota Twins (1998-2004), Boston Red Sox (2004), New York Mets (2005), Kansas City Royals (2006), New York Yankees (2007), Pittsburgh Pirates (2008), Los Angeles Dodgers (2009)|
|Jason Miller||Minnesota Twins (2007)|
|Kevin Ohme||St. Louis Cardinals (2003)|
|Juan Padilla||New York Yankees (2004), Cincinnati Reds (2004), New York Mets (2005)|
|Danny Perkins||Minnesota Twins (1999)|
|A.J. Pierzynski||Minnesota Twins (1998-2003), San Francisco Giants (2004), Chicago White Sox (2005-12)|
|Robert Radlosky||Minnesota Twins (1999)|
|Fred Rath||Colorado Rockies (1998)|
|Denard Span||Minnesota Twins (2008-12)|
|Anthony Swarzak||Minnesota Twins (2009, 2011-12)|
|Tommy Watkins||Minnesota Twins (2007)|
|Lance Carter||Kansas City Royals (1999), Tampa Ray Devil Rays (2002-05), Los Angeles Dodgers (2006)|
|J.D. Martinez||Houston Astros (2011)|
|Steve Pearce||Pittsburgh Pirates (2007-11), Baltimore Orioles (2012), Houston Astros (2012), New York Yankees (2012)|
|Mickey Storey||Houston Astros (2012)|
Weitzel’s Major Leaguers that he coached as an Amateur, Minor Leaguer or in Instructional League (29)
|Andy Abad||Jupiter American Legion||Oakland Athletics (2001), Boston Red Sox (2003), Cincinnati Reds (2006)|
|Travis Bowyer||GCL Twins Rookie League||Minnesota Twins (2005)|
|Rob Bowen||Twins Instructional League||Minnesota Twins (2003-04), San Diego Padres (2006-07), Chicago Cubs (2007), Oakland Athletics (2007-08)|
|Jay Canizaro||Twins Instructional League||San Francisco Giants (1996, 1999), Minnesota Twins (2000, 2002)|
|Michael Cuddyer||Twins Instructional League||Minnesota Twins (2001-11), Colorado Rockies (2012)|
|Todd Dunn||University of North Florida||Milwaukee Brewers (1996-97)|
|J.D. Durbin||GCL Twins Rookie League||Minnesota Twins (2004), Arizona Diamondbacks (2007), Philadelphia Phillies (2007)|
|Gar Finnvold||Palm Beach Junior College||Boston Red Sox (1994)|
|Joe Grahe||Palm Beach Junior College||California Angels (1990-94), Colorado Rockies (1995), Philadelphia Phillies (1999)|
|Torii Hunter||Twins Instructional League||Minnesota Twins (1997-2007), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2008-12)|
|Adam Johnson||Twins Instructional League||Minnesota Twins (2001, 2003)|
|Jacque Jones||Twins Instructional League||Minnesota Twins (1999-2005), Chicago Cubs (2006-07), Detroit Tigers (2008), Florida Marlins (2008)|
|Jason Kubel||GCL Twins Rookie League||Minnesota Twins (2004-11), Arizona Diamondbacks (2012)|
|Matt LeCroy||Twins Instructional League||Minnesota Twins (2000-05, 2007), Washington Nationals (2006)|
|Nick Maronde||University of Florida||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2012)|
|Joe Mauer||Twins Instructional League||Minnesota Twins (2004-12)|
|Jose Morales||Twins Instructional League||Minnesota Twins (2007, 2009-10), Colorado Rockies (2011)|
|Justin Morneau||GCL Twins Rookie League||Minnesota Twins (2003-12)|
|Peter Moylan||GCL Twins Rookie League||Atlanta Braves (2006-11)|
|Josh Rabe||Twins Instructional League||Minnesota Twins (2006-07)|
|Mike Restovich||Twins Instructional League||Minnesota Twins (2002-04), Colorado Rockies (2005), Pittsburgh Pirates (2005), Chicago Cubs (2006), Washington Nationals (2007)|
|Luis Rivas||GCL Twins Rookie League||Minnesota Twins (2000-05), Cleveland Indians (2006), Pittsburgh Pirates (2008)|
|Juan Rincon||Twins Instructional League||Minnesota Twins (2001-08), Cleveland Indians (2008), Detroit Tigers (2009), Colorado Rockies (2009-10)|
|Sid Roberson||University of North Florida||Milwaukee Brewers (1995)|
|Steven Rodriguez||University of Florida||Los Angeles Dodgers (2012)|
|Alex Romero||Twins Instructional League||Arizona Diamondbacks (2008-09)|
|Mike Ryan||GCL Twins Rookie League||Minnesota Twins (2002-05), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2010)|
|Brian Tollberg||University of North Florida||San Diego Padres (2000-03)|
|Brian Wolfe||Twins Instructional League||Toronto Blue Jays (2007-09)|