Nittany Lions Return Coates, Coban, Farkes and Kendall in 2014
Penn State closes out 2013 vs. Michigan State starting on Thursday night at 6:05 p.m.
Jamie Burleson joined Lions after stints at Florida and South Carolina
Lions win first Big Ten series with two wins vs. Iowa
Novak has hit in six straight games entering midweek contest vs. Bucknell
In just seven years at the helm of the Penn State baseball program, head coach Robbie Wine has anchored the Nittany Lions into one of the most consistent teams in the Big Ten. Wine, the school's 13th coach of all-time, has turned the school's first intercollegiate athletic squad into one that continues to reach new heights. The Lions have been deemed as one of the most progressive teams in the nation by various college baseball media.
In 2011, Penn State certainly played up to its competition all year long as the squad posted a 5-3 record against teams that eventually earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament. In addition to the two victories against NC State, the Nittany Lions took two of three from Illinois and won their season-opening battle with Seton Hall, who went on to capture the BIG EAST championship. Penn State would go 12-12 in Big Ten play to earn a berth in the Big Ten Tournament.
In 2008, Wine became the first coach in school history to produce back-to-back top three finishes in the Big Ten. After a slow start to the season, the squad staged a dramatic rally to shut out Indiana and Iowa en route to 17 conference wins and the third seed in the proceeding tournament. From 2007-08, the Nittany Lions maintained a .600 winning percentage against Big Ten opposition.
Penn State followed those efforts with 25 more wins in 2009. It was the third straight season of at least 25 victories, one of only four Big Ten squads to do so. After a hot start, the Nittany Lions struggled down the stretch, but a number of bright spots included a win against 21st-ranked Minnesota in the season-finale which prevented the Golden Gophers from winning the Big Ten Regular Season Championship. Penn State also defeated eventual NCAA Tournament participants Indiana and Ohio State and took two-of-three from perennial power Michigan.
Wine has helped make Medlar Field at Lubrano Park one of the best atmospheres in college baseball. The squad drew over 1,000 fans for almost half of its games (10) while drawing over 2,000 two times and 3,000 on one occasion. The Lions have impressed on the field as well, highlighted by a 15-9 home mark in 2008. The Nittany Lions drew four crowds of over 2,000 that year to place 42nd nationally (for the second straight season) in average attendance, beating the ranks of some of college baseball's top programs such as Vanderbilt and Arizona. In only three seasons, Penn State baseball has made Medlar Field at Lubrano Park "one of college baseball's best stadiums."
Not only are some of the best prep and junior college talent signing with Penn State, but they are also performing once here. Two of Wine's players (pitcher Scott Kelley and first baseman Cory Wine) were selected in last June's Major League Baseball Draft. Penn State has seen nine players selected from 2007-09, third most in the Big Ten in that span. In 2008, pitcher Drew O'Neil was selected in the fourth round by the Chicago White, becoming the highest Penn State draftee since Nate Bump went in the first round in 1998. He also marked just the second Penn Stater to be drafted in the top 10 rounds in the past 31 years. Before O'Neil's selection, five players were selected in the 2007 draft, three coming in the first 14 rounds.
Wine has 26 years of playing and coaching experience at the college and professional levels. Prior to his first head coaching position, he was an assistant coach in charge of hitting and defense at his alma mater, Oklahoma State. During his tenure, the Cowboys won a Big 12 Tournament championship (2004), qualified for five NCAA Regionals, one Super Regional and a College World Series (1999). He also oversaw talent evaluation, recruiting and office administration. Scott Baker, Josh Fields, Scott Richmond and Luke Scott are among the various Major Leaguers coming from Oklahoma State during Wine's tenure.
Strong offenses have been known to follow Wine wherever he coaches. In his first season as head coach in 2005, the Nittany Lions hit nearly 50 points higher (.302 vs. .255) than they had in 2004. Five different Penn State players hit over .300 to account for the incredible improvement. The Nittany Lions also had 73 more RBI (286-213), 92 more hits (546-454) and 81 more runs (318-237).
They followed the improvement with another strong season in 2006, batting .289 as a team with four different players hitting over .300 while five had slugging percentages of.400 or greater.
After four players hit .300 or better in 2007, three did so in `08, led by Brian Ernst's team-leading .358 average. Four starters had on-base percentages of over .400 as Penn State drew 249 walks, 55 more than its opponents. The team mirrored the four-year average batting average (.292) under Wine, while improving to .294 in 2009. Four players finished with a .300 average or better, led by Jordan Steranka (.365) and Blake Lynd (.356).
During the 2010 campaign, Penn State's offense continued to serve as a bright spot. As a team, the Lions hit .298 with a .434 on-base percentage. Ben Heath led the way, hitting .369 while setting a new school record with 19 home runs. Freshmen Elliot Searer and Steve Snyder also eclipsed the .300 plateau, while sophomore Joey DeBernardis hit .354 with a team-high 75 base hits.
In Wine's final year at Oklahoma State, the Cowboy offense hit .312 and smashed 48 home runs en route to a 38-24 record and its first Big 12 championship since the beginning of the Big 12 nearly a decade earlier. A year earlier, the offense led the conference in home runs with 77 while in 2000, the Cowboys were in the top three in the league in virtually every offensive category.
Wine led the 1999 Oklahoma State squad to the most runs scored (696) and third-most runs per game (10.39) en route to the College World Series. It also finished third nationally with 132 home runs and a .587 slugging percentage. That was an improvement from an already stellar offense in 1998 that finished 10th in the country with 9.52 runs per game. In his first year as assistant coach the previous season, the Cowboys hit .333 as a team and tied for first nationally with a .620 slugging percentage. They were also second in the country with 149 home runs (2.29/game), while averaging over 10 runs per contest.
Prior to returning to where it all began, Wine spent 15 years in the professional baseball ranks, eight as a player and six as a coach. He was the eighth overall selection of the 1983 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, the second-highest pick in Oklahoma State history. Wine worked his way to the Major League level where he played for the Houston Astros for parts of the 1986 and 1987 seasons. After his playing days, he spent 1991 as a hitting, third base and defensive coach for the Miami Miracle of the Single-A Florida State League. He then worked for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1993-96 as part of their big league coaching staff and then as a roving catching instructor.
Wine was a two-time All-American catcher during his playing days at Oklahoma State. Playing for the legendary coach Gary Ward, Wine's teams made three College World Series appearances, including a second-place finish in 1981. He was inducted into the Oklahoma State Hall of Fame in 1993.
"He's had great relationships with his student-athletes," said Frank Anderson, Wine's former boss at Oklahoma State. "It's an outstanding opportunity for both him and the school. It's a positive move for Penn State and for Robbie. Not only is he a good coach, but he's a good person and part of a great family."
Wine brings a unique perspective as a former Major League Baseball player; he is currently one of just 13 NCAA Division I coaches out of nearly 300 programs that has played in the big leagues.
Born July 13, 1962 in Philadelphia, Robbie is the son of former Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Bobby Wine, who has spent over 40 years in professional baseball and is currently an advanced scout for the Atlanta Braves. Robbie graduated from Methacton High School in Fairview Village, Pa. and went back to school while coaching at Oklahoma State to earn his Bachelor's Degree in 2002.
Wine resides in Boalsburg with his son Cory and daughter Mackenzie. Cory graduated from Penn State following a stellar four-year baseball career. He was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 38th round of the Major League Draft and later played for the Gulf Coast League Phillies.
Eight-Year Assistant Coaching Totals
Six-Year Head Coaching Totals
May 30, 2004: In what proved to be his final season as assistant coach, Oklahoma State tops Missouri, 10-9 in 13 innings to win the Big 12 Tournament and advance to the NCAA Tallahassee Regional.
August 30, 2004: Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley formally introduces Robbie Wine as the 13th head baseball coach in program history.
February 25, 2005: Robbie Wine wins his first-career game as head coach as Penn State tops UNC Wilmington, 4-3.
March 3, 2007: The Nittany Lions stun #1 and undefeated North Carolina, 3-2 for Wine's 50th career victory.
April 13, 2008: Penn State topples Purdue, 13-3 for Wine's 50th career Big Ten victory.
May 9, 2008: Wine wins his 100th career game behind a 6-5 extra-inning win over Iowa.
March 1, 2009: Wine coaches Penn State's 3,000th game in program history at the University of Texas.
"Interestingly enough, he was always sort of quiet, always one of the quietest in the room. You would have never known that his dad was a former player. He was always kind of reserved and had a lot of respect for the game."
-Phil Garner, 31 years of Major League experience (16 as a player & 15 as a manager), Played and coached with Wine
"Robbie Wine comes from a tremendous baseball background first and foremost, following his father who was an outstanding player and baseball mind. He learned at home, then having the opportunity to play at Oklahoma State under Gary Ward only maximized his potential in this game."
"I've witnessed first hand his ability to recruit, develop and compete with student-athletes at the highest level through our bedlam series (Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma rivalry). Unfortunately for me, Robbie was standing on the other side of the field; we had tremendous battles. I know Penn State will thrive under his leadership."
-Sunny Golloway, Oklahoma Head Baseball Coach, Played and coached against Wine
"I have no problem saying that Coach Wine is the best baseball coach that I had during my playing career. Coach Wine has a unique ability that enables him to relate extremely well with players of all different personalities. Simply put, he's a player's coach. Coach Wine puts the interest of his players and the university in front of anything else. I have no doubt that he will continue to take our program to the next level. Coach Wine will continue to attract top student-athletes that have a love and passion for Penn State and I'm confident that he will be able to maximize their potential during their time at University Park."
-Michael Milliron, Penn State `05, Played under Wine at Penn State
"I have a ton of respect for Coach Wine. There's no one else in the game from my view that has brought more energy and passion and makes playing baseball fun. He made playing so enjoyable. He is very knowledgable and has great insight from his playing career. I attribute a lot of my success to his tutelage."
-Billy Gasparino, Current Toronto Blue Jays scout, Played for Wine at Oklahoma State
"I have known Robbie Wine for the better part of 30 years. He was a great player at Oklahoma State when we had many competitive battles on the field against the Cowboys. We followed his professional career with great interest and had the wonderful experience of playing against him since he's been the head coach at Penn State. He is a fine example for young men everywhere and a great coach as well. We look forward to many more opportunities to compete against the Nittany Lions in the future."
-Gene Stephenson, Wichita State Head Baseball Coach
"Robbie Wine is one of the top coaches in our game. He runs his program in a first-class manner and his players are successful in the classroom and on the baseball field. I have no doubts that he will continue to build a quality program at Penn State and compete for Big Ten Championships!"
-Ritch Price, Kansas Head Baseball Coach