Andrew Checketts was named UC Santa Barbara's head coach on June 22, 2011, becoming the ninth head coach in the program's history. During the 2015 season, he signed a contract extension through 2019. In addition to his head coaching duties, Checketts also serves as the Gauchos' pitching coach.
Checketts has been an immediate success for UCSB, as through four years he is the program's leader in career overall winning percentage (.612) and career conference winning percentage (.556). He has gone 137-87-2 in four years in charge of the program.
With Checketts leading the way, the Gauchos had arguably their best season in program history in 2015. The squad set a school record for wins against Division I opponents with a 40-17-1 record, and they were selected as a No. 1 seed and a host for the 2015 NCAA Regionals for the first time ever.
Sporting one of the best pitching staffs in the country, UCSB went on to record new program marks in team ERA (2.45) and strikeouts (475) in the 2015 season. The team was also ranked as high as No. 6 in the country while they were slotted as high as No. 2 in the RPI over the course of the campaign.
During his tenure, UCSB has had 22 Major League Baseball draftees, three All-America selections (Brett Vertigan in 2012, Joey Epperson in 2014, Dillon Tate in 2015), six Freshman All-America picks, the 2015 Big West Co-Field Player of the Year (Cameron Newell), and 28 All-Big West honorees.
The Gauchos' 22 draft picks since 2012 are the most by any team in the Big West over that span. Under Checketts' tutelage, All-American right-handed pitcher Dillon Tate became one of the top players in collegiate baseball, eventually going to the Texas Rangers with the fourth overall selection in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Tate was the first pitcher chosen in the 2015 draft.
The program's ERA has gone down each year since Checketts took over in 2012 (from 4.14 in 2012 to 2.45 in 2015), while winning percentage (.500 to .702), batting average (.277 to .289), and on-base percentage (.357 to .374) have all increased year-to-year.
Andrew's success as a recruiter has been noted nationally. His 2012 recruiting class was ranked No. 12 in the country by Baseball America and No. 18 in the nation by Perfect Game. Both rankings were the highest in school history. In 2013, UCSB's recruiting class checked in at No. 39 while this past year's recruiting haul was tabbed as the No. 32 class in the country by Perfect Game.
Prior to the 2013 season, Checketts made an appearance on Baseball America's "Top 10 Head Coaches Under 40" while being named on Perfect Game's "Rising Head Coaches" lists in both 2012 and 2013.
In 2014, Checketts presided over a squad that went 34-17-1. In non-conference play, the Gauchos went 22-5-1, setting a new program record for non-conference winning percentage at .815. In addition, Checketts became just the second coach in program history to record back-to-back 30+ win seasons. UCSB was extremely hot out of the gate, going 18-3 over the team's first 21 games to earn the program's first top-10 ranking since 1986.
In just his second year at the helm, Checketts led the Gauchos to the NCAA regionals for the first time since 2001, ending the second longest postseason drought in program history. The 2013 squad was in the middle of the pack for most of the year, sitting at 18-17 after 35 games. From there, UCSB caught fire, going 16-6 – including six consecutive series wins – to close out the year and finish second in the Big West Conference. Going 6-0-1 in home series on the campaign, it was first time in program history that UCSB had gone undefeated in home series for an entire season. In the Corvallis, Ore. regional, the Gauchos defeated Texas A&M in their first contest before falling in a pair of one-run ballgames.
In his first year as head coach of the Gauchos, Checketts made a significant and positive impact on the program. With a 28-28 record, Checketts set a school record for the most wins by a first year coach. His first win came in dramatic fashion, as the Gauchos needed 12 innings to top Oregon St. 13-12 in the nightcap of a Feb. 18 doubleheader. Checketts oversaw two pitchers in Matt Vedo and Andrew Vazquez who together had the most strikeouts by a duo in school history. Checketts led the staff to a then-school record for strikeouts in a season with 451.
Prior to his hiring at UCSB, he had spent the past three seasons as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Oregon and was regarded as one of the best pitching coaches not only on the West Coast, but also the nation.
Known as a diligent worker with an attention for detail, Checketts' staff routinely recorded one of the best earned run averages in the nation. In 2010, Oregon's 3.29 ERA ranked third in the nation and second in the Pac-10. In 2011, Oregon's pitching staff ranked in the top-25 for the second straight year as the mark of 2.99 rated 18th in the country. The Ducks also ranked in the top-15 for two additional categories as UO's 8.2 strikeouts per game ranked 10th in the country, and the Ducks' 7.74 hits allowed per nine innings ranked 11th.
In his coaching career at Riverside City College, UC Riverside, Oregon, and UCSB, Checketts has had 41 players drafted or sign pro contracts, including Tyler Anderson, who was drafted 20th overall by the Colorado Rockies in the 2011 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. In total, Checketts has coached 12 pitchers drafted in the top 10 rounds since 2001.
Checketts also played a large role in the recruiting scene for Oregon. For three consecutive years (2008-2010) UO's recruiting classes have earned top-25 accolades. Most recently, the 2010 freshman class was ranked fifth in the nation by Baseball America's annual evaluation, and third in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.
Prior to joining Oregon's staff, Checketts was on the UC Riverside staff for seven years. In 2007, UC Riverside was the Big West Champion and was ranked as high as 13th in the country during the season. It marked the first time in 20 years that a Division I program in the UC system won its outright conference championship.
Upon his arrival at UC Riverside he made an immediate impact as the staff ERA improved by almost three runs and the team broke the school record for strikeouts in his first year. During his first three seasons at UCR, the team ERA improved every year. Checketts also played a key role in recruiting for the Highlanders. UCR's 2007 class received national recognition with a top-25 ranking from Baseball America. In his final season, UCR's pitching staff ranked among the nation's best in ERA (3.68) and strikeouts per game (8.0).
Checketts began his coaching career at Riverside Community College, where he served as pitching coach and helped the team to their second consecutive California State Championship in 2001. While he was at RCC, the pitching staff set the school record for ERA.
Checketts played one season at Florida and three at Oregon State. As a senior in 1998, he posted an 11-1 record and 3.77 ERA in 13 starts, striking out 73 batters in 86 innings, earning Pac-10 North Player of the Year, Collegiate Baseball Magazine Second Team All-American, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Second Team All-American and All-West Region Second Team honors. He was also named Pac-10 North All-Conference in 1997 and 1998, finishing his collegiate career with a 30-12 record. Checketts graduated from Oregon State with a degree in Business Administration, Finance. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 21st round of the 1998 MLB draft.
Checketts graduated from West Linn High School in 1994, and that season was named the Oregon High School State Player of the Year.
He and his wife Michelle have three children: Amelia (born 2009), William (born 2011), and Ellie (born 2014).