Kevin Cooney
Kevin Cooney

Position:
Head Coach


No profession has a stronger measuring stick than that of a coach. You are measured by wins and losses, by the rate at which your players graduate, by the behavior of the young men you coach and in the sport of baseball, you are often measured by the number of players that move on to professional baseball.

The Florida Atlantic baseball program has hit every mark under the direction of Head Coach Kevin Cooney. The New Jersey native took the clay that was handed to him some 20 years ago and has worked and molded that clay into a program that challenges for national prominence each season.

Over the previous 20 years, Cooney has shaken hands with the opposition 716 times as the victor and has achieved a .617 winning percentage at FAU. Including his time at Montclair State, he has been successful in earning a win 856 times.

Consistent success on the field doesn't happen by chance. Cooney has helped shape the lives of young men on and off the practice field, mentoring 15 All-Americans, 53 All-Conference selections, 95 Academic All-Conference selections and 70 players have played professionally, including four players that have advanced to the Major League.

By helping to mold these great individuals and lay the foundation for high expectations each season, Cooney has also successfully built one of the most recognized programs in the country. A tall task when you consider that when he arrived in Boca Raton, FL, in 1988, FAU played all of its games during the day because the field didn't have lights. His most successful season came in 1999, a year that saw Florida Atlantic start 39-1 on its way to a 54-9 campaign while tying an NCAA record with 34 consecutive victories.

That squad was the first to represent Florida Atlantic in an NCAA D-I Regional and the first Atlantic Sun Conference institution to be ranked nationally among the top-10 schools in every poll.

Still, there has been a great deal of success not measured by statistics or victories during Cooney's career. He takes great pride in watching young boys grow up to be men and trying to enrich their lives along the way. You won't find those names or numbers in any record book, but Cooney remembers all of them. Cooney's career started as a pitcher for Montclair State, where he was first introduced to success at the collegiate level. He was the ace of the pitching staff and was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 1972. To this day, he still ranks second on Montclair State's career list of fewest walks allowed per nine innings (2.21) and is eighth in career ERA (2.35) and strikeouts (7.87 per nine innings).

He would spend two seasons within the Twins minor league organizations before a shoulder injury forced him to retire with a 21-11 minor league record. He then returned to his alma-mater as an assistant coach from 1975-76, before leaving to teach and coach at a local high school.

After Montclair State's coach, Fred Hill, took a job at Rutgers University, Cooney took over the program. During his four seasons as head coach of Montclair State, he posted 110 victories, a .731 winning percentage (140-50-5), four Mid-Atlantic Regional championships and a D-III World Series Championship. His achievements at Montclair State garnered him several awards, including NCAA Division III District Coach of the Year from 1985 to 1987, New Jersey College Coach of the Year in 1985 and National Coach of the Year in 1987.

After the four seasons at Montclair, Cooney contacted then-Florida Atlantic head coach Steve Traylor, who was in the process of taking a job at Duke University. Thanks to a recommendation from Traylor, Cooney took the reigns of the young program in 1988.

Under Cooney's guidance, the Owls have won two A-Sun regular season titles and an A-Sun postseason championship, and have played in seven NCAA Regionals. In 2002 FAU won the University's first NCAA Regional championship, defeating 3rd ranked Alabama on their home field.

That's a long way for a program that began with a field surrounded by Australian pines, no locker room and no weight room. Presently, FAU is a program that under Cooney and his staff's direction has consistently ranked among the best in the nation.

In 2007 FAU made the transition into the Sun Belt and experienced extensive travel for the first time. At season's end, Robbie Widlansky was name the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and was named All-American. Widlansky was one of two players that hit above .400 and was one of five to earn all-league honors. Cooney, the only NCAA active coach to have reached the NCAA tournament at the Division I, II and III level, ushered the Owls through the Division I transition and through the move to a more difficult league in 2007 without a hiccup.

Cooney lives in Boca Raton with his wife, MaryBeth and has four children, Jim (28), Jeff (23), Maggie (10) and Luke (8).

Coach Kevin Cooney Year-By-Year
Year Record Pct School
1984 34-12-1 .734 Montclair State
1985 36-13-2 .725 Montclair State
1986 36-11-1 .760 Montclair State
1987 34-14-1 .704 Montclair State
1988 32-19-2 .623 Florida Atlantic
1989 30-23-2 .564 Florida Atlantic
1990 28-25-0 .528 Florida Atlantic
1991 24-31-0 .436 Florida Atlantic
1992 27-27-0 .500 Florida Atlantic
1993 41-17-0 .707 Florida Atlantic
1994 31-23-0 .574 Florida Atlantic
1995 27-31-0 .466 Florida Atlantic
1996 39-23-0 .629 Florida Atlantic
1997 32-24-0 .571 Florida Atlantic
1998 29-30-0 .492 Florida Atlantic
1999 54-9-0 .857 Florida Atlantic
2000 43-19-0 .694 Florida Atlantic
2001 36-24-0 .600 Florida Atlantic
2002 46-21-0 .687 Florida Atlantic
2003 47-16-0 .746 Florida Atlantic
2004 47-17-0 .734 Florida Atlantic
2005 37-24-0 .607 Florida Atlantic
2006 30-28-0 .517 Florida Atlantic
2007 36-22-0 .621 Florida Atlantic
Total 856-503-9 .629 24 Seasons

FAU Baseball Yearly Record & Coach
Year Record Pct Head Coach
1981 15-16 .484 Steve Traylor
1982 42-14 .750 Steve Traylor
1983 40-16 .754 Steve Traylor
1984 40-15 .727 Steve Traylor
1985 44-15 .746 Steve Traylor
1986 44-10 .815 Steve Traylor
1987 32-21-2 .614 Steve Traylor
1988 32-19-2 .623 Kevin Cooney
1989 30-23-2 .564 Kevin Cooney
1990 28-25-0 .528 Kevin Cooney
1991 24-31-0 .436 Kevin Cooney
1992 27-27-0 .500 Kevin Cooney
1993 41-17-0 .707 Kevin Cooney
1994 31-23-0 .574 Kevin Cooney
1995 27-31-0 .466 Kevin Cooney
1996 39-23-0 .629 Kevin Cooney
1997 32-24-0 .571 Kevin Cooney
1998 29-30-0 .492 Kevin Cooney
1999 54-9-0 .857 Kevin Cooney
2000 43-19-0 .694 Kevin Cooney
2001 36-24-0 .600 Kevin Cooney
2002 46-21-0 .687 Kevin Cooney
2003 47-16-0 .746 Kevin Cooney
2004 47-17-0 .734 Kevin Cooney
2005 37-24-0 .606 Kevin Cooney
2006 30-28-0 .517 Kevin Cooney
2007 36-22-0 .621 Kevin Cooney
Total 984-560-6 .637 27 Seasons

FAU Baseball Yearly Record & Coach
Coach Record Pct Seasons
Steve Taylor 268-107-2 .714 1981-1987(7)
Kevin Cooney 718-453-4 .613 1988-2007 (20)

MARCH TO 600 AND BEYOND
1st Montclair 5, Southern Illinios O March 14, 1984
100th Montclair 9, Glassboro State 1 May 6, 1986
200th FAU 3, UCF 2 April 28, 1989
300th FAU 4, Rowan 3 March 15, 1993
400th FAU 6, Northeastern 2 March 18, 1996
500th FAU 8, Troy 2 March 13, 1999
600th FAU 4, Samford 3 March 31, 2001
700th FAU 12, Georgia Southern 2 May 9, 2003
800th FAU 8, Columbia 7 March 15, 2006

all-access