Elliott Avent – Head Coach – Baseball Coaches
During 25 seasons as baseball head coach at NC State, Elliott Avent shaped the Wolfpack into one of the best and most consistent programs in the nation. Since being hired in 1996, Avent, who is NC State’s winningest coach with 926 wins (1,150 in his 33-year coaching career), has taken the Wolfpack to the NCAA Tournament in 19 of the last 25 seasons and 14 of the last 17. Avent won ACC and National Coach of the Year honors in 2003 and was named USA Baseball’s 2021 College Coach of the Year.
He joined an elite group on February 14, 2020 as he earned his 1,100th career victory with a 4-0 result against James Madison at Doak Field. He is one of 10 active head coaches to break the mark, as he currently holds an overall record of 1,150-762. On April 6, 2021, Avent reached the 900 win milestone at NC State with a 13-2 rout of App State at Doak Field.
After a shortened 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Avent, who was named ABCA/Rawlings Atlantic Region Coach of the Year and USA Baseball College Coach of the Year, brought the Wolfpack back to the College World Series in 2021. It was the third in program history and the first since 2013. Despite a slow 4-9 (1-8 ACC) start, the 2021 team has had one of the most historic seasons and most memorable in NC State baseball history, as it finished the regular season with a 28-15 record, winning 24 of its last 30 games, and closing conference play with a 19-14 record for finish third overall in the ACC. After claiming the No. 3 seed in the ACC Tournament, the Pack reached their first title game since 2015 with victories over Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech before suffering a 1-0 loss to 2021 ACC champion Duke.
After earning its 10th NCAA regional bid in the past 11 seasons, NC State won 3-0 in the NCAA Ruston Regional to earn the fifth-place all-time NCAA Super Regional against seeded Arkansas. series, in Fayetteville, Ark. all three games with the Razorbacks, NC State dropped their opener, 21-2, then created history by earning 6-5, 3-2 wins to become the first team in super region history to qualify for the College World Series after losing game one by 15 or more runs. The Pack won 10-6 and 1-0 over Stanford and Vanderbilt respectively, and were one win away from qualifying for the Championship Series in Omaha before being eliminated from the tournament due to COVID-19 protocols, and tied his best result. in program history with a #3 national ranking.
In the 2021 season, Avent saw seven league-leading players earn All-ACC honors and five top performers earn All-ACC Academic Team honors, headlined by Jonny Butler, Researcher -ACC Athlete of the Year. Additionally, Butler, Evan Justice and Tyler McDonough have won seven All-Americas combined.
Over the past three seasons, a combined 18 players have been selected for the MLB Draft, headlined by Will Wilson (2019, Los Angeles Angels) and Patrick Bailey (2020, San Francisco Giants). They are the first Wolfpack players to be drafted in the first round in consecutive seasons. The eight players selected in the 2019 and 2021 MLB Drafts were tied for second in a single season and were one shy of the program record of nine in 2008.
In 2019, NC State posted a 42-19 record, which marked the second straight year and 10th time under Avent that a team had more than 40 wins in a single season. The team went undefeated in their first 19 games, getting their best start to the season in program history as they were one of the last two undefeated teams in the nation. Thanks to its hot start, the Pack was ranked No. 1 in a major poll for the first time in program history, as it held the No. 1 spot in the college baseball rankings for three consecutive weeks (March 18 – April 7).
Four players have earned All-ACC and All-America honors, with Will Wilson being named ACC State’s first-ever Defensive Player of the Year and his first consensus All-American since 2012. Patrick Bailey, running back Buster Posey Award finalist, and Brooks Wallace Award finalist Wilson was also among the Golden Spikes nominees.
In 2018, NC State hosted an NCAA region for the sixth time in program history, with each being led by Avent. The Wolfpack finished the year with an overall record of 42–18, highlighted by tying the school record with 19 ACC wins.
The Wolfpack placed seven players on the All-ACC team, with ACC pitcher of the year Brian Brown and ACC rookie of the year Patrick Bailey. NC State won its first nine series in 2018, including its first seven conference series. The Pack won a road sweep at No. 2 Clemson for the first time since 1997.
His 2017 team won 13 of its last 15 regular season games to earn the program’s third consecutive NCAA Tournament bid. The Wolfpack came one game away from qualifying for the NCAA Super Regionals, but fell short against the host and seventh-seeded Kentucky Wildcats. In 2016, the Pack hosted an NCAA region for the fifth time in program history, all of which came under his leadership. NC State advanced to the Regional Finals but fell short against eventual NCAA champion Coastal Carolina.
Advent’s 2015 campaign knocked on the door of a surprise super regional berth, taking the national fourth-seeded TCU to the brink on their home turf. A core of top executives steered the Wolfpack through a 32-20 regular season. In the ACC tournament, Preston Palmeiro’s back and forth pushed NC State to its first title game since 2010. Southpaw Brian Brown earned NCBWA Freshman All-America honors, one of three starting pitchers in the country.
NC State’s 2014 baseball team saw seven players selected in the MLB Freshman Draft, tied for third all-time at NC State. Carlos Rodon and Trea Turner became the Wolfpack’s first three All-Americans and gave State a pair of first-round picks for the first time in program history. Andrew Knizner earned Freshman All-America honors and a spot on the All-ACC Third Team. Brett Austin joined Turner and Rodon on the All-ACC First Team.
In 2013, the Wolfpack returned to Omaha for the first time since 1968 and the second time in program history. Avent was named the 2013 ABCA Atlantic Region Coach of the Year for his efforts.
Advent’s 25 years in Raleigh have created a legacy of individual and collective victories and achievements:
• 926 career wins
• 19 NCAA Regionals
• 5 NCAA Super Regionals
• 37 All Americans
• 7 of 9 first-team All-Americans in the program’s 117-year history
• 40 All-ACC First Team selections
• 90 total All-ACC selections
• 120 players taken in the MLB draft, 47 since 2014
• ACC and National Coach of the Year in 2003
• 2021 ABCA/Rawlings Atlantic Region Coach of the Year
• Selected to USA Baseball Collegiate national team coaching staff in 2004 and 2015, and named team manager in 2021
• Won a team gold medal at the World University Games in Chinese Taipei in 2004
Since 2003, Avent has taken NC State baseball to a whole new level:
• 710 wins — an average of over 38 per season
• 16 participations in the NCAA tournament
• A school record of six consecutive NCAA appearances from 2003-2008 and 10 NCAA appearances in the past 11 seasons
• First ever NCAA Regional held on campus in 2008, second in 2012, third in 2013, fourth in 2016 and fifth in 2018
• Five NCAA regional championships, five super regional appearances and two super regional championships
• 33 All-American selections and 68 All-ACC selections
No previous period in the program’s history has managed to replicate this level of success. The buzz surrounding Wolfpack baseball really started to take off when Doak Field in Dail Park was renovated in the 2003 and 2004 seasons:
• Annual attendance has increased by more than 65% since the ballpark reopened in 2005
• From 30,407 in 2005 and then a school record of more than 48,000 in 2008
• The Wolfpack broke this record by attracting 52,840 in 2012, benefiting from the Raleigh Regional which hosted 13,324 over four days
• Average of 1,554 per game in 2012 broke previous record
• The 2018 season drew a record-breaking schedule of 100,533 fans, and in 2019 the average season attendance reached a record high of 2,682
NC State has had just 16 head coaches in more than 100 years of college baseball, and only three of them have coached the Wolfpack longer than Avent, who overtook legendary Sam Esposito as coach the program’s all-time winner on May 9, 2010.
“When I came here, I said it was the only job I ever wanted, and that’s truer now than ever,” says Avent. “I’ve been an NC State fan all my life, and that will never change, so this job means more to me. NC State baseball is about tradition, and I’m very proud to be a part of that tradition. .
Prior to coming to NC State, Avent spent eight seasons (1989-96) at New Mexico State University, where he compiled a 224-213 record and left as the second most earning coach. of the school’s history. Avent took over a New Mexico state program that school administrators were considering scrapping and guided it to its greatest success.
Avent began his coaching career as an assistant coach at North Carolina Wesleyan from 1981 to 1982 under former Old Dominion head coach Tony Guzzo, helping lead the Bishops to a two-year record of 62-28 and a fourth-place finish in 1982. NCAA Division III World Series. Avent followed Guzzo to the Virginia Commonwealth in 1983 and worked there for one season. From 1984 to 1985, Avent was an assistant coach at Louisburg (NC) Junior College under Hall of Fame coach Russ Frazier, an NC State alumnus.
After his two seasons at Louisburg, Avent joined Joe Breedon’s staff at William & Mary in 1986 and stayed there for two years. In 1988, he returned to Raleigh to join Ray Tanner’s first staff at NC State and helped guide the Wolfpack to a then-winning record and a 45-16 overall record. He went to New Mexico State the following year.