A Never-Ending Effort To Keep Up
Baseball America|March 2020
The pace of change speeds up in college baseball
J.J. Cooper

When UNC Charlotte hired Robert Woodard as head coach last July, the program knew it was getting a tech-savvy coach.

When he was asked to explain his prospective plans for the 49ers in his job interview, Woodard laid out his plan for a data-driven approach. It’s something he had helped do as an assistant coach at North Carolina as the Tar Heels become one of the most analytically-inclined teams in college baseball.

The Charlotte administration was sold. Woodard was hired. And from his first day, he and his new staff set about to answer the question: how quickly can a mid-major program go from an old school approach to a data-heavy one?

As is being seen at college programs all around the country, the answer is very quickly. Analytics have gone from being barely seen in college baseball to being pervasive in just a matter of a few years. What was cutting edge in 2016 is normal now. And programs around the country have gotten up to speed very quickly. Which means that even a coach like Woodard, who has made his name in part by being at the front end of the college analytics revolution, has a lot of work to do to be up to speed with a new program in 2020.

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