Patrick Mason, who was promoted to the position of associate head coach in the fall of 2012, enters his third season at Virginia Tech as the pitching game coordinator and also serves as recruiting coordinator. The former Northeastern catcher (1994-97) spent his first two seasons in Blacksburg as an assistant coach and the previous five seasons before coming to Tech as an assistant at Northeastern.
In his first season, Mason inherited a staff that registered an ERA of 4.76 the year before, but lost its entire weekend starting rotation and four pitchers total to the MLB draft that combined for 316 innings (58% of the team's total in 2010), 323 strikeouts (61%), 25 wins, six saves and a 3.95 ERA.
He guided the 2011 Hokies' staff to a 4.57 ERA while allowing just 23 home runs. Since 1995, when the team had a 4.10 ERA, only one squad (2003, 4.50 ERA) posted an ERA better than the 2011 staff. Also, the home runs were the fewest allowed by a staff since 1977 (17) and only the 1979 team (25) surrendered fewer than 32 in the 34-year span since ’77.
Lastly, he helped Joe Parsons rebound from a rough junior season (just 5.1 innings pitched and a 10.13 ERA) to registering a team-best 7-3 record with a complete game shutout and another combined shutout and a team-low 3.21 ERA (75.2 IP). Parsons signed a pro contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization after graduation.
Mason followed his first season in Blacksburg with an even better second year, as his staff lowered its ERA to 4.16, the second lowest ERA at the school in almost 30 years when the 1984 staff registered an ERA of 3.80. The staff also allowed 24 long balls, again the second fewest since 1977.
Following the 2012 season, four pitchers were either drafted or signed pro contracts highlighted by rising-senior Joe Mantiply, who is returning to Tech, by the Philadelphia Phillies and departing senior Ronnie Shaban selected by the St. Louis Cardinals. Andrew Aizenstadt signed a pro contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, while Patrick Scoggin signed a pro contract with the Atlanta Braves.
Before his arrival in Blacksburg, Mason was the recipient of the 2010 Kevin Burr Award given to the top assistant coach in New England as selected by his peers. He also served as assistant coach at Framingham State in 2004 after four years with Boston College under current Tech Head Coach Pete Hughes. For the summers of 2003-06, he was a coach with the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod League.
“We are lucky to have attracted Pat Mason to our program,” Hughes said at the time of Mason’s hire. “His experience with both pitchers and catchers will benefit many in our program. He is highly regarded as one of the hardest working recruiters in college baseball.”
Mason has a tremendous history of developing catching prospects, and in his 13 years of coaching, he has served as a mentor for 10 catchers who were selected in the MLB Draft, including Huskies Matt Morizio and Dan Milano in his first two seasons at Northeastern.
While playing at Northeastern, the Franklin, Mass., native was captain in 1996 and 1997, and helped NU to America East championships in 1994 and 1997. In his four years, he found his way into the record books on both sides of the ball, as his 19 career home runs rank high in Husky history and, defensively, he holds the NU record for errorless chances in a season with 242 (1997).
Mason and his wife, Leigh, reside in Christiansburg.