On June 27, 2013, Virginia Tech announced the hiring of Patrick Mason as the baseball program’s newest head coach. He became the 24th head baseball coach at the school, but just the fifth in the last 66 years of the program. Mason took over the head coaching reigns after spending the previous three seasons under former coach Pete Hughes.
|Seasons at VT||Third Season|
|Overall Record||48-58-1 (.453) Games: 107|
|ACC Record||22-37 (.373) Games: 59|
|vs. Non-Conference||26-21-1 (.552) Games: 48|
|vs. Ranked Teams||6-16 (.273) Games: 22|
|Record Home||31-23 (.574) Games: 54|
|Record Away||12-30-1 (.291) Games: 43|
|Record Neutral||5-5 (.500) Games: 10|
|1998||Franklin High School, assistant coach|
|1998-2002||Boston College, assistant coach|
|2003-06||Harwich Mariners, head coach|
|2004-05||Framingham State, assistant coach|
|2005-10||Northeastern, assistant coach|
|2010-11||Virginia Tech, assistant coach|
|2011-13||Virginia Tech, associate head coach|
|2013-||Virginia Tech, head coach|
|1994||America East Tournament, Champions|
NCAA Knoxville, Tenn., Regional
|1995||America East Tournament|
|1996||America East Tournament|
|1997||America East Tournament, Champions|
NCAA play-in series, Brookline, Mass.
NCAA Palo Alto, Calif., Regional
|2000||BIG EAST Championship|
|2002||BIG EAST Championship|
|2006||Colonial Athletic Association Tournament|
|2009||Colonial Athletic Association Tournament|
|2013||Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament|
NCAA Blacksburg, Va., Regional
|2015||Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament|
Mason, who enters his 19th season in the coaching profession, was promoted to the position of associate head coach at Tech in the fall of 2012, and had served as the pitching game coordinator and recruiting coordinator in his three years prior to his promotion. The former Northeastern catcher (1994-97) spent the previous five seasons before coming to Tech as an assistant at Northeastern (2005-10).
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 at Boston College, when Hughes was the head coach there. For the summers of 2003-06, he was a coach with the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod League.
Mason has a tremendous history of developing catching prospects and in his previous 13 years of coaching before coming to Tech, he served as a mentor for 10 catchers who were selected in the MLB Draft, including the Huskies’ Matt Morizio and Dan Milano at Northeastern. The drafting of the Hokies’ catcher Mark Zagunis in the third round (78th pick) of the 2014 draft only continued that trend.
In the 2015 draft, Tech had four players chosen including pitcher Sean Keselica, which brought the total number of Tech pitchers who signed pro pitching contracts under Mason to 12, which included six off the 2013 roster – his last of three seasons as the Hokies’ pitching coach.
The four draftees also continued a trend of at least two Hokies being selected during each MLB draft for the past seven years, which more than doubles the school’s previous high streak of three. The 17 draft selections over the past five seasons in which Mason has been at Tech is the third-most over any five-year stretch in the program’s history, behind the 2013 and 2014 classes (21).
In his first season at Tech, Mason inherited a staff that registered an ERA of 4.76 the year before, but lost the 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.
All he did was guide the 2011 Hokies' staff to posting a 4.57 ERA and 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, the second fewest since 1977.
Following the 2012 season, four pitchers were either drafted or signed pro contracts highlighted by Joe Mantiply’s selection by the Philadelphia Phillies and Ronnie Shaban’s 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.
In 2013, Mason’s staff did it again, lowering the team ERA to 4.14 and allowing just 24 home runs. Those numbers included eight postseason games in which the staff posted a 2.28 ERA in 71.0 innings pitched. In Tech’s previous postseason (2010), the staff threw 64.0 innings and had a 5.20 ERA.
The pro prospects continued to pile up under Mason, as four pitchers – Jake Joyce (Washington Nationals), Eddie Campbell (Seattle Mariners), Colin O’Keefe (Los Angeles Angels) and Mantiply (Detroit Tigers), again – were drafted by Major League clubs. Two more signed pro contracts as Devin Burke signed with the Colorado Rockies and Clark Labitan signed with the Frontier League’s Schaumburg Boomers.
In his three years as pitching coach, the Tech staff registered three straight seasons with an ERA lower than the previous year and posted an ERA no higher than 4.57, which hadn’t happened since an 18-season streak that ended in 1980. The last time a Tech squad posted back-to-back seasons with an ERA of 4.20 or lower was the 1976 and 1977 teams, something the 2012 and 2013 teams accomplished.
In his second season as head coach, Mason guided the Hokies to an eighth-place finish in the ACC and a berth into the league’s championship tournament. He also coached Tech’s first Academic All-American (Erik Payne, second team) in more than 10 years.
While playing at Northeastern, the Franklin, Massachusetts, native was the team’s 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 Blacksburg and have a daughter, Anna.