McMullan presents familiar face for East Carolina
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Every team in the Charlottesville Regional presents a familiar postseason opponent for Virginia, but East Carolina more so than most.
The Cavaliers played in the Greenville Regional last season, falling to the Pirates in the second game 4-2. East Carolina also advanced out of the Charlottesville Regional the last time Virginia hosted in 2016.
No. 7 Virginia and East Carolina will square off again in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night at 6 p.m.
Awaiting ECU in the opposing dugout will be a familiar face in UVA associate head coach Kevin McMullan, who coached the Pirates for three seasons including one as the acting head coach. One of McMullan's players was Cliff Godwin, now the head coach at East Carolina.
"He coached me for two years, he's a mentor of mine," Godwin said on Thursday, "The best way I could describe him is if I were to ever get married, he would stand at my wedding. I was at his house last night, had dinner, [Kevin's wife] Sandy cooked for us."
McMullan enters his 20th season with the Cavaliers, one of the first hires for Brian O'Connor when he got the job.
"He was the first guy I called 20 years ago, when I knew I was going to get the job here at Virginia and had to put a staff together, I had a list," O'Connor said, "But he was the first guy I called because I had the utmost respect for the way he coached and the way he recruited."
In his 20 years at Virginia, McMullan has established himself as one of the top recruiters and player development coaches in the sport, helping O'Connor establish one of college baseball's most consistent programs. When O'Connor first called McMullan, he was serving as a coach in the Atlanta Braves organization in Danville.
"I asked him if he'd be interested in getting back into college baseball and it took about two seconds to get a 'yes' out of his mouth," O'Connor said, "And I knew that we were joined up and we were going to make this program the best that it could possibly be."