John Savage
    John  Savage

    Assistant Coach

    Known as an outstanding pitching coach and one of the nation's top recruiters, John Savage is entering his fourth season at USC.

    This summer, he will be an assistant coach under Mike Gillespie with the 2000 USA Baseball National Team.

    Along with Andy Nieto and Rob Klein, Savage was named one of the Assistant Coaches of the Year by Collegiate Baseball in 1998.

    Savage has directed Pac-10 Pitchers of the Year and first-round draft picks (Seth Etherton in 1998 and Barry Zito in 1999) in each of the last two years. His 1999-2000 recruiting class was ranked No. 1 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.

    In 1999, the Trojan pitching staff became the first in school history to record more strikeouts than innings pitched (568 K's in 544 1/3 innings). The 1998 staff set a school record with 579 strikeouts.

    Savage, 34, came to USC in July of 1996 from Nevada, where he was the Wolf Pack's pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for five seasons (1992-96). Instrumental in Nevada's rise to national prominence, his duties also included scouting, team travel, academic supervision and fundraising.

    While at Nevada, the Wolf Pack compiled a 177-82 (.683) record (after going 138-141 in the previous five years), posted five consecutive winning seasons and captured the 1994 Big West Conference championship. His 1995 recruiting class had seven drafted players, which ranked third in the nation. And 24 Nevada players signed professional contracts during his tenure.

    Savage began his coaching career as the pitching coach for his alma mater, Reno (Nev.) High, for three years (1988-90). He was also pitching coach for the Reno Knights American Legion team for one season (1990) before taking over as the Knights' head coach in 1991.

    He was a sixth-round draft choice of the New York Yankees following his 1983 senior season at Reno High, but opted to attend Santa Clara, where he pitched for three years (1984-86) and posted 16 career wins.

    He was then drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 16th round in 1986, and played two seasons (1986-87) in the Reds' organization. From 1987-89, he played for various independent professional teams, including the 1987 Salt Lake City Trappers, who set a minor league record for consecutive wins.

    Following his pro career, Savage earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education (with an emphasis in physical education and history) from Nevada in 1991.

    Born Feb. 27, 1965, he and his wife, Lisa, have three children: Julia (age 4), Jack (age 3) and Ryan (age 1).