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UC San Diego Baseball Camps
Coaching Staff

Rob Avila
Assistant Coach

Rob Avila is in his third season as an assistant coach with the UC San Diego baseball program in 2014 after being named to the post in September of 2011.

Avila serves as UCSD's pitching coach while assisting with recruiting and coordinating camps.

In his first year in La Jolla, Avila guided a staff that ranked third in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) and 57th nationally in the NCAA Division II with a 3.88 ERA. The Tritons won their fourth successive CCAA regular-season and tournament titles. Junior ace Ryan Goodbrand posted an unblemished 11-0 record to earn All-America honorable mention, while three senior pitchers, Jeff Rauh, Elias Tuma and Tony York, were offered professional contracts at the end of the season.

The 2013 season was a 10th straight in which UCSD produced a winning overall record, with Avila's staff posting the third-best strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.18) in the CCAA.

Prior to joining the Tritons, Avila was the head coach at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla., from 2005-10, where he led the Sailfish to two National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) South Region championships in four seasons. He was named the NCCAA South Region Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2009. In both of those years, the Sailfish finished ninth in the NCCAA. During his tenure, Avila coached one All-American and 22 all-region selections. Three players went on to sign professional contracts.

In 2010, Avila was also an assistant athletics director for operations at Palm Beach Atlantic. He was the school's head strength and conditioning coordinator from 2005-10 as well. Avila began his coaching career in 2001 as an assistant at Mendocino College in Ukiah.

Avila's baseball career spanned both the collegiate and professional levels. He garnered all-region distinction at Fresno City College (1997) and was a two-time All-NAIA Independent pick at The Master's College (1998-99). In 1999, Avila was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 18th round. He spent five years in the minor leagues, including time with the Double-A Reading Phillies.

Avila earned a bachelor's degree in physical education in 2002 from Santa Clarita's The Master's and a master's degree in the same field from Azusa (Calif.) Pacific University in 2005.

Avila's wife, Bethany, was a standout volleyball player at The Master's. They reside in Oceanside with their two daughters, Violet (10) and Elaina (7), and newborn son (July, 2013), Trey.

 


 

Jonathan Johnston
Assistant Coach

Jonathan Johnston is in his third season as an assistant coach with the UC San Diego baseball program in 2014 after being named to the post in the fall of 2011.

In addition to his role as the program's recruiting coordinator, Johnston's primary responsibilities include working with the hitters and catchers, and teaching base running. He also serves as the third base coach and assists in running the Triton offense during games.

In 2012, Johnston's instruction was instrumental in UCSD's offensive success and the all-around improvement behind the plate as the Tritons won their fourth successive CCAA regular-season and tournament titles. The 2013 season was a 10th straight in which UCSD produced a winning overall record. The Tritons were second in the league in extra-base hits (126), and led for the second year in a row in stolen bases.

Following a two-year hiatus from baseball as an officer with the United States Navy, Johnston returned to spring training with the Oakland Athletics in March of 2011. He started the 2011 season as a catcher for their Class A Advanced affiliate Stockton Ports, hitting .318 with a .423 on-base percentage.

In 2008, Johnston's first season of professional baseball, he batted .228 for the Class A Kane County Cougars before being called back to service with the Navy.

Over his four years as a Surface Warfare Officer, Johnston served on the guided missile frigate USS Curts and the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu as Damage Control Officer and Gunnery Officer, respectively. He was awarded three Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medals (NAM) and a Joint Service Achievement Medal. His first NAM was awarded for his efforts as the officer of the deck in the thwarting of a Somalian pirate attack against the Singaporean merchant vessel, Gem of Kirikae.

Johnston was a four-year starter behind the plate for the Navy Midshipmen from 2003-06. In his senior season, he batted .317 with 51 runs, 27 RBI and 35 stolen bases. His leadership of the team and pitching staff resulted in one of the biggest turnarounds in Division I baseball history.

Johnston earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 2006 in ocean engineering from the United States Naval Academy and finished his naval career as a lieutenant. He later completed a master's degree in 2013 in sport leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University.

 


J.T. Bloodworth
Assistant Coach

J.T. Bloodworth is in his second season as an assistant coach for the UC San Diego baseball program in 2014. He was named to the position in September of 2012.

Bloodworth's responsibilities include working with the Triton defense and infielders, while also assisting with recruiting.

In 2013, UCSD was ranked in the top 10 nationally in the NCAA Division II with a .972 fielding percentage (1271-500-51).

Leading up to his arrival in La Jolla, Bloodworth was the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, Texas, for the 2012 season. In that same year, he also served as an instructor at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., developing high school players from around the country.

From 2008 through 2011, Bloodworth was at New Mexico State University, where he assisted with recruiting and served as the defensive coach alongside Hall of Famer Gary Ward. In his first season in Las Cruces, N.M., in 2009, Bloodworth had an immediate impact on the Aggie defense, which broke two school records with 701 assists and 69 double plays (ranked seventh nationally). NMSU also matched the program standard for fielding percentage at .968, committing only 76 errors, a dramatic improvement over a .942 clip and 138 errors the season before. The Aggies won 44 games in 2009, another school record.

Bloodworth started his collegiate playing career in 2004 for Andy Lopez at the University of Arizona. After transferring to Dallas Baptist University, he played under then-Patriot head coach and current Triton head coach Eric Newman (2005-07), and Dan Heefner (2008). Bloodworth was named to the 2007 NCAA Division I All-Independent Team, and in 2008, helped DBU to a 37-19 record and a first-ever NCAA Regional berth.

Bloodworth's playing experience also included four seasons of summer ball in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League (2008), the Hawaii Collegiate Baseball League (2007) and the Texas Collegiate League (2005, 2006). He received training from defense/infield guru Perry Hill, an 18-year coaching veteran of Major League Baseball.

Bloodworth attended Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, Texas, where he played three years of varsity baseball, earning the team's Defensive MVP award each year.

Bloodworth graduated from Dallas Baptist in the spring of 2009 with a sport management degree. In 2010, he received his Master of Arts in sport management.

A Dallas native, Bloodworth now resides in La Jolla

 


Cory Burleson
Assistant Coach

Cory Burleson is in his second season as an assistant coach for the UC San Diego baseball program in 2014. He was named to the position in September of 2012.

At his first collegiate coaching stop, Burleson is tasked with directing the outfielders while assisting with the catchers and the offense. He handles groundskeeping duties at Triton Ballpark and baseball operations. In 2014, Burleson is coaching first base.

Burleson spent the 2012 summer guiding a U-16 team based out of Denver, Colo. He coached for president Tad Reida in the CageRat Baseball Academy program. For the 2013 summer, Burleson was the pitching coach and coordinator for the Green Bay (Wis.) Bullfrogs of the Northwoods League.

Recruited to Lincoln, Neb., by then Nebraska assistant coach and current Triton head coach Eric Newman, Burleson was a four-year starting catcher for the Cornhuskers from 2009-12.

As a senior under former Major League Baseball player and current Nebraska head coach Darin Erstad, Burleson capped his Husker career with his best season at the plate. He batted .273 with career highs in hits (36), runs (25), RBI (22) and steals (3). He also tied his career high in doubles with seven, matching the output from his junior year. Burleson was one of the top defensive catchers in the Big Ten Conference, throwing out 20 would-be base-stealers in 38 attempts and being charged with just two errors in 246 chances for a .992 fielding percentage.

Originally from Midland, Texas, Burleson attended Midland Christian High School, where he was a four-year starting catcher and three-year starting quarterback. He comes from a baseball family, with his father, Jerry, a coach at Artesia (N.M.) High School and his younger brother, Bryant, a sophomore infielder for the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Burleson was a two-time academic all-conference honoree and 2011-12 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient. Having earned his bachelor's degree from Nebraska in finance in May of 2012, he is currently working on a master's in sport management online from Texas A&M. Burleson resides in La Jolla. He was recently engaged to be married to Julie Brechtel, a resident of Fullerton.