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UC San Diego - Baseball Camps
UC San Diego - Baseball Camps

Coaching Staff

Assistant Coach - Rob Avila

Rob Avila is in his fourth season as an assistant coach with the UC San Diego baseball program in 2015 after being named to the post in September of 2011.

As the staff's top assistant, 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 Santa Clarita. 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 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 (11) and Elaina (8), and young son (July, 2013), Trey.

Assistant Coach - J.T. Bloodworth

J.T. Bloodworth was promoted to full-time assistant coach and recruiting coordinator of the UC San Diego baseball program in July of 2014. He is in his third season with the Tritons in 2015, having joined the staff in September of 2012.

While taking over the recruiting operation and as the hitting instructor, Bloodworth continues to direct a stellar Triton defense that has ranked in the top 10 in the NCAA Division II in fielding percentage in each of the last two seasons. The 2014 squad that went 38-16 overall and brought home the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament banner, was fifth nationally in fielding (.974) and eighth in double plays turned (54). In 2013, UCSD turned in a .972 clip.

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.

Assistant Coach - Cory Burleson

Cory Burleson is in his third season as an assistant coach for the UC San Diego baseball program in 2015. 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 coached 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 is engaged to be married to Julie Brechtel, a resident of Fullerton.

Assistant Coach - Nick La Face

Nick La Face
Assistant Coach

Nick La Face was named to the UC San Diego baseball coaching staff as an assistant in July of 2014. The appointment follows a stellar five-year playing career for the catcher and designated hitter as a Triton from 2010-14.

In addition to coaching duties, La Face will aid in the recruiting process and camps, and have field maintenance oversight.

In a UCSD uniform, La Face was a three-time All-West Region performer and .300 career hitter with 14 home runs over more than 200 appearances. He left the program ranked No. 2 all-time at UCSD in walks (134), No. 3 in doubles (60) and No. 8 in RBI (146).

La Face saved his best for last as a senior in 2014, garnering All-America honorable mention thanks to career bests in batting average (.347), runs (42), hits (67), doubles (21), triples (5), RBI (54), total bases (104), slugging (.539), walks (47) and on-base percentage (.486). He led the league in doubles, triples and walks, and put together a reached-base streak of 35 games.

All told, La Face was a part of one NCAA Division II West Region (2010), four California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) regular-season and four CCAA tournament titles, including the program's record sixth as a senior last May. The two-time All-CCAA First Team selection was named the Most Outstanding Player of both the 2012 and 2014 CCAA Championship.

La Face completed his degree requirements in political science with a minor in education studies at the conclusion of the 2014 winter quarter as a student at UCSD’s Warren College. He was a two-time Capital One Academic All-District 8 First Team honoree.

A North Hollywood product, La Face starred at Notre Dame High School prior to his days as a Triton.