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UC San Diego Baseball Camps
Coaching Staff

Rob Avila
Assistant Coach

Rob Avila is in his second season as an assistant coach with the UC San Diego baseball program in 2013 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.

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 (9) and Elaina (6), and are expecting a third child this July.


Jonathan Johnston
Assistant Coach

Jonathan Johnston was named to the UCSD coaching staff in the fall of 2011.

Johnston's primary responsibilities include working with the hitters and catchers, teaching base running and recruiting. He will also serve as the third base coach and assist in running the Triton offense during games.

During the 2012 season, Johnston's instruction was instrumental in UCSD's offensive success and the all-around improvement behind the dish.

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 in Advanced Class A as a catcher for the Stockton Ports, hitting .318 with a .423 on base percentage.

In 2008, Johnston's first season of professional baseball, he batted .228 for the Low 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, the Gem of Kirikae.

Johnston was a four year starter behind the plate for the Navy Midshipmen from 2003 to 2006. 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 turn arounds in Division I baseball history.

Johnston earned a Bachelor of Science degree in ocean engineering from the United States Naval Academy and finished his naval career as a Lieutenant.


J.T. Bloodworth
Assistant Coach

J.T. Bloodworth was named as an assistant coach for the UC San Diego baseball program in September of 2012.

Previously, Bloodworth was the head assistant coach at Lon Morris College in Texas for the 2012 season. His primary role at LMC was working with the Bearcat offense and defense.

Prior to Lon Morris, Bloodworth was an assistant at New Mexico State University from 2008 through 2011, working with the defense and infielders alongside of Hall of Fame Coach Gary Ward. In his first season at NMSU, Bloodworth had an immediate impact on the Aggie defense, which broke two school records with 701 assists and 69 double plays (ranked seventh nationally). Also, the Aggie defense tied the school record for highest fielding percentage at .968, committing only 76 errors. Just a season before, NMSU committed 138 errors and held a .942 fielding percentage.

Bloodworth started his collegiate playing career in 2004-05 at the University of Arizona under coach Andy Lopez. He then transferred to Dallas Baptist University, where he played from 2005-08 under head coaches Eric Newman and Dan Heeferner. Bloodworth helped DBU to a 2008 NCAA Regionals appearance and was named to the 2007 NCAA Division I All-Independent Team.

Bloodworth's playing experience also included four seasons of collegiate summer ball in the Cal Ripken League (2008), the Hawaiian League (2007) and the Texas Collegiate League (2005, 2006). He received training from defense/infield coach Perry Hill, a 17-year veteran of the Major Leagues with the Texas Rangers, Detriot Tigers, Montreal Expos, Pittsburgh Pirates and Florida Marlins. Hill coached Gold Glove winners Derek Lee, Luis Castillo, Mike Lowell and Orlando Cabrera.

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 University in the spring of 2009 with a sports management degree. In 2010, he received a Master's Degree in sports administration.

A native of Dallas, Bloodworth resides in La Jolla.


Cory Burleson
Assistant Coach

Cory Burleson was named as an assistant coach for the UC San Diego baseball program in September of 2012.

Embarking on his first collegiate coaching venture, Burleson is tasked with directing the outfielders while assisting with the catchers and the offense. He also handles groundskeeping duties at Triton Ballpark and baseball operations.

Burleson spent this past 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 is slated to be 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.