University of Utah tabs Gary Henderson as new baseball coach

Henderson was the Utes’ associate head coach for the last two seasons under Bill Kinneberg, who retired following the 2021 season after 18 years at the helm

New University of Utah head baseball coach Gary Henderson

The University of Utah has its new head baseball coach, and it didn’t have to look very far to find him.

Gary Henderson, the Utes associate head coach for the last two seasons under Bill Kinneberg, has been promoted to head coach, the athletic department announced on Wednesday afternoon. Kinneberg retired last month and the conclusion of the 2021 season, his 18th at the helm.

“It was extremely gratifying to have the high level of interest in this search,” Utah athletic director Mark Harlan said in a statement. “Coaches from prominent programs across the country were involved and spoken to. However, as we all analyzed the candidates, it became clear that we had someone very special on our coaching staff. To have a coach of Gary Henderson’s caliber and experience, who also has such familiarity with the young men in our program, makes him an ideal leader for the next era of Utah Baseball.”

Harlan added: “He has produced tremendous results both as a head coach and pitching coach with some of the premiere programs in the most competitive conferences in the nation, along with recruiting and coaching many young men who have gone on to major league careers. In his two years as our associate head coach he has demonstrated all of the qualities that translate to success, and I’m thrilled that he is the new head coach for our program.”

In a coaching career spanning 31 years, Henderson has coached at brand-name programs including the University of Florida, Oregon State, University of Kentucky and Mississippi State prior to coming to Utah in 2019.

“The last two years have been wonderful to immerse myself into the Utah athletics family,” Henderson said. “It has been a joy to develop relationships with our student-athletes and I am excited for the opportunity to continue to help them reach their academic, athletic and personal goals. This community, campus and city make the University of Utah one of the best places to be in collegiate athletics.”