Tod Brown, a former head coach at North Dakota State University (NDSU), was announced as the new head coach for the University of New Mexico baseball team on Thursday.
Brown will be replacing former head coach Ray Birmingham, who announced his retirement in April after 14 seasons with the Lobos. UNM Athletics director Eddie Nuñez said that Birmingham was involved in the process to select a new coach.
“When we set out to find a new head coach for our Lobo baseball program, the vision and the goal was to continue to build our program that Birmingham built and elevate it,” Nuñez said. “In coach Brown not only did we find a great coach who has elevated every program that he has been associated with, but we also found someone who fits perfectly for this program, our university and our community.”
Brown is coming off of a Summit League Championship win at NDSU — his second win with the Bison in 14 years, and the first Division I postseason win in NDSU program history. His 2021 team also broke the NDSU baseball record for Summit League wins with 20 wins, led the nation with 25 road wins and set new school records in strikeouts (474) and putouts (1,567).
Brown said he will continue Birmingham’s practice of recruiting New Mexico players, which will be “the number one priority.” He also emphasized the importance that defense and pitching will have for the Lobos in recruiting and gameplay.
“It all starts on the mound,” Brown said. “You have to be able to pitch and defend, but knowing that we can score runs in different ways ... as long as you can pitch and defend better than the other team you have a legitimate chance to win.”
Brown is expecting to begin recruiting after a brief personal period. UNM baseball will return for the 2021-22 season this winter.
Matthew Salcido is the sports editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @baggyeyedguy