Mike Neu named Cal baseball’s pitching coach

In the spring of 2012, the Cal baseball team will look to build on a magical College World Series run.

Luckily, the newest addition to the Bears’ staff is no stranger to success in Omaha, Neb.

Former University of Miami (Fla.) closer Mike Neu, who helped the Hurricanes to a CWS title in 1999, has been named Cal’s new pitching coach by head coach David Esquer. He takes over for longtime pitching coach Dan Hubbs, who left for USC in July after 12 years in Berkeley.

Neu joined the Hurricanes after starring at Sacramento City College, where he went 15-0 to earn junior college All-America honors in 1998. During Miami’s championship season, Neu was named an All-American after leading the nation in strikeouts per nine innings (14.8) and earning saves in three of the team’s four CWS contests.

Neu’s most extensive Major League stint came with the Oakland Athletics, who called him up in April of 2003. That year, he posted a 3.64 ERA in 42 innings of relief for the A’s.

For the past four years, Neu has been on the coaching staff at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. He served as pitching coach from 2007-2008 before taking over as head coach in 2009. Neu posted a 87-41 record in his three-season stint, which included a pair of Big 8 Conference titles.

“We are extremely excited to have Mike Neu join the Cal baseball program,” Esquer said in a press release. “Mike is known for having one of the best baseball minds in the Bay Area. He will be an outstanding addition, both for our players and our coaching staff. Mike is familiar with all the local talent and that will definitely help us with our recruiting in Northern California.”

Neu inherits a pitching staff that loses three starters — Erik Johnson, Kevin Miller and Dixon Anderson — to the MLB Draft but returns a pair of talented lefties. Kyle Porter was named a Freshman All-American after his 6-0 record in 2011, while incoming junior Justin Jones earned the same distinction last spring.