Dan Ricabal returns for his second season as the Dirtbags pitching coach in 2018. Ricabal comes to the Beach from Loyola Marymount University, where he had been the pitching coach for five seasons.
In his first season at the Beach, Ricabal guided a successful Dirtbags pitching staff that had a team ERA of 3.07 and produced a pair of All-Americans in starters Darren McCaughan and Dave Smith. LBSU ranked second in the country in shutouts with 12, third in WHIP with a mark of 1.12, and seventh in the country in ERA in 2017. McCaughan was named Big West Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season, and Smith and closer Chris Rivera were tabbed second team All-Big West selections.
Ricabal brings coaching experience at multiple levels of baseball, having coached in the junior college ranks, at multiple Division I programs along the West Coast, and within the minor league system of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
"I am excited for the opportunity to join, and be part of, the Dirtbag family," said Ricabal. "I understand the level of tradition, and the height of the bar we must reach in Dirtbag Nation. I am grateful for the opportunity Coach Buckley has given me, and I am humbled to be designated the leader of the Dirtbags pitching staff."
As a player, Ricabal was an All-American pitcher both at nearby Cerritos College and at Cal State Fullerton. He was signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers in in 1994 and pitched a handful of seasons in the minor leagues. He then turned to coaching in 2000, serving as the pitching coach at College of the Canyons.
In 2001, Ricabal returned to Fullerton as an administrative assistant, then spent the next three seasons at UC Santa Barbara as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. From there, he moved to the Angels minor league system, where he would spend six years as a pitching coach at various levels of the organization. During his time with the Angles, Ricabal coached a number of future big leaguers like Garrett Richards, Jordan Walden, Tyler Chatwood, Sean O'Sullivan, Trevor Bell and others.
During his tenure at LMU, Ricabal's pitching staffs posted Top-10 LMU season ERAs in each of his five years. Ricabal is also responsible for developing four of LMU's Top-10 best individual season ERAs, including Sean Watkins' 1.89 in 2015 (third-best) and Colin Welmon's 2.30 ERA in 2013 (sixth-best). Prior to Watkins and Welmon, no Lion pitcher had turned in a sub-2.31 ERA in a season since 1971. Training under Ricabal throughout his four-year career, Welmon posted the third-best ERA in LMU history (2.82).
Ricabal is also the owner and director of Play Hard Baseball Club, which he founded in 2004. The club is located in Pasadena, and offers coaching and development in every aspect of the game to players age 9-18. Ricabal is a native of Rosemead, Calif., and a graduate of San Gabriel High School. He earned a Business Management degree in 2012 from the University of Phoenix.
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