VANCOUVER – Chris Pritchett has his work cut out for him.
The UBC Thunderbirds’ new baseball head coach replaces the only man who has patrolled the T-Bird dugout since the program was resurrected in 1997, Terry McKaig. After 18 seasons, McKaig is moving upstairs to become UBC’s Director of Baseball.
Pritchett joins the Thunderbirds from the Boston Red Sox organization. The 45-year-old has spent the last four years crisscrossing Canada as a Red Sox international scout. Before that, Pritchett served as hitting coach for the Vancouver Canadians, but his connection to the C’s and Vancouver goes back even further. After an All-American career at UCLA, Pritchett was drafted in the second round by the California Angels in 1991. The first baseman arrived in Vancouver to play for the AAA Canadians four years later. Pritchett played 466 games in a Canadians uniform, collecting 467 hits. After establishing himself with the C’s, Pritchett would get the opportunity to play 61 games in the Major Leagues, between 1996-2000.
After retiring in 2003, Pritchett returned to UCLA, and completed his Bachelor of Arts degree. He also went on to study Performance Enhancement at the National Academy of Sports Medicine and received a Masters in Exercise Science.
Pritchett joins the Thunderbirds at a very exciting time. The team is set to move into its new $4 million training facility later this year. The state-of-the-art facility will go a long way in helping Pritchett recruit the top players in the country and maintain the baseball program’s high standards of excellence. Since its inception, 20 Thunderbird players have been selected in the Major League Baseball draft.