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Longtime Bay Area baseball coach Lawrence "Mike" Cummins ’79 has joined the San José State University baseball program as the team’s volunteer assistant coach. Cummins, a familiar name to fans of local baseball, brings more than 35 years of coaching experience to the Spartans, including 10 combined seasons as the head coach at Santa Clara and San Francisco State.
In his six seasons (2009-15) at the helm of San Francisco State, 14 Gators received All-California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) recognition, including the program’s first conference Freshman of the Year selection in 2013. SFSU’s 22 total wins in 2010 were the most since 2006, and the team’s 17 CCAA wins in 2014 and 2015 were the most since the Gators tallied 21 conference wins in 2004.
From 2003 to 2009, Cummins served as the head coach at Walla Walla (Wash.) Community College, where he guided the Warriors to a 151-121 (.555) record. In 2007, Walla Walla was crowned East Region Tournament Champion and received a bid to the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Championship Tournament.
Cummins had a 24-year coaching and playing stint at Santa Clara, including a four-year run as the head coach from 1997 to 2001. With Cummins on staff from 1988 to 2001, seven Broncos earned All-America honors, three were named West Coast Conference Player of the Year, three others won WCC Pitcher of the Year and two SCU rookies garnered conference Newcomer of the Year awards. He also played a role in the development of five Bronco catchers who went on to sign professional contracts, beginning with former Kansas City Royal Mike Macfarlane.
Prior to his time at Walla Walla, Cummins spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons as an assistant coach at Washington State.
A native of Monterey, Calif., Cummins played two seasons at Monterey Peninsula College before transferring to Santa Clara in the fall of 1977. He was a standout catcher on the 1978 and 1979 Santa Clara teams, helping the Broncos to an NCAA Regional appearance in 1978 and earning Second-Team All-Northern California Baseball Association honors as a senior in 1979.
After graduating from Santa Clara in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in history, Cummins signed a professional contract with the Salem Senators of the Northwest League, an independent Class A team, and batted .302 while leading the team in RBIs in his only year with the club.
Cummins began his coaching career in 1980 at Buchser High School in Santa Clara, where he guided the baseball team to a second place finish in conference. He also served as the head football coach of the junior varsity program at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif.
Cummins is a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association and Association of Professional Ball Players of America, and sits on the ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award Committee.