MARTIN, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee at Martin head baseball coach Rick Robinson has announced the hiring of Ryan Jenkins as the program’s hitting coach. At UT Martin, Jenkins will work primarily with hitters and catchers.
Jenkins spent the 2017 season at the College of Charleston, where he served as an assistant under head coach Matt Heath working with both hitters and pitchers. Jenkins coached five All-Colonial Athletic Association honorees and also tutored a Major League Baseball draft pick last season.
A Millbrook, Ala. native, Jenkins was a four-year letterman for the Auburn Tigers from 2006-10 as a catcher, playing under head coaches Tom Slater and John Pawlowski. Jenkins also learned under former Auburn assistants Link Jarrett, Chris Finwood, Jeff Duncan and Butch Thompson – who are all now Division-I head coaches. During his playing days at Auburn, Jenkins shared the diamond with four future MLB players – including 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson.
“I am excited about the addition on Coach Jenkins to our staff,” Robinson said. “He was an outstanding player and has played for a lot of great coaches. I am sure that experience will transfer over to his coaching. I know he will help us in a lot of different areas.”
Jenkins was named to the All-Southeastern Conference team in 2010 after hitting .365 with seven home runs and 34 RBI while making 48 starts behind the plate. He helped lead the Tigers to a 43-21 record as a senior, earning a spot on the NCAA Regional All-Tournament team.
A career .304 hitter over 138 collegiate games, Jenkins currently ranks eighth all-time in Auburn history in caught stealing by with 28 runners thrown out. He also excelled in the classroom, earning a spot on the 2009 All-SEC Academic team.
Jenkins was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 17th round of the 2010 MLB Draft and went on to play in the Royals’ minor league system from 2010-12. He played in 118 games over a three-year span, throwing out 49 would-be base stealers.
In 2013, Jenkins returned to Auburn to complete his bachelor’s degree in sociology while serving as a student assistant during the 2014 season and a strength and conditioning coach in 2015-16.
“I am eager to join Coach Robinson, his staff and the players at UT Martin,” Jenkins said. “I welcome the opportunity to work with young players who are hungry for success and advancement in both their athletic and academic careers.”
UT Martin notched 25 wins last spring, which ranks as the most single-season victories since the school joined the Division-I ranks in 1993. The Skyhawks advanced to the Ohio Valley Conference tournament for the first time since 2011 and shattered seven school records in 2017.