Mulvey becomes just the fifth person in the last 68 years to guide one of college baseball’s longest-running programs. The origins of the Wildcats baseball team date back to 1866 and the program celebrated its 150th anniversary this past spring.
Mulvey returned to campus in 2013 to begin his coaching career and he spent the past four seasons as the Villanova pitching coach. He had also coordinated the program’s nationwide recruiting efforts for the past two years and oversaw the academic progress of the Wildcats student-athletes as the coaching staff’s liaison to the Office of Academic Support.
During his tenure as an assistant coach in the past four seasons, Mulvey helped maintain Villanova’s long-standing reputation as a program that develops successful student-athletes both on and off the field. The baseball team had a grade-point average of 3.007 for the 2015-16 academic year and senior pitcher Kagan Richardson was named to the Philadelphia Big 5 All-Academic Team for the second straight year. In addition, the baseball team’s multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) score of 982 ranked well above the national average within the sport, including a perfect 1000 score for the 2014-15 academic year.
The baseball team’s recruiting efforts in recent seasons struck a successful balance between keeping top local talent in-state while also attracting high-profile players from around the country. The team’s 2016 roster featured 19 players from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York, with 10 states in all represented on the roster.
On the field, Mulvey worked with a number of high-profile pitchers over the past four seasons. One of them is rising senior left-hander Hunter Schryver, who became the first Villanova pitcher since 1998 to be a first team All-BIG EAST selection when he earned that honor this season. Schryver finished the 2016 campaign with a 2.64 ERA in 88 2/3 innings, and posted the lowest ERA by a Wildcats starting pitcher since the 2000 season.
A Villanova pitcher ascended to the professional ranks in each of Mulvey’s four years as the program’s pitching coach. The most recent to join the group of professional pitchers is 2016 junior left-hander Woody Bryson, who was signed by the New York Yankees as a non-drafted free agent last month. Mulvey previously mentored a trio of pitchers who were chosen in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, including Pat Young (2013, 13th round), JB Kole (2014, 8th round) and Max Almonte (2015, 16th round).
In 2015, the Wildcats pitching staff had a staff ERA of 4.14, which was nearly a full run lower than the previous season and the lowest team ERA overall in the past 20 years. One of the top performers on the 2015 staff was right-hander Chris Haggarty, who saved nine games and held opponents to a .194 batting average. A former walk-on to the baseball team, Haggarty finished his collegiate career ranked second in program history with 80 career appearances. He also ranked seventh in schools history with 11 career saves and eighth among pitchers with at least 100.0 career innings with a 3.78 ERA.
Mulvey’s 2014 pitching staff lowered its ERA by more than a quarter of a run from the previous year and had a number of noteworthy individual performances. Left-handed pitcher Matt Meurer was a second team All-BIG EAST selection after making 28 appearances and recording nine saves with a 1.21 ERA in 44 2/3 innings.
Prior to being selected by the New York Mets in the second round of the 2006 MLB Draft, Mulvey pitched for the Wildcats for three seasons and registered the most strikeouts (222) in a three-year span in school history. He also threw the eighth no-hitter in school history as a sophomore in 2005. Following his junior season, he was the 62nd overall pick in the MLB Draft and became the first Villanova player to ever be selected with a team’s top draft pick.
Mulvey pitched for parts of seven seasons in the professional ranks and spent time in the organizations of the Mets, the Minnesota Twins and the Arizona Diamondbacks. He pitched in the major leagues for both Minnesota and Arizona, logging 10 appearances and starting four games. In the minor leagues, Mulvey appeared in 143 games with 130 starts and tallied 35 victories while pitching more than 750 innings and striking out 547 batters.
The Villanova baseball program has an all-time record of 1,891-1,444-29 (.569) in 151 seasons. The team has tallied nine seasons with 30 or more victories and two 40-win seasons while making seven NCAA Tournament appearances all-time. Villanova has produced 55 major leaguers, including current Chicago Cubs outfielder Matt Szczur. There are also four other former Wildcats active in the minor leagues.
Mulvey takes over the head coaching position from Joe Godri, whose contract was not renewed at the end of the 2016 season. Mulvey and his wife, Athena, make their home in King of Prussia, Pa.