Elton Pollock, a 1995 graduate of Presbyterian College, will begin his 13th season as head coach of the Blue Hose baseball program in 2016. Pollock follows Tim Corbin and Doug Kovash, respectively, as the third head coach to lead the program since its reinstatement in 1988.
Last season, Pollock led the Blue Hose to its second straight 27-win season, tying the program's Division I era single-season record for wins. PC made the biggest gains in conference play in 2016, winning a school record 12 Big South games, a six-game improvement from 2015. The team went on to make its first appearance in the Big South Championship in just its fourth year of being eligible for the event. The team set a number of records in 2016, both at the plate and on the mound, with PC setting single-season records for runs scored (321), RBIs (286), doubles (114) and stolen bases (67), in addition to opponent batting average (.263) and strikeouts per nine innings (7.06).
Under Pollock's guidance, outfielder Weston Jackson racked up a number of different honors in 2016, including a third team All-America honor by Collegiate Baseball. Jackson was also tabbed as a second team All-Region player and second team All-Big South outfielder. He went on to set the program's D1 single-season record for doubles (27) and intentional walks (11), while tying the single-season record for runs (47) and ranking in the top five in a number of other categories.
In 2015, Pollock helped the program to a PC Division I-record 27 wins that included victories over South Carolina, Clemson, UCF (No. 7 at the time) and Indiana (No. 22 at the time). PC ended the season by winning its final seven midweek games and won 21 non-conference games, another program Division I record. Pollock’s guidance helped PC earn a First Team All-Big South honoree and an Honorable Mention selection while setting new Division I records in runs scored, strikeouts and strikeouts per game. The Blue Hose posted winning records at the PC Baseball Complex and against other South Carolina programs.
The 2013 campaign saw numerous high points under Coach Pollock, including developing junior pitcher Bud Jeter into a Major League Baseball First-Year Players Draft choice by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jeter became the first Blue Hose in the Division I era to go in the MLB Draft and incoming freshman Brad Keller went in the ninth round of the draft as well.
Under Coach Pollock, junior first baseman Brad Zebedis picked up Second Team All-Big South honors, the league's Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year award and 2013 CoSIDA Academic All-District first team honors.
PC set new Division I program-best in two key statistics in 2013 as well. The team's .972 fielding percentage shattered the previous best of .966 set in 2012 and the pitching staff's 4.40 ERA improved on 2011's previous record of 5.34 by nearly a full run. The Blue Hose also took series from strong programs like UConn, Charlotte, Wofford and Furman.
In 2012, PC saw its second straight Big South Conference First Team selection in Pollock recruit Kenny Bryant, who went on to play professional baseball after his time as a Blue Hose.
The squad posted 24 wins, including a midseason tear where PC won eight of nine games. The club's pitching staff also allowed 551 hits, a then-Division I record for the school.
Pollock led the team to a record-setting 2011 season, going 24-32 overall and 9-19 in the Big South-both Division I era-records en route to a best-ever eighth place finish in the Big South Conference. The Blue Hose also captured their first First Team All-Big South Conference selection and first Division I All-American in Brad Zebedis, who also won the program's first-ever Big South Freshman of the Year award. PC went on a nine-game win streak in 2011 that saw the squad take down No. 16 Clemson for the first time since 1949. The campaign also saw the Blue Hose knock off Tennessee and set the lowest earned run average (5.36) and tie for the best batting average (.294) since moving to Division I.
The campaign came on the heels of a 2010 season that saw the team set new highs in Division I wins and a two-game win streak to end the year. The Blue Hose won a NCBWA National Pitcher of the Week award to close the season, the first ever in Division I.
In 2009, Pollock guided the program to its first-ever victory over a top-20 team, defeating No. 19 Coastal Carolina 7-5 on April 24. February 28 marked the first time in the program's Division I history that the team swept an opposing squad, downing Conference USA foe UAB. On May 12, Pollock's squad defeated The Citadel, snapping an 18-game losing streak that spanned 81 years. On March 22, the Blue Hose picked up their first-ever Big South win, a 5-4 home victory over Radford. Just over a month later, PC completed its first three-game sweep of a conference foe in Division I, coming against Charleston Southern. Against other in-state rivals, PC knocked off USC Upstate and Wofford.
The team showed its poise against multiple top-25 teams, pushing No. 10 Georgia Tech to extra innings before falling 9-8. The squad also held a late lead on top-20 South Carolina.
PC won three of its final four games of the season behind strong pitching and dominant hitting, resulting in its second series victory over a Big South team.
The 2008 season was the initial NCAA Division I campaign for the Blue Hose. Under Pollock, the team completed the year with 13 wins, which included the programs first DI series win over Marist. The program also experienced monumental wins over UAB and UNC Charlotte, who at the time was undefeated and nationally ranked. The program made additional strides versus major SEC and ACC opponents South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and Clemson. The Blue Hose fell in 10 innings of competition to South Carolina (1-2), Tennessee (8-9), and Virginia Tech (4-5). The Clemson game was played at the Greenville Drive Stadium and featured more than 5,000 fans. Off the field, Pollock was named the 2007-08 Presbyterian College Advocate of the Year for demonstrating evidence of successful student advocacy and performance above and beyond the call of duty while serving multiple roles within the campus community.
In 2007 Pollock and the Blue Hose finished their final NCAA Division II season with their highest winning percentage under his guidance. They finished the year with 13 home wins.
In Pollock's 2006 campaign the team finished with 19 wins, including seven league victories. The Blue Hose finished the season on a winning note in the South Atlantic Conference tournament with a win over conference foe Wingate.
In 2005, Pollock's initial season as head coach, the Blue Hose made great strides down the stretch. In the 2005 Food Lion South Atlantic Tournament they lost their initial game to top seed Catawba, but bounced back and eliminated Mars Hill and Newberry to advance to the semifinals.
Prior to his return to PC as head coach, Pollock served as a volunteer assistant coach for the 2004 season, while doubling as owner/operator of The Diamond League, Inc. (professional indoor baseball training facility) in Laurens, SC. During the 2002-2003 academic year Pollock served as the full-time assistant for the Blue Hose baseball program. That season the Blue Hose won its second South Atlantic Conference Tournament championship in school history and earned a regional appearance.
Pollock, a former two-sport standout at Presbyterian College from 1992-1995, returned to his alma mater in 2002 after spending seven years in the business world. While attending PC, Pollock earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with a minor in Computer Science. He was a three-year letter winner with the football team and a four-year letter winner with the baseball team. Pollock finished an impressive baseball career at PC and is still in the top five in many career offensive categories, including homeruns (34), slugging percentage (.616), triples (11), runs scored (169), and total bases (382).
Following his graduation, Pollock was drafted in the 15th round of the 1995 Major League Baseball Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He spent three years in their minor league system before retiring in 1997. During his time with Pittsburgh, Pollock was mentored by the late Major League Hall of Famer Willie Stargell. He finished his professional career with a .250 batting average, 25 doubles, seven homeruns, and 49 stolen bases. Pollock was named "Player of the Month" for the entire organization for his play in August of 1995. That same year he helped lead the Augusta Greenjackets to the South Atlantic League Championship.
Pollock is married to the former Karen Prioleau of Greenville, SC, and the couple has four children, Madison, Lauren, Jordan and Trey. The family lives in Irmo, S.C.