May 5, 2014, VANCOUVER – UBC Thunderbirds baseball bench boss Terry McKaig has been selected the NAIA West Coach of the Year by the grouping’s seven other head coaches.
McKaig, a native of Vernon, B.C., guided UBC to a 20-8 record in conference play and the No. 1 seed in the 2014 NAIA West Group tournament. UBC won the postseason NAIA West Championship and will appear in the NAIA World Series Opening Round next week.
In his 17th season at the helm of the T-Birds, coach McKaig claims his fourth Coach of the Year award (’06, ’09, ’10).
Five Thunderbirds players were honoured for their play during the regular season.
First baseman Bruce Yari, a Waterloo, Ont. native, was named to the 2014 All-NAIA West Group Team as well as a Gold Glove winner. He batted .393 during 28 league games.
Outfielder Bryan Arthur of Abbotsford, B.C., who had a .351 batting average in 25 league appearances, was also named to the All-NAIA West Group Team while Matt Spillman of Welland, Ont. won a Gold Glove as the NAIA West’s top defensive second baseman. He committed just four errors in league play and had a .972 fielding percentage.
After an historic season, UBC starter Conor Lillis-White of Toronto, was one of two T-Birds pitchers named to the All-NAIA West Group Team. He leads the entire NAIA with 0.50 earned run average and owns an 8-0 record which includes four complete-game shutouts. Closer Matt Thorton of Campbell River, B.C., with a team-high five saves and a 2.03 ERA, was recognized in his final season with UBC.