Fredericton baseball coach signs contract with Toronto Blue Jays

Kevin McCarthy, left, a former University of New Brunswick baseball coach, signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. (Submitted: University of New Brunswick)

From minor leagues to coaching university baseball to the big leagues – Kevin McCarthy, former University of New Brunswick baseball coach, signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. 

“All good baseball coaches have a strong passion for the game, but a great baseball coach has the same passion for his players. That’s Kevin,” said former UNB baseball player Matt Dignam about his former coach Kevin McCarthy.

The University of New Brunswick baseball team won the Atlantic Conference Title in 2018, 2019, 2021 and last won the National Championships back-to-back in 2007 and 2008. 

McCarthy started playing when he was around six years old, starting as a shortstop for the teams he played in the midget and minor leagues. 

“I wouldn’t say I was a great player. I was more smart than I was good,” said McCarthy. 

When it came time to pick a school to pursue baseball and his studies, he chose UNB.

In his time at UNB, McCarthy switched from shortstop to catcher but that decision wouldn’t last long. He found a new appreciation for backstop after his knees were affected from switching positions. 

After graduating, McCarthy returned to UNB to become a coach in 2016. 

“It fit a lot better for me. I can teach things a lot easier than I could do them on the field,” said McCarthy. 

Dignam said McCarthy was always willing to provide insight or research different drills to help the team develop their skills. 

“He is always willing to put his time and effort into helping us get better. We’re all extremely happy for him [and] he deserves this opportunity,” said Dignam.  

McCarthy has also been a coach with the U17 New Brunswick team for both pitching and positional players. On top of that, he’s been a hockey analyst with the Oshawa Generals, the Ottawa 67s, the Red Bull Salzburg and Farjestad BK.

“I think the combination of the analyst and coaching thing is what gave me an in [to coaching the Blue Jays],” said McCarthy.

The Blue Jays reached out in 2020 and McCarthy was hired two years later. He has a wife and two young daughters in Fredericton, so it was tough for him to leave but knew it would be a great opportunity.  

McCarthy understands that the sports world is continuously changing.

“Obviously, I’m still learning and it’s a big trial and error process,” he said. “I’m just going to let the year play out, learn as much as I can.” 

McCarthy said he wants to give other people hope that they can do more with their coaching than just remaining in the local Fredericton scene. 

“As far as being big time, I don’t think I’m there yet,” he said. “[I’m] just another guy that made it out of New Brunswick.”