An experienced coach and tireless recruiter, Josh Reynolds has overseen the K-State pitching staff for four years and helped the group of hurlers establish Wildcat records, reach the NCAA postseason two times, and win the 2013 Big 12 title.
In what was his finest season as a coach as well as the best campaign in K-State history, Reynolds worked with a 13-man group in 2013 that consisted of eight underclassmen. Quickly developing the young talent, Reynolds helped lead the pitching staff to post a 3.92 team ERA, which is the lowest mark in school history in the aluminum bat era (1977). In addition, the Wildcats also broke the school records for fewest hits allowed per nine innings (9.0), lowest batting average (.262), saves (19) and innings pitched (569.0). The staff's saves and innings pitched totals led the Big 12.
Under Reynolds guidance, relief pitcher Jake Matthyswas named the 2013 Big 12 Freshman of the Year and also picked up Freshman All-America and All-Big 12 First Team accolades. The right-hander tied the school record with 33 appearances, finished second in school history in wins (9), fifth in saves (9) and eighth in ERA (2.05). His totals for wins and saves shattered the freshman school records and tied Matthys for second in the Big 12 during the 2013 season.
Reynolds guided another freshman, Levi MaVorhis, to a spot on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team in 2013 as the right-hander shined in pressure situations out of the bullpen early in the year before running away with a spot in the starting rotation during the second half of the season. He also found a hidden talent on the K-State roster as he inserted outfielder Tanner Witt into a late-game role on the mound in which he compiled seven saves to rank seventh in the Big 12. Witt earned All-Big 12 First Team honors as a utility player and was on the watch list for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year award.
In 2014, Reynolds once again worked with an underclassmen-loaded pitching staff, a group that utilized four sophomores and seven freshmen while only having one upperclassman with Division I experience. The staff had a 4.91 team ERA, but performers such as MaVorhis and senior Jared Moore, who was a reliever for much of his career prior to becoming a starter in 2014, led the Wildcat pitchers to post six shutouts, the most in a season since 1991. MaVorhis threw two shutouts of his own, making him just the third pitcher in K-State history to throw two in a season and in a career.
Reynolds hit the ground running in his first year as the pitching in 2011 as K-State ended the year with a 4.26 team ERA, which was the third-lowest in school history since the introduction of the aluminum bat in 1977. Additionally, the Wildcats tallied 449 strikeouts - just four shy of the school record - and surrendered the second fewest hits per nine innings (9.3) and second lowest opponent batting average (.269) since 1977.
Under Reynolds' tutelage, relief pitchers James Allen (first team) and Evan Marshall (second team) earned All-Big 12 honors. Allen was also named a First Team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and earned second team honors from Collegiate Baseball. Both Marshall and Allen were taken in the top 10 rounds of the 2011 MLB Draft as Marshall was drafted in the fourth round by Arizona and Allen was taken in the seventh round by Cincinnati. Additionally, starting pitcher Kyle Hunter was selected in the 31st round by Seattle.
Due in part to Reynolds' guidance, Allen, Marshall and Hunter are listed prominently in the K-State record book. Allen broke the K-State single-season (17) and career (31) marks in saves, while he is sixth in school history in career ERA (2.92) among pitchers with a minimum of two years and 100 innings pitched. The closer also ranks second in career relief appearances with 81 and third in single-season relief appearances with 29.
Marshall finished second in school history with 30 relief appearances in 2011, and remained consistent under the direction of Reynolds as he finished third in K-State history with an ERA of 1.62 in 2011. Hunter, who finished ninth in school history with 167 career strikeouts, was eighth in career wins with 15, including five in 2011.
In 2014, Marshall became the first pitcher who worked with Reynolds to appear in a Major League game. The right-hander made his big league debut on May 6 with Arizona against the Milwaukee Brewers, throwing 1 1/3 shutout innings and earning the winning decision.
Following a successful first season as the team's pitching coach in 2011, Reynolds followed that up by seeing his 2012 pitching staff rank in the top 10 of four school categories. K-State totaled 423 strikeouts to rank fourth, while the Wildcats were 10th in ERA (5.47), fewest walks per nine innings (3.7) and fewest hits per nine innings (10.1).
Reynolds guided Kayvon Bahramzadeh, who was the team's top starting pitcher, to draft status as he was taken in the 24th round by the Oakland Athletics. Prior to being drafted, Bahramzadeh placed in the top 10 in school history in three career categories as he was fourth games started (36), sixth in strikeouts (185) and 10th in appearances (60).
Aside from tutoring the team's top starter to draft status, Reynolds was also outstanding in building for the future as freshman Nate Williams tallied six saves to rank ninth in school history and set the freshman record, besting an eventual All-American in Allen.
Reynolds spent the 2007 as the pitching coach at Northeast Texas Community College. Following the 2008 season as the graduate manager in Manhattan, Reynolds was hired as the pitching coach at Evansville.
A volunteer assistant coach at K-State during the 2005 and 2006 seasons and a graduate manager in 2008, Reynolds returned to Manhattan following a successful two-year stint at Evansville. Reynolds made a significant impact on the UE program, producing four All-Missouri Valley Conference pitchers during his stint, the second-highest total among league schools over the two-year period. Relief pitchers Tom Heithoff (2009, 2010), Corey Davisson (2010) and J.R. Carbonell (2009) earned All-MVC pitching honors for UE, while Davisson tied Evansville's single-season records for both appearances (33) and winning percentage (9-1, .900) in 2010 under Reynolds' tutelage. Heithoff also emerged as one of the top closers in school history under Reynolds as he totaled 18 saves in his two years to rank second all-time in Evansville history.
The Purple Aces staff also dropped its team ERA by over a full point during Reynolds' two years, while UE improved nearly 150 spots in the national rankings in hits allowed under his watch.
Reynolds excelled on the mound as a pitcher at Division II power University of Central Missouri (formerly Central Missouri State) from 1998 through 2000 under now K-State head coach Brad Hill. He was a two-time MIAA and All-America pitcher for the Mules, while setting a school record with 32 career victories in just three years. Reynolds was selected in the third round of the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft by the New York Mets after his junior year, but not before ranking among Central Missouri's career leaders in victories, innings pitched (248.0) and strikeouts (193). Reynolds, who still ranks among the Mules' top five in all three categories, was inducted into the school's athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.
Following college, Reynolds pitched professionally for parts of five seasons in the New York Mets, San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox organizations. He posted a career record of 21-15 with a 4.14 ERA as both a starter and a reliever, while tallying nearly a three-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio (211 strikeouts to 72 walks) as a professional.
Reynolds earned his bachelor's degree in social sciences from Kansas State in 2006. He and his wife, Ashleigh, have one daughter, Azlynn.