Alex Kocol enters his sixth season with the Vaqueros, his on-field responsibilities include running the offense, working with hitters and coaching infielders. Off the field, Kocol assists in recruiting and player placement. During his tenure Glendale has won four Western State Conference titles, including the first 3-peat in the 50 year history of the WSCS. The Vaqs have also hosted and won four CCCAA Regionals. Between 2011 and 2015, Glendale has produced over twenty DI student-athletes and has had four players selected in the MLB Draft. Over 85% of Glendale’s sophomores have gone on to compete at the 4-year level.
During the summers of 2013 and 2014, Kocol served as the hitting/3rd base coach for the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod League. In his first year on the Cape, Kocol helped lead the Anglers to the President’s Cup Trophy and Eastern Division Title—the team was ranked #1 nationally by Perfect Game during a four week stretch in 2013. That season the Angler’s won their first playoff series in eleven years and recorded modern franchise highs in runs scored, stolen bases and walks. Manager John Schiffner was named CCL Manager of the Year. In 2014, the A’s improved in both runs scored and batting average concluding the most prolific two-year offensive run in the franchise’s storied history. In both season the A’s offense also featured a future MLB 1st Round position player (Connor Joe ‘13, Chris Shaw ‘14).
In his first season at Glendale (2011), Kocol helped the Vaqs engineer a historic turnaround going from a last place conference finish in 2010 to the WSCS title and a State Final 4 run in 2011. The Vaquero offense led the California in stolen bases, home runs and walks—the team’s 85% stolen base percentage was 5th in the state. Chris Cicuto was named WSCS, Southern California, and ABCA/Rawlings Coach of the Year for 2011. In 2012, the Vaqueros won a consecutive WSC-South title going wire to wire. Glendale hosted and won their second consecutive Regional and came within a game of their second straight State Final 4. The Vaquero offense was first in California in walks while placing second in stolen bases. The 2012 group also finished in the top ten in runs scored, RBIs, and home runs. INF Sergio Plasencia won the ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award. 2013 saw Glendale capture a third straight Western State Conference South title. The Vaqs again hosted and won a CCCAA Regional at Stengel Field. Their offense finished third in CA in stolen bases. In 2015, despite starting the season 0-7, GCC regained the WSCS crown and advanced in the CCCAA playoffs to host the first Super-Regional in school history. OF Nick Wolyniec was named WSCS MVP and 1st Team ABCA/Rawlings All-American. Glendale led CA in home runs for the second time in five seasons.
Prior to coaching at Glendale, Kocol spent four seasons (2007-2010) at Harvard-Westlake School, the final three in the capacity of Associate Head Baseball Coach. Kocol was responsible for working with hitters while running the offense and coaching the infielders. The HW baseball program had been a combined 1-23 in Mission League play in the two years preceding the arrival of a new staff. His final season at HW (2010) proved to be a watershed for the Harvard-Westlake baseball program as the Wolverines led the competitive Mission League in runs scored on their way to winning two playoff games- falling to eventual CIF Champion Glendora (5-3) in the second game ever played at O’Malley Family Field. The 2010 squad swiped a school record 116 bases at an 80% clip. In addition to his work with the varsity group, Kocol worked closely in the development of HW’s middle school component and the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 graduating classes. In 2013, Harvard-Westlake won the CIF-SS DI Title and was named national champions by Baseball America.
During his four year stint at Harvard-Westlake, Kocol was able to work closely with Austin Wilson (OF, Stanford/Seattle Mariners), helping the relatively unknown freshman develop into one of the top offensive high school players in the nation. In 2010, Wilson capped his high school career garnering Baseball America 1st Team, ABCA-Rawlings, AFLAC and Under Armour All-American honors.
In 2007, Kocol founded the SoCal Rats, a developmental youth club program for 7th and 8th graders which fielded some of the top travel teams in the nation. In 2010, the Rats captured the Triple Crown Omaha Slumpbuster- billed as the largest youth baseball tournament in the world. The Rats 2012 Class included 1st Round MLB pick RHP Lucas Giolito, LHP Austin Kamel (BYU), and RHP Tyler Sprague (Emory). The 2013 Class featured 11 players who would earn DI commitments: C Arden Pabst (Georgia Tech), RHP Conor Cuse (Stanford), C Cole Taylor (Utah), SS Sam Ross (Arizona), INF/RHP Tyler Cohen (LMU), INF Joe Corrigan (USC), RHP Jack Morello (Gonzaga), RHP Andy Frakes (USF), INF Alex Horowitz (Butler), C Max Torbiner (Davidson), OF Casey Rosenfeld (Kenyon) and INF Harley Faye (USF). The 2014 Class featured SS Brian Ginsberg (Brown), Matt Karo C (Columbia), Michael Vokulich RHP (NYU), Logan Simon RHP (Bowdoin), C Riley Sullivan (Eastern Nazarene) and RHP Dylan Schapiro (Trinity). The 2015 class included SS Ezra Steinberg (Oregon), OF Jordan Myrow (UCLA), INF Jake Hirabayshi (UCLA), RHP Jackson Ramey (Swarthmore), LHP Matt Beyer (Brown), INF Karl Kani (Washington), RHP Brandon Ponticelli (Nevada-Reno), and OF Jackson Grayson (Emory).
Over his career Kocol has coached over 150 players who have competed at the DI level and 25 players who have been drafted, including 4 first-round draft picks (Lucas Giolito, Phil Bickford, Connor Joe, and Chris Shaw).
Prior to coming to HW, Kocol was the head coach at his alma mater University High School in 2006, guiding the Wildcats to a 16-12-1 record and an appearance in the L.A. City Section DI Championship playoffs.
Between 2002 and 2005 Kocol served as an undergrad assistant at UCLA, working closely in day-to-day operations of the baseball program under coaches Gary Adams and John Savage. During that time the Bruins made an NCAA regional appearance (2004) and had over 20 players drafted and/or sign professional contracts. Kocol was an infielder on Glendale College’s 2002 WSCS championship squad coached by Jon Strauss and prepped at University High School in West L.A. He is a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), is certified by the California Interscholastic Federation, and holds a certificate in Coaching Ethics from the Josephson Institute. Kocol became a member of the Glendale College Hall of Fame in 2012.
Kocol earned degrees in Philosophy and Political Science from UCLA along with a Master's in History from CSUN. He currently holds a dual appointment at Glendale College in the Social Sciences division where he teaches courses in the History and Political Science departments. Coach Kocol and his wife Janet reside in Granada Hills with their son Colin who arrived in the summer of 2015.