Andy Baylock is a teacher, a mentor and a role model for athletes throughout Connecticut. He is best known for his prolific career as head baseball coach for the University of Connecticut from 1980 to 2003. Baylock’s story began in New Britain where he was born on June 22, 1938. As a native of the Hardware City, he played catcher for New Britain High School’s 1955 State Championship team. Baylock graduated from Central Connecticut State University as a 4-year letterwinner and captain of the baseball and football teams.
During his college years, Baylock played summer ball in the Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League, earning league titles with Hamilton Standard and Riley Redlegs. Then he attended the University of Michigan and earned a Master’s degree in 1962. He served as a graduate assistant coach with the Michigan Wolverines baseball and football teams. Next, he returned home to East Catholic High School of Manchester to teach and coach football. During this time, Baylock also played professional football for the Springfield Acorns in the Atlantic Coast Football League.
In 1963, Baylock was hired as UConn’s freshman baseball coach. He joined on a full-time basis a year later as an assistant for football and baseball. During the summer of 1971, Baylock became assistant coach of the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod Baseball League. He was appointed head coach of the Commodores in 1973, taking over from Bill Livesey. Baylock was UConn’s assistant baseball coach for 15 years under the tutelage of head coach Larry Panciera. From 1964 to 1979, Baylock helped the Huskies to the College World Series in 1965, 1972 and 1979. He has also sat on faculty in the department of kinesiology.
Andy Baylock was promoted to head coach of UConn Baseball in 1980; a post he held for 24 years. He compiled a 556-492-8 record, two Big East championships and three NCAA tournament berths. He also pursued baseball on the international stage as a pitching coach for the 1985 and 1989 U.S.A. Senior National Teams. In 1992, Baylock was named Big East Coach of the Year. Some of his top players included: Charles Nagy, Pete Walker, Jesse Carlson, Jason Grabowski, Jeff Fulchino, Brian Esposito, Scott Burrell, Brian Specyalski and Brett Burnham matriculated to professional baseball.
In 1996, Baylock was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame (1 of 8 Hall of Fames to induct him). Others inductions included the New Britain Sports Hall of Fame and New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association Hall of Fame. He stepped down as UConn’s head coach in May of 2003. The University of Connecticut retired his uniform number (28) at a banquet in 2004. Nearly 600 attended the event at the Aqua Turf in Southington, Connecticut.
If you took part in athletics, you know how it taught you to discipline yourself, to operate under a pre-arranged system of rules and regulations. You know athletics taught you democratic principles of equality, team spirit, the willingness to work in order to win and sacrifice for the same purpose. You will know that athletics taught you decision making, humility and that they gave you someone extra to talk to—your coach.Andy Baylock
Baylock has served as UConn’s Director of Football Alumni and Community Affairs since 2002. In his role, he cultivates relationships with Husky football alumni and various members of the national football community. He serves as the team’s liaison both to professional scouts and Connecticut high school coaches. He also assists departing seniors with career networking, and represents UConn at various speaking engagements and community service projects.
Andy Baylock rejoined the Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League as Vice President in 2016. He’s been a source of wisdom and encouragement for the league and its player. Up until the COVID-19 pandemic, he was a regular batting practice pitcher for the Connecticut Tigers of the New York–Penn League. Coach Baylock is said to have a rubber arm and as recently as 2019, at the age of 81 years old, he was throwing batting practice to hitters at Dodd Stadium in Norwich.
Andy Baylock appeared in a documentary film, Far From Home: The Steve Dalkowski Story by Thomas Chiapetta. Baylock was Dalkowski’s catcher and friend while growing up in New Britain. Baylock now resides in Mansfield, Connecticut. He and his late wife, Barbara, are the parents of three children, Jennifer, Jeffrey and Andrea, all of whom attended UConn. He also has six grandchildren. Here’s to Coach Baylock; a local sports legend who has spent a lifetime teaching student-athletes and selflessly serving others.