Carroll is in his tenth year as head baseball coach at the University of Evansville.
Inheriting a team that won only 14 games in 2008, Carroll posted the second-highest victory total by a first-year baseball coach at Evansville with 25 wins in 2009 and increased UE’s victory total by at least seven wins in each of his first two seasons. He has led Evansville to winning seasons in each of the last three years.
Last season, he led the Aces to a 29-27 campaign that featured a trio of all-conference players in Boomer Synek, Josh Jyawook and Trey Hair. The team went on to finish fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference before picking up a pair of postseason wins for the first time since 2013.
In 2015, Carroll led UE to another winning season. He also coached outfielder Kevin Kaczmarski to the nation’s highest batting average at .465, the first player in school history to be named MVC Joe Carter Player of the Year and an All-American by seven different outlets.
The 2014 season was a banner year for Carroll and the Purple Aces, as Evansville claimed the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title, placed a record number of players on the All-MVC First Team and saw three players selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. UE finished the season 34-21 overall and finished 15-6 in Valley play to claim their first MVC crown since 2006 and only its second in program history, as Carroll was named the MVC’s Dan Callahan Coach of the Year, become just the third Evansville coach to earn the honor.
Under Carroll’s direction, a total of seven Aces were named to All-MVC squads, including four first team selections and MVC Pitcher of the Year Kyle Freeland, who finished the season 10-2 with a 1.90 ERA, 128 strikeouts and only 13 walks. Freeland earned a trio of All-America honors (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA), becoming the first UE player to be recognized as an All-American by three publications since Andy Benes in 1988. In addition, Freeland was selected by the Colorado Rockies with the eighth overall pick in the MLB Draft, becoming the second-highest draftee in program history, behind only Benes, who was taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1988 draft.
Kyle Pollock and Sam Johns joined Freeland as draftees, as Pollock was picked in the 20th round by the Kansas City Royals and Johns was taken in the 31st round by the Washington Nationals. Statistically, the Aces led the Valley in batting average (.283) and on-base percentage (.380) and finished second in the league in runs scored (330), runs batted in (297) and doubles (103). In conference play, UE hit a remarkable .291 as a team to lead the conference by 12 points and struck out just 105 times, 24 times less than any other MVC squad.
In 2013, Carroll led the Aces to 24-34 overall record and a 10-10 mark in Missouri Valley Conference play, as five Evansville players landed on All-MVC squads. Kevin Kaczmarski earned a spot on the All-MVC First Team, while Chris Pearson, Kyle Lloyd and Jake Naumann were all selected to the All-MVC Second Team. Jason Hockemeyer rounded out the list of UE selections by earning All-MVC Honorable Mention status. Following the conclusion of the 2013 season, Kyle Lloyd became Evansville’s seventh player to sign a professional contract under Carroll, as he was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 29th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
During the 2012 campaign, Evansville finished 32-27 under Carroll’s direction and led the nation with a .981 fielding percentage. Four Purple Aces earned All-Valley honors, including Eric Stamets, who was an All-MVC First Team honoree and was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. Outfielder Kevin Kaczmarski was named to the All-MVC Second Team and pitchers Kyle Freeland and Kyle Lloyd earned All-Valley Honorable Mention status. Stamets added to his honors by earning a spot on the Louisville Slugger All-American Third Team as selected by Collegiate Baseball. Kaczmarksi also earned All-American status under Carroll, as he was named a Lousiville Slugger Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball.
In 2011, the Aces boasted a .977 fielding percentage, representing a then-program record and the 10th best in NCAA Division I that season, as Evansville finished the year with a 28-25 mark. With four UE players earning all-MVC honors, Cody Fick, a first team pick, headlined the cast. Fick became one of only two players in Evansville baseball history to earn multiple All-America honors in the same season, being named an ABCA/Rawlings first team All-America selection by the American Baseball Coaches Association, and was a second team Louisville Slugger All-American as selected by Collegiate Baseball. Under the direction of Carroll, Fick was also named Region V Player of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America and was a finalist for the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award.
In 2010, Evansville broke or tied 19 different single-game, single-season and career records, including one MVC mark as the Aces finished the year 32-27 overall and third in the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Seven Aces earned all-conference honors, including three first team picks and the Freshman of the Year in Eric Stamets.
In his first year as head coach, Carroll quickly pointed the program in the right direction, helping the Purple Aces to 11 more victories than a season prior as UE went 25-30 in 2009 with four players garnering all-MVC awards.
In Carroll’s tenure, six players have gone on to sign with professional baseball teams, including Eric Stamets, a sixth round pick by the Los Angeles Angels in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.
As a coach, Carroll has led his team with the same enthusiasm and hard-nosed approach which made him one of the top players to wear a Purple Aces’ uniform and play in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Carroll learned the game “the Purple Aces’ way” growing up just minutes from the UE campus in nearby Newburgh, Indiana. He watched his older brother and current Major League infielder, Jamey Carroll, excel at shortstop for UE, and later got to experience the success the program is capable of first-hand as a four-year starter for the Purple Aces and a member of UE’s 2000 NCAA Tournament team.
Wes Carroll became UE’s first Freshman All-America selection in 1998, thanks to a rookie campaign in which he hit .355 with 18 doubles, two home runs, and 39 runs batted in. Carroll went on to hit .299 or better in each of his four years at UE, and finished his career by setting the school’s all-time career record for doubles (74), while also ranking in the school’s career top 10 in six different categories. He still holds the record for career doubles, has the second-most base hits in school history with 308, and ranks 10th all-time in UE history with a .339 career batting average. Carroll earned all-conference and all-region honors on the UE infield during his four-year career, before being named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Centennial Team in 2007 as one of the top players in league history.
Following his college career at Evansville, Carroll was drafted in the 37th round of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. Carroll spent the next five years playing Minor League Baseball for the Phillies, and later, for the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals organization. As a part of the now-Nationals organization, Carroll played parts of two seasons at the AAA level. He retired from the professional ranks in the spring of 2006, but not before he was able to play alongside his older brother, Jamey, in two spring training games for the Washington Nationals.
Carroll then returned to his alma mater in the summer of 2006 as an assistant coach with the Purple Aces’ program. Carroll’s main responsibilities as an assistant coach included serving as the team’s hitting coach and infield coach. Carroll helped the 2007 Purple Aces attain their third-highest team batting average (.292) since the NCAA implemented reforms on bats in 2000.
Carroll was named the 12th head coach in UE baseball history on July 2, 2008.
“Wes has a strong history in our community, has been successful as a player, and knows the University of Evansville as both a graduate and as a coach,” said UE Director of Athletics John Stanley. “Wes’ passion for the baseball program, the game of baseball, the University, and the community make him an ideal choice to lead our program.”
Carroll graduated from UE in 2001 with a degree in Human Kinetics and Sport Studies. Wes and his wife, Ashley, a former soccer standout at the University of Evansville, reside in Evansville and have one son and one daughter.