Curt Young returns for his fifth season of his second stint as A's pitching coach. He was originally appointed to the position Dec. 2, 2003 and spent seven seasons with the A's before joining the Boston Red Sox as their pitching coach in 2011. The 2016 season marks Young's 32nd year in the Oakland organization, which includes 12 years as a player, eight years as a minor league coach and 12 years as the major league pitching coach.
Under Young's guidance, the A's finished second in the American League in ERA in three straight seasons from 2012-14. The 2014 club posted a 3.22 ERA, which was seventh lowest in Oakland history and the lowest since 1990 (3.18). During his tenure as coach from 2004-10, Oakland pitchers posted an AL-best 4.03 ERA and held opponents to an AL-low .257 average while allowing the fewest home runs (1,062) in the league. His 2010 staff led the AL with a 3.56 ERA and 17 shutouts, while A's starters registered a Major League-best 3.47 ERA, the lowest such mark in the AL at the time since the 1990 Red Sox (3.32). In 2011, Boston pitchers ranked third in the American League in strikeouts (1,213) and opponent batting average (.247) and tied for fourth in shutouts (13).
During Young's tenure as Oakland pitching coach, 13 A's pitchers-Mark Mulder (2004), Tim Hudson (2004), Justin Duchscherer (2005, 2008), Barry Zito (2006), Dan Haren (2007), Andrew Bailey (2009), Trevor Cahill (2010), Ryan Cook (2012), Bartolo Colón (2013), Grant Balfour (2013), Sean Doolittle (2014), Scott Kazmir (2014) and Sonny Gray (2015)-have been selected to the American League All-Star team, with Mulder and Haren earning starts in the Midsummer Classic. Closers Huston Street (2005) and Bailey (2009) also earned AL Rookie of the Year honors.
Young began his coaching career in 1996 with the A's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League. He spent three seasons in Scottsdale before he was named pitching coach at Class A Visalia in 1999. Young spent the next three years as the pitching coach at Double-A Midland. His first Midland staff compiled a 4.60 ERA, which was the lowest figure posted by the club in 15 years. His 2001 staff bettered the previous year's figure by 20 points, finishing with a 4.40 ERA, and in 2002 the RockHounds finished with a 3.88 ERA. Young was promoted to Triple-A Sacramento for the 2003 season and the River Cats posted the fourth best ERA in the Pacific Coast League (3.90) en route to the PCL Championship.
Young compiled a 69-53 record and a 4.31 ERA in 251 games, 162 starts, in an 11-year Major League pitching career that included stints with Oakland (1983-91, 93), Kansas City (1992) and the New York Yankees (1992). He was originally drafted by the A's in the fourth round of the 1981 June draft, making his major league debut in 1983. The left-hander went 13-9 with a 3.45 ERA in 1986, leading the team in victories and earning him an Opening Day start in 1987. He matched his career best in wins in 1987, posting a 13-7 record and a 4.08 ERA in a career-high 31 starts. Young was also a member of the A's starting rotation when they won three consecutive American League pennants from 1988-90. He tossed two one-hitters during his career: Oct. 5, 1986 against Kansas City and June 9, 1987 against Chicago.
Young graduated from Arthur Hill High School in Saginaw, Mich., where he also starred as a quarterback, and attended Central Michigan University. In 1980, he pitched for the United States team in the World Amateur Baseball Tournament in Japan. Curt and his wife, Kathy, make their offseason home in Scottsdale, Ariz. They have two sons (Daniel and Jamie) and a daughter (Shannon).