Tim Haubursin, the pitching coach for the Santa Barbara City College baseball team for the last two years, died on Saturday after a short battle with melanoma.
Haubursin, 58, also served as the pitching coach of the 2018 Santa Barbara Foresters, who won a record seventh National Baseball Congress national championship.
“I was in shock,” SBCC head coach Jeff Walker said. “It’s a huge loss for Santa Barbara baseball and the entire baseball community. He’ll be sorely missed.
“His nickname was ‘Pitch Doc,’ and he was very good with mechanics and fixing pitchers. He was well-loved and taught everybody from Little Leaguers to Major Leaguers. He was well-respected in the baseball community and everyone on our team loved him.”
Bill Pintard, the Foresters coach since 1995, said he was “very surprised and saddened” by Haubursin’s passing.
“The players really liked him and related to him,” Pintard said. “He had a natural feel for movement and an astute attention to detail. He was very positive and able to gain the players’ trust with his sincerity.”
Haubursin, who lived in Thousand Oaks, had served as the pitching and throwing coordinator for Southwest Performance in Thousand Oaks since 2016. He also worked for the Arizona Baseball Ranch and previously served as pitching coach at Arizona Christian University (2010-13) and Phoenix’s Gateway Community College (2013-15).
“I was really shocked to hear about Tim’s passing and want to express my sincere condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and the players he coached,” SBCC athletic director Rocco Constantino said. “Tim was so passionate about pitching instruction and I was impressed with how well he worked with our students. He had such attention to detail when it came to pitching instruction and he did everything he could to help each one of our pitchers become better.
“I know our players enjoyed working with him and I am sure this is hitting them hard. We’ll miss him and we appreciate the work he did with our students.”
Haubursin worked with former Santa Barbara High and SBCC star Dylan Axelrod, who set SBCC’s all-time record for single-season strikeouts with 117 in 2005. Axelrod went on to pitch for UC Irvine as well as with both the Chicago White Sox (2011-13) and Cincinnati Reds (2014-15).
“This one hurts,” said Axelrod in a Twitter post. “We lost a wonderful teacher and a gem of a human.”
In Haubursin’s first season as SBCC’s pitching coach, the Vaqueros won the 2019 WSC North title and set an all-time record for team strikeouts with 393, averaging 10.2 per game. Three pitchers had 90 or more strikeouts: Jack Aldrich (90), Conner Roberts (95) and state Pitcher of the Year Ian Churchill (98). Aldrich got a scholarship to Tulane, Roberts is at UCSB and Churchill is pitching for Arizona.