The headlines in last week’s Illinois baseball’s news feed had an ominous tone to it…
While there is nothing other-worldly about new Illini baseball assistant coach Adam Christ (pronounced krist), he does bring with him some impressive credentials.
- Minnesota State assistant 2009-11, promoted to Associate Head Coach 2012-15
- 306-86 (.781) during time at Minnesota State
- Seven NCAA DII tournaments in seven seasons
- NCAA tournament finishes of seventh (2010), third (2012), second (2013) and third (2014)
Christ was hired over the summer but head coach Dan Hartleb laid out the coaching arrangements for the upcoming year in a video press release recently.
Hartleb and Christ along with pitching coach Drew Dickinson and volunteer coach Kyle Hudson will have the privilege to work with the defending Big Ten champion team that made it to the Super Regionals in 2015. It may be a tougher task in 2016 though as many of the key players from the record-setting team have either graduated or were drafted.
Yet most of these players have had the opportunity to play on a nationally-ranked team. Mentally and emotionally, they know what it means to be a winner and sometimes, that is half the battle.
This Illinois baseball coaching staff will also get a chance to work with seven new recruits who have committed to the University of Illinois baseball program. This month, the program signed seven new high school players who will be eligible to play college ball in 2017.
Without the services of former assistant coach and recruiting whiz Eric Snider who left Illinois two years ago, Christ and Dickinson did pretty well for themselves.
Seven for 2017
- Jackson Douglas // LHP // Rochester, Minn. (Iowa Western CC)
- Andrew Dyke // OF // Alsip, Ill. (Brother Rice)
- Michael Massey // INF // Palos Park, Ill. (Brother Rice)
- Ryan Schmitt // RHP // Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead)
- Ben Troike // INF // Tinley Park, Ill. (Lincoln-Way North)
- Cyrillo Watson // OF/RHP // Cudahy, Wis. (South Milwaukee)
- Ty Weber // RHP // Menomonee Falls, Wis. (Menomonee Falls)
The recruitment class includes four out of state players including three from Wisconsin. Two however, hail from Chicago’s Brother Rice. One recruit, Jackson Douglas, is a junior-college transfer.
What Coach Hartleb says about our new recruits
"They have all played on championship-caliber teams and have performed at the highest level. Most importantly, we are bringing in another group of great individuals to our Fighting Illini family. We are looking forward to having the opportunity to coach this group of very talented players."
It is almost December now and come January, it will be time for the annual Illinois Baseball Hot Stove Banquet. I can almost see the first pitch of the season!