CHARLESTON, Ill. -- Eastern Illinois University Director of Athletics Tom Michael announced on Wednesday the hiring of Jason Anderson as the 13th head baseball coach in Panthers program history.
A former Major League pitcher with 11 years of professional experience, Anderson will transition into the head coaching role following three seasons as an assistant coach at EIU.
"Jason Anderson emerged as the top candidate we wanted to be the next leader of our baseball program here at Eastern Illinois," said Michael. "Jason is a coach that brings with him a wealth of baseball knowledge having played the game at every level including three years in the Major Leagues. With the strong tradition of EIU baseball we had more than 100 applicants for the position. During the screening and interview process Jason was a candidate we felt was the right choice to lead the program with his understanding of the program and respect he has from baseball people at all levels of the game."
Anderson served three years as the Panthers top assistant coaching two pitchers that were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft with Joe Greenfield selected in 2013 by the Minnesota Twins and Matt Borens selected by the New York Yankees in 2014.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the Eastern Illinois baseball program," said Anderson. "This university has had a long history of great coaches that have produced tremendous players and winning teams. I will do my very best to continue to keep that tradition alive and get the program back to the prominence that it has experienced in the past. My family and I are also excited to continue our involvement in this community that we have been fortunate enough to call home for the past few years. The foundation that has been put in place with our current and incoming players is very strong. We will not only strive for excellence on the field but also in the classroom and in the community."
Originally from Danville, Ill., Anderson spent time in his professional career with the New York Mets, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies organizations from 2000-10. He played the 2011 season with the Somerset Patriots. He made his Major League debut in 2003 with the New York Yankees before playing with the Mets later that season. He saw action in the big leagues with Indians in 2004 and the Yankees in 2005.
Anderson played collegiately at Illinois from 1998-2000 where he was the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year in 2000 earning first team All-American honors. He was drafted by the Yankees in the 10th round of the 2000 MLB Draft. During his collegiate career he earned Academic All-American honors in 1999.
He began his collegiate coaching career in 2010 as an assistant coach at Danville Community College. He was an assistant coach at Illinois before joining the Panthers staff for the 2013 season. Anderson earned his degree from Illinois.
Anderson and his wife Brittany have two children, Aiden and Mason.