DANVILLE, Ill. (BVM) — With the 2022 baseball season in the rearview mirror, college coaches and players are busy preparing for the 2023 season. One of those coaches is Eastern Illinois head baseball coach Jason Anderson.
Anderson grew up in Danville, Illinois, where he’d quickly become a baseball standout. At Danville High School, he racked up a 14-1 overall record as a starter and tied an Illinois high school baseball record with six consecutive shutouts.
As a top baseball prospect, one could imagine the difficult choices Anderson would have to make regarding his athletic career. However, Anderson decided to continue his athletic career at the University of Illinois.
From 1998-2000, Anderson would perform well for the Fighting Illini. It was only two seasons, but in those two seasons, Anderson won Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and was named a first-team All-American in 2000.
Performances like he had at the collegiate level certainly bring forth a lot of attention and can draw interest from MLB teams. And when the 2000 MLB Draft came around, the New York Yankees selected him in the 10th round.
It took him three years of minor league baseball, but Anderson finally made his debut with the Yankees in 2003. During his rookie season, he appeared in 28 games, finished with an era of 4.88 and struck out 16 batters.
Anderson went on to pitch for seven more years in the MLB and saw action with Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres.
Anderson hung up the cleats in 2010, but it wouldn’t stop him from being involved in the game he loved. That’s when he started coaching. His first stop would be at Danville Community College, and a year after, he’d return to his alma mater as an assistant coach.
Following his first two coaching stops, Anderson returned to Danville to become the pitching coach at Eastern Illinois. He had those duties for three seasons, and in 2016 he was named the Panther’s 13th head baseball coach. Since becoming head coach in 2016, he’s had a handful of players drafted into MLB, including pitcher Will Klein.
One could see that Anderson has an extraordinary sports journey and he’s continued that journey at Eastern Illinois. But who knows where Anderson could end up coaching next? For now, though, Anderson will be doing his best to get the Panthers ready for the upcoming season.
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