Illini Volunteer Assistant Coach Hired by Mike Kunigonis
Luke Stewart enters his second season as a volunteer assistant coach on the Fighting Illini staff for the 2014-15 season. He works primarily with the position players and serves as first-base coach during games.
During the 2014 season, Illinois (32-21) posted its best Big Ten record at 17-7 during the conference's 24-game schedule era, finishing in third place and playing in the Big Ten Tournament. Six Illini earned All-Big Ten honors, while shortstop Adam Walton was named a Freshman All-American.
Stewart came to Illinois after getting drafted by the New York Mets in the 20th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft following a successful baseball career at UAB.
A former Georgia transfer, Stewart wrapped up his three-year stint at UAB with 49 career home runs, which is tied for the most in program history. The Normal, Ill., native hit 21 of those homers as a senior in 2010 on his way to first-team All-Conference USA honors.
A career .288 hitter, Stewart started 165 games over his three years at UAB and spent the past two seasons as the Blazers' everyday first baseman. His 167 career RBI rank fourth at UAB, while his 127 walks rank second in school annals.
Stewart began his collegiate baseball career at Georgia in 2007 and played one year before transferring to UAB. He graduated from UAB with a communications degree in 2013 and began assisting the Illini this fall. Stewart has family ties to Illinois, with his brother, Jake, earning varsity letters with Illini baseball in 2005-06 and his father, Jeff, playing football for the Fighting Illini.
Updated September 2014