Baseball


Ken Westray
Ken Westray
33

Position:
Assistant Coach

Birthdate:
05/07/1959

Experience:
Fifth Season

Alma Mater:
Eastern Illinois '83

• Spent 10 years in Phillies' player development system
• Coached 3 pitchers to All-Big Ten honors in the last 3 years
• Signed 4 of the top pitching prospects in the state in the last 3 years
• Developed individual programs for each player
• Worked with players from U.S., Canada, Japan, Korea and Latin America

Ken Westray with catcher Adam Davis and pitcher Corey Kimes


Ken Westray begins his fourth season with the Illini as pitching coach. He oversees the development of the Illinois pitching staff and is instrumental in recruiting. He has coached All-Big Ten hurlers in each of the past three seasons and has helped bring some of the top pitchers in the state to Champaign.

It is in that recruiting capacity where Westray quickly proved his value to the Illini. In just his first full year of recruiting, he brought in right-hander Nick Chmielewski, who was ranked 85th in the country in Baseball America's class of 2007. He signed right-hander Bryan Roberts, the No. 19 recruit in the state in the 2008 recruiting class, and inked right-handers Matt Milroy and Kevin Johnson, the Nos. 8 and 13 recruits in the state in the class of 2009.

Westray's efforts as pitching coach also have been fruitful recently, as he groomed three All-Big Ten performers in the past three seasons. Tanner Roark was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2007 after going 8-2 in 83 innings, and Kevin Manson earned third-team honors as well as All-Big Ten Tournament laurels after going 8-2 in 74 2/3 innings. Manson also tossed a complete-game in Illinois' 3-2 win over Ohio State in the squad's Big Ten Tournament opener. In 2009, he guided freshman Will Strack to a 6-1 campaign with a 3.84 ERA as he carved out a spot in the starting rotation late in the season. Strack earned third-team All-Big Ten honors as well as a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman team.

Westray is a 10-year veteran of the Philadelphia Phillies organization, working in the club's player development system. He assisted with the development, both personally and athletically, of Phillies' minor league players from Canada, Japan, Korea, Latin America and the United States. He also coached in the Florida Instructional League on three assignments.

His connections within the majors also will be of benefit to the Illini, as Westray is in constant communication with professional colleagues employed in the scouting, development and major league levels of multiple professional organizations. Westray also assisted in the management of over 700 professional games and coordinated individual player development plans for 12-15 athletes each year.

While he was in player development with the Phillies, Westray coached many current Major League pitchers, including Seattle Mariners starter Carlos Silva, Houston Astros starter Ezequiel Astacio, Phillies starters Brett Myers, Randy Wolf and Robinson Tejeda and Phillies relievers Ryan Madson and Eude Brito. Westray also worked a full season with first-round draft picks Gavin Floyd, a right-hander, and Cole Hamels, a left-hander, who were both selected out of high school.

Westray also has valuable college coaching experience from his stint as an assistant coach at Indiana State from 1985-91. During that time, he helped guide the Sycamores to the 1986 College World Series, three NCAA regional appearances and two Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championships.

A graduate of Eastern Illinois University in 1983, Westray holds a B.S. in special education and earned an M.S. in physical education from Indiana State in 1987. He grew up in nearby Clinton, Ill.

Following his career at Eastern Illinois, Westray was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 22nd round and played in that organization from 1980-83, reaching AA in Memphis, Tenn. He also has coached baseball at Elgin (Ill.) Community College, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College and Mesa (Ariz.) Community College in his career.

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