Anderson Joins Illini Staff as Volunteer Assistant Coach
Aug. 9, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb announced the addition of former Illini pitcher and Major Leaguer Jason Anderson as the volunteer assistant coach for the Orange and Blue on Tuesday. An All-American and Big Ten Pitcher of the Year in 2000, Anderson was a 10th-round selection of the New York Yankees and saw time in the big leagues with the Yankees, New York Mets and Cleveland Indians as part of a 12-year career. He retired from professional baseball on July 19.
"I'm excited that Jason will be coming back to help the program," Hartleb said. "He and (pitching coach) Drew (Dickinson) teaming up to work with the pitching staff will be a special situation and one that I doubt is matched by many college teams across the country. Jason is one of the all-time great players at the University of Illinois and will be a great asset to our program."
Anderson was a fixture at the top of the rotation for the Illini in 1999 and 2000, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors both seasons. He also was named Illinois' Co-Newcomer of the Year in 1998 and the Dike Eddleman Male Athlete of the Year in 2000.
"I finished up my playing career and I have a little bit of coaching experience," Anderson said. "I decided that was the direction I wanted to take and there's no better place to be than here. Coach Hartleb was my pitching coach when I was here, so I know what is expected of pitchers on this staff."
He ranks third in career wins in school history with 29, and his .853 career winning percentage is the best by an Illini pitcher with more than 30 decisions. His 14-3 record in 2000 remains the school record for single-season victories, he shares the record for wins by a freshman with Will Strack and Anderson ranks fourth with a 13-3 career Big Ten record.
He holds the school record for innings pitched in a season with 134 1/3 in 2000, and his 3.44 career ERA in Big Ten games ranks third in school history. He ranks fourth in career innings pitched and his 58 2/3 innings during the 2000 Big Ten season is third-most in school history. He also ranks fifth in career strikeouts, fourth in Big Ten career strikeouts and seventh in single-season strikeouts.
In one of the most memorable pitching performances in Illini history, Anderson pitched a pair of complete games in Illinois' run to the 2000 Big Ten Tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Clemson Regional, tossing 12 innings on May 17 and nine innings on May 21. He then went on to earn a complete-game victory against Old Dominion in the first game of the regional on May 26.
After being selected by the Yankees in the 2000 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Anderson reached the Majors with the Bronx Bombers on March 31, 2003. He pitched in 22 games for the Yankees that season before being traded to the New York Mets. He pitched in six games for the Mets in 2003 and pitched for the Cleveland Indians in 2004. He has spent the past seven years in the minor leagues and independent baseball before retiring last month.
The Jason Anderson File