JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – Jacob Waddle has been named the new head baseball coach at Illinois College, taking the place of the retired Jay Eckhouse as the man to lead the Blueboys into 2019 and beyond. Waddle was an all-conference and all-region player at Luther College as an undergraduate before beginning a coaching career in which he has gained nearly a decade of experience as an assistant coach at Loras College, Concordia University (NE) and Coe College.
"I am very eager and excited to get to work with the current student-athletes, faculty and staff on campus," Waddle said. "The enthusiasm for the future of Illinois College Athletics was contagious during my time in Jacksonville. I look forward to being a part of this championship environment!
"The foundation and culture of our baseball program will be built around young men of high character, who have a desire to be successful in the classroom, in the community, and on the baseball field," he continued. "I look forward to creating lasting relationships and memorable experiences with these student-athletes. My wife, Hillary, and I are very excited to join both the Illinois College and Jacksonville communities."
A 2009 graduate of Luther, Waddle played in the tough Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, earning All-IIAC honors three times in his career and twice finding a spot as an all-region selection. After earning a degree from Luther, he went on to obtain a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Dubuque while coaching across town at Loras for three seasons.
In 2014, after one year at Coe, Waddle left and became an assistant coach at Concordia (NE) for three seasons. There, he helped spearhead a turnaround in which the program broke a streak of 35 consecutive losing seasons and set single-season records for victories two years in a row. He then made a return trip to Coe, serving again as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Kohawks with day-to-day responsibilities as the hitting coach and position coach for catchers.
"Jacob's breadth of experience within the Midwest region set him apart in this very deep pool of applicants," said Director of Athletics Mike Snyder. "He brings with him a strong background with multiple successful programs. I am confident that Jacob will lead this program with class and determination and will bring ongoing success to the Hilltop."
Waddle will assume head coaching duties of the Illinois College baseball program on July 2.