Week eight of the NIU Baseball Podcast, reviewing the sweep of the Akron series, highlights of the weekend and previewing the upcoming series with Central Michigan.
Todd Coryell became a Huskie assistant coach September 25, 2012 after three seasons at Western Illinois, serving as the team's pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. Coryell will serve in the same capacity with the Northern Illinois baseball program. As a former assistant at Eastern Michigan, his knowledge of Mid-American Conference baseball is not lacking and along with his success identifying and developing professional talent aptly suit the NIU baseball program.
Coryell made an instant impact on the pitching staff as Northern Illinois dropped its earned run average to 5.01 and led the MAC in complete games at nine. The Huskies also collected Mid-American Conference West Division Pitcher of the Week honors four times during nine weeks of conference play.
Despite not returning a starting pitching from the 2012 weekend rotation, the trio of Eli Anderson, Alex Klonowski and Jordan Ruckman combined for a 2.36 ERA in 291.1 innings with 180 strikeouts, 92 walks, a shutout and a combined shutout. Each pitcher hurled at least one complete game during the season. Anderson led the league in ERA (2.18) and in innings pitched (115.1) en route to first team All-MAC honors and was named semifinalist for the Gregg Olson Award, given to the Breakout Player of the Year in Division I college baseball. He was named MAC West Pitcher of the Week three times in nine weeks of play.
In Macomb, Coryell guided a revamped pitching staff that collected 18 victories in 2011 between the Leathernecks starting rotation, including a combined 19 quality starts by Dan Russell, Zach Sterling, Ryan Wachholder and Alexander Zarate. The pitching staff carried an ERA of 5.03 that season, over three runs fewer than the previous. Opponents batted .283, over 50 points fewer than 2010 and in his two seasons as the pitching coach, Coryell cut the ERA in half from over 10 in 2009.
Prior to WIU, Coryell worked as a scout for the Cincinnati Reds organization for two seasons while also serving as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Grand Rapids Community College. He also was also an assistant at Kellogg Community College in 2008 and helped guide the Bruins to the Junior College World Series.
He started his coaching career at Eastern Michigan under his father, EMU Hall of Fame coach Roger Coryell. He first served as a student assistant and then became the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. While there, Todd coached 2004 and 2006 Mid-American Conference Pitcher of the Year Ryan Ford and Jeff Fisher, respectively, as well as the MAC Player of the Year Brian Bixler in 2004. The Eagles won the MAC Regular Season Championship and was the MAC Tournament Runner-Up in 2007.
All told, Coryell has produced 20 players who have gone on to sign with Major League Baseball affiliated teams, including 12 MLB Amateur Draft selections in his time as a coach, including Bixler (second round), Fischer (10th round) and Ford (15th round).
He started his career as a scout for the Seattle Mariners organization in 2003.
THE CORYELL FILE
Coaching Experience 2010-11 Assistant Coach, Western Illinois 2009 Assistant Coach, Grand Rapids Community College 2008 Assistant Coach, Kellogg Community College 2004-07 Assistant Coach, Eastern Michigan
Professional Experience 2008-09 Scout, Cincinnati Reds 2003 Scout, Seattle Mariners