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McFerrin Promoted to Associate Head Baseball Coach

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 05/31/2012
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KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan head baseball coach Billy Gernon has announced the promotion of Blaine McFerrin to associate head coach. McFerrin has served as an assistant and pitching coach for the program for the past two seasons.

"Blaine is very deserving of this title as he has demonstrated tremendous work ethic, loyalty, ability, and leadership," Gernon said. "He has done an outstanding job with our pitching staff and recruiting. He operates in a manner that represents professionalism, integrity, and an obvious passion to improve Western Michigan baseball."

"We have been to the Mid-American Conference tournament back-to-back years and our pitching has been a major contributor to our success," Gernon added. "Blaine communicates very well with our players and he is an integral part of our pursuit for a conference championship."

"I am very fortunate to be working for such a quality person and coach in Billy Gernon," McFerrin stated. "The vision Coach Gernon has set forth for the program is rapidly becoming a reality. I am very thankful and excited to be in this position."

Western Michigan has qualified for the MAC Tournament in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2005 & 2006, recording wins in each of the last two tournaments. The team concluded 2012 with a 26-29 overall record, going 14-12 in conference play and finishing third in the MAC West. The Bronco pitching staff had a 4.81 ERA and posted three shutouts, with two different Bronco hurlers throwing complete games. WMU allowed just 22 home runs against, the fewest since 1993, and only 133 extra-base hits.

McFerrin's guidance was instrumental as Western Michigan made a 14-game improvement from 2010 to 2011, the current coaching staff's first year with the program, as the Broncos ranked 10th nationally in terms of program turn around. McFerrin helped WMU improve its ERA from 7.62 to 4.03, its lowest team ERA since 1993 and the staff rang up 367 strikeouts, the most for the Brown & Gold since 2001. The 2011 squad also set a new school record for saves with 16, surpassing the previous high of 13.

Bronco pitchers have collected MAC Pitcher of the Week honors three times over the last two years, and the staff was recognized as National Pitching Staff of the Week after posting a three-game shutout sweep over Akron in 2011. A pair of right-handed pitchers, Brian Stroud and Eric Heckaman, were drafted by the Detroit Tigers in last year's Major League Draft.

Prior to Western Michigan, McFerrin made other Division I coaching stops at Georgia State, Michigan and IPFW, winning conference championships at both Georgia State and Michigan. McFerrin played two season at Kentucky Wesleyan before finishing his collegiate career at IPFW.