|Bethune-Cookman University Athletic Director Lynn W. Thompson announced today, July 26, that an agreement in principal has been reached with Jason Beverlin to become the Wildcats’ new Head Baseball Coach.
Beverlin, 37, was the pitching coach at the University of Tennessee and played professionally with the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers after being selected by the Oakland A’s in the fourth round of the 1994 Major League Draft.
“We have a championship caliber team returning, and we wanted to make sure that we placed significant attention on the pitching aspects of our program.” Thompson said. “New bat regulations in college baseball have made pitching and defense more important than ever, and to have a new head coach with extensive knowledge of pitching, professional experience and upper Division I recruiting savvy is the right combination for us to continue our quest to reach the College World Series.”
Beverlin replaces Mervyl Melendez, who accepted the head coaching position at Alabama State after 12 seasons with the Wildcats.
“I think it’s an extreme honor to join the Bethune-Cookman Athletic Department family,” said Beverlin. “Coach Melendez did an unbelievable job here; and while we hope to continue the tradition of success he started here, we want to take that to the next level in getting this program to a Super Regional and the ultimate goal of going to the college world series.”
Beverlin comes to Bethune-Cookman from Tennessee, where he was the pitching coach the past two seasons. Over his time with the Volunteers, the pitching staff’s earned run average improved from 6.16 in 2009 to 5.28 in 2011. He inherits a Wildcat pitching staff led by Freshman All-American Scott Garner, former Freshman All-American Ali Simpson and returning All-MEAC performers Patrick Goelz, Jordan Dailey and Gabriel Hernandez, and others who could be direct beneficiaries of Beverlin’s professional and collegiate experience.
He began his coaching career as a member of the staff at Georgia Southern from 2009-10. Georgia Southern won the Southern Conference in 2009 thanks to significant improvement in the Eagles’ pitching staff. From 2008 to 2009, GSU lowered its team ERA from 7.04 to 5.11. Georgia Southern also collected 469 strikeouts, nearly 60 more than in 2008. The staff also lowered its opponents’ batting average from .319 to .295.
While at GSU, he helped develop an All-Southern Conference pick, another selected in the draft (Blake Nation, 22nd round) and a freshman that led the staff in appearances (Tony Chisman, 28), while positioning several players for free agent signings through his career, with 22 players he’s coached getting an opportunity to play professionally.
In addition to proven ability to make technical improvements in his players, Beverlin has demonstrated a great capacity for preparing athletes for the next level.
|He played a key role in developing Stephen McCray into UT’s ace in 2010 and a 16th-round draft pick by the Chicago White Sox, Junior Bryan Morgado was also picked by the Philadelphia Phillies in the fourth round, while in 2011 Beverlin guided seventh-round pick (Minnesota Twins) and 19th-rounder Matt Ramsey (Tampa Bay Rays).
In addition to proven player development, Beverlin has show recruiting ability as well, notably bringing in All-American and 25th round draft pick Chris Mederos to GSU, and current UT closer Nick Williams.
Beverlin, a former All-American pitcher at Western Carolina University, also brings 13 years of professional playing experience to the Wildcats program.
After one year in the Oakland organization, Beverlin was traded to the New York Yankees, advancing to Class A during his six years in the Yankees organization. Beverlin joined the Anaheim Angels and played in their organization in 2001.
The following year he was a member of the Cleveland Indians, where he made his debut in the majors. That same year he moved to the Detroit Tigers and also got the call to the big leagues. Beverlin made seven career appearances with the Indians and Tigers during the 2002 season. He made four relief appearances for the Indians and started three games for the Tigers.
Adding more diversity to his experience, Beverlin played three years professionally in Japan for the Yakult Swallows and Yokohama Baystars of the Nippon Professional Baseball League. He was selected as an All-Star in 2004.
Beverlin was a three-year letterwinner at Western Carolina and was a key player in the Catamounts’ dominance of the Southern Conference during the early 1990s. WCU posted a 51-14 conference record from 1992-94, winning two regular-season championships, posting one regular-season runner-up finish and two conference tournament titles.
Beverlin concluded his three-year collegiate career by winning the Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year award in 1994. During his three-year career at Western, Beverlin compiled a 27-9 record and 3.79 ERA in 285 innings.
He was 12-2 with a 3.93 ERA his sophomore year and 11-4 with a 2.39 ERA during his All-America junior season in which he received the SoCon’s top pitching honor.
Beverlin was well respected around the league, having twice earned a spot on the Southern Conference first team. In 1994 he earned second-team All-America accolades from Baseball America, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and the American Baseball Coaches Association.
The Royal Oak, Mich., native still ranks among the WCU Catamounts’ all-time record holders. Beverlin is tied for first (12) and third (11) for wins in a season, ranks fifth in winning percentage (.857), is tied for sixth in games started (16), and ranks second (124.1) and eighth (105.1) in innings pitched along with a first (154) and fifth (106) place standing in season strikeouts. Among the career leaders, Beverlin currently ranks fourth in career wins (27), second in winning percentage (.750), 16th in ERA (3.79), 10th in starts (40), seventh in innings (285.0) and second in strikeouts (306).
Beverlin still has his name listed in the Southern Conference single-season record book, as he is tied for second and 13th in wins (12 and 11, respectively), fourth in strikeouts (154 in 1994) and ninth in innings pitched (124.1 in 1994). Among the career leaders, Beverlin stands ninth with 306 strikeouts and tied for 11th with 27 victories.
Beverlin and his wife, Heather, are the parents of two sons, Cole (11) and Lucas (6).