HOUSTON - University of Houston head baseball coach Todd Whitting announced the hiring of Jack Cressend as assistant coach on Thursday.
“Jack is one of the premier pitching coaches in the country and I am very excited he is joining our program,” Whitting said. “His experience on the major league level and strong recruiting ties throughout the country will have an immediate impact on our pitching staff and program.”
Cressend comes to Houston after spending two seasons at Tulane. As a member of Whitting’s staff, he will serve as the program’s pitching coach.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to come to the University of Houston and to work with Todd Whitting and his staff,” Cressend said. “They have the vision and ideas to take Cougar baseball to the next level. It is an exciting time for the program and this was on opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. I am looking forward to getting started.”
The Mandeville, La., native returned to his alma mater, Tulane, in 2009 after an 11-year professional career, including five in the Major Leagues. During that career, Cressend was named the Boston Red Sox’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 1997 and was a member of the American League Central Division Champion, Minnesota Twins. His best season in the major leagues came in 2004 with the Cleveland Indians, when he posted a 2.51 ERA in 43 innings. Throughout his entire professional career Cressend made 370 appearances on the mound with 820 strikeouts.
Prior to his professional career, Cressend played for the Green Wave from 1994-96. He saw action on the mound and in the outfield and was a member of NCAA Tournament teams in 1994 and 1996. The 1996 team also took home the Conference USA Tournament title, with Cressend being named to the All-Tournament Team after pitching a complete game shutout with 11 strikeouts in the championship game against South Florida.
Following his time in professional baseball, Cressend served as an area scout for the Tampa Bay Rays from 2006-2008. During that time he also founded the Louisiana Knights, a traveling baseball team that helps high school players get more exposure to college coaches. During the two years he was associated with the team, he helped more than 40 players reach the college ranks.
For the past two seasons, as a member of the Green Wave staff, Cressend assisted head coach Rick Jones, with recruiting. Additionally, he was in charge of scheduling, summer baseball player placement and served as the team’s pitching coach.
Cressend earned his bachelor’s degree from the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane in 2008. He and his wife, Katy, have two sons, Cole and Cameron.