Jason Beverlin became a rookie again thanks to Bethune-Cookman.
Tuesday, Athletic Director Lynn Thompson announced Beverlin, a former Major League pitcher, as B-CU’s next baseball head coach.
Beverlin, who served as pitching coach at Tennessee and assistant coach with Georgia Southern, will head a program for the first time in his career. He replaces Mervyl Melendez, who left after 12 seasons and six consecutive MEAC titles to take the head job at Alabama State.
Ironically, Beverlin may have the easier job. He gets a team that has dominated the Mideastern Athletic Conference for at least the past six seasons. During that span, former ASU headman Larry Watkins was posting losing season after losing season in the SWAC. Watkins stepped down after 30 seasons for an administrative position.
Despite Beverlin’s relative lack of experience, Thompson felt that he was the piece necessary to continue B-CU’s streak of conference titles.
“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 inherits a pitching staff that returns with a 27-8 records and eight saves from the 2011 campaign. Leading the pack will be freshman All-American Scott Garner (9-2), Patrick Goelz (8-3), Gabriel Hernandez (7-0) and Jordan Dailey (1-1, 8 saves, 1.99 ERA).
Beverlin spent a year in the majors and three years in Japan after spending nine seasons in the minor leagues. Drafted in the fourth round in 1994 by the Oakland Athletics, he was traded to the New York Yankees, along with Ruben Sierra, for Danny Tartabull. He later moved to the then-Anaheim Angels’ farm system in 2002.
He finally made his Major League debut in 2002 with the Cleveland Indians, only to be traded as a “player-to-be-named-later” to the Detroit Tigers that same year.
He finished his rookie season with an 0-3 records and an 8.69 earned run average in nine appearances, giving up 22 runs (19 earned) and striking out 16.
2003 and 2004 found Beverlin pitching in Japan for the Yakult Swallows and, in 2006, with the Yokohama BayStars. He finished his career in 2007 with the minor league Buffalo Bisons, pitching with a squad that included the likes of Cliff Lee, Russell Branyan, Shin-Joo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera, Ande Marte and Ben Francisco.
He retired at the end of that season with an overall minor league career record of 63-63 and 867 strikeouts, with an ERA of 3.90.
He immediately became an assistant at Georgia Southern. His most recent position was as pitching coach for the Tennessee Volunteers.
Next spring, he’ll again make a rookie debut, this time as head coach. Hopefully, his stay will be far longer and more successful.