Aug. 14, 2012
PITTSBURGH – University of Pittsburgh head baseball coach Joe Jordano has announced the addition of Jerry Oakes to the team’s coaching staff. Oakes, who brings experience both as a professional player and a college coach, will be in charge of the team’s pitching staff.
Oakes joins the Panthers’ coaching staff after spending the last four years at perennial power Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers have dominated the Big South, winning the last six regular season and conference tournament titles, fueled in large part by their pitching staff.
“I am very excited about Coach Oakes joining our staff,” Jordano said. “I was impressed with his intensity and he brings a great blend of professional experience and collegiate coaching. Coming from such a great program in Coastal Carolina he understands what it takes to pitch and compete at a very high level. Coach Oakes will be a tremendous addition to our program."
Oakes worked with the pitchers and outfielders while at Coastal, helping the Chanticleers’ pitching coach Drew Thomas guide the team to the best ERA in the country during the 2011-12 regular season. Altogether during his four years as an assistant, the team won four conference titles, made four regionals and one super regional, and had 10 pitchers taken in the MLB draft. They won 40-plus games all four seasons, including a Division I-best 55 victories in 2010-11.
“I want to thank athletic director Steve Pederson for this great opportunity,” Oakes said. “I couldn’t be more excited to come to a great city like Pittsburgh and work for a great program. There are so many positive things happening here at Pitt.
“I want to also thank Coach Jordano for having the faith in me to lead our pitching staff. I am extremely excited for the opportunity to work with Coach Jordano and the tremendous coaching staff he has assembled, as well as the baseball support staff. My wife, our son and I are extremely excited about being a part of the University of Pittsburgh family and about joining the Panther community. It feels great to be back to the state of Pennsylvania.”
A highly-recruited prospect out of Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor, Pa., Oakes originally committed to play at Coastal Carolina, but was then drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the seventh round of the 2000 MLB draft. He wasted little time making his mark as he was the Brewers’ Short-Season strikeout leader in 2001 and was ranked as the organization’s third-best prospect. He would go on to play eight years of professional baseball, including stints In the Twins, Braves, Rangers and Giants organizations.
Following his final season of professional baseball, Oakes enrolled at Coastal Carolina, where he received a degree in sports management in 2012.
The Panthers are coming off a season in which they qualified for the Big East Tournament for the fourth consecutive season, and lost just three players to graduation.