PEORIA, Ill. — Elvis Dominguez, who has served as the head coach at Eastern Kentucky University for the last seven years and has connections to the Missouri Valley Conference that go back more than 25 years, has been named the 15th head coach in Bradley Baseball history. Dominguez, who replaces the retiring Dewey Kalmer, was introduced during a press conference Tuesday morning at O’Brien Field.
“First of all, we are extremely appreciative of the tremendous run and numerous contributions that Coach Kalmer has made during his nearly three decades at the helm of the Bradley Baseball program and now wish Dewey and Carol a wonderful retirement,” said Bradley Director of Athletics Ken Kavanagh. “We welcome Elvis and his family to Bradley Athletics and hope that they have a similar long run on the Hilltop.”
“We now look forward to Coach Dominguez maximizing the capabilities of our student-athletes, both on the field and in the classroom,” Kavanagh added. “We eagerly anticipate him building upon the solid foundation being left behind by Coach Kalmer and developing Bradley Baseball into a program that will consistently maintain a ranking within the upper echelon of the Missouri Valley Conference in our annual pursuit of The Valley’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and beyond.”
During his 18-year college coaching career, Dominguez has recruited and coached eight players that advanced to the Major Leagues, 22 All-Americans and three Ohio Valley Conference Players of the Year. Eight of his Eastern Kentucky players have been drafted the last six years, including a trio of players selected within the first seven rounds of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Of particular note, 2008 OVC Pitcher of the Year Christian Friedrich was the 25th overall selection by the Colorado Rockies in the first round of this month’s draft. Friedrich limited the Braves to just two hits and struck out nine in his six innings, leading the Colonels to a 13-1 victory against Bradley March 1 in Richmond, Ky.
Off the field, Eastern Kentucky boasts the top NCAA Academic Progress Rate score (960) of any Division I baseball program in the state of Kentucky and ranks among the 80th percentile of all Division I programs in the country. His teams have posted at least a 3.0 grade point average each of the last five years, including a 12-year high 3.1 mark during the 2007 Fall semester.
In addition to his work on the diamond, Dominguez is in his second year serving on the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee. He previously worked as an associate scout for the Texas Rangers during his high school coaching days from 1989-92 and he coordinated the NCAA YES camp program during the College World Series from 1992-97.
Dominguez and his wife, Mary Pat, are the parents of three children, daughters Breanne (17) and Brooke (14) and son Christian (11).
Dominguez, 45, was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba and moved to Miami with his family as a child. He earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education (Spanish) in 1986 from Creighton University, where he was a four-year starter at shortstop and led the team in hitting with a .348 average during his senior season. Dominguez also began his coaching career with the Bluejays in 1986-87 by starting as a graduate assistant on the Creighton coaching staff of Jim Hendry, who is now Vice President and General Manager of the Chicago Cubs and was in attendance for Tuesday’s announcement.
“Elvis is a great choice to lead the baseball program at Bradley University,” said Hendry. “He will do an outstanding job both on and off the field and he will run a successful program in all the right areas. He will win plenty of games and his players will be strong in the community and strive for excellence in the classroom.
“Elvis and his family are a wonderful fit for Bradley University and for the Peoria community,” Hendry added.
Following a second season at Creighton as a full-time assistant, Dominguez earned his first head-coaching job as the varsity boys coach at Omaha Central High School from 1988-92. He returned to Creighton in the fall of 1992 as the top assistant and in his second stint with the Bluejays, Dominguez had primary onfield duties as the infield instructor and hitting coach for five seasons (1993-97). He also served as the program’s coordinator for recruiting, scheduling and academic advising, while also assisting with budget management and fundraising.
Dominguez left Creighton in the summer of 1997 to join the coaching staff at the University of Iowa, where he again served as the infield and hitting instructor through the 2001 campaign. During his four years with the Hawkeyes, Dominguez also was responsible for scheduling, recruiting and fund-raising. In his role as recruiting coordinator, Dominguez’s first class at Iowa produced two All-Americans.
In a similar scenario to his new appointment at Bradley, Dominguez replaced longtime Eastern Kentucky coach Jim Ward in the summer of 2001. Dominguez compiled a 178-199-2 overall record in his seven years with the Colonels, but after enduring a 15-40 record in his first season in 2002, Dominguez’s teams were 163-159-2 the last six years, including a 2-games-to-1 series win against visiting Bradley March 1-2, 2008. His 2004 squad went 34-17 and led the nation in batting average (.375) and doubles (137), while also finishing second nationally with a .551 slugging percentage. His 2003 squad also finished second nationally with 131 stolen bases.
Although the 15th head coach in Bradley’s 108-year baseball history, Dominguez becomes just the fifth skipper for the Braves since 1921, following in the footsteps of Bradley legends A.J. Robertson (1921-48), Leo Schrall (1949-72), Chuck Buescher (1973-79) and Kalmer (1980-2008). Robertson is generally considered the father of modern Bradley Athletics, serving as the baseball, basketball and football head coach, as well as athletic director, for 25 seasons; Schrall’s .647 winning percentage in 24 years is the best in program history and he led the Braves to a pair of NCAA College World Series appearances (1950 and 1956); after guiding the Bradley Baseball program for seven years, Buescher went on to become one of the winningest high school boys basketball coaches in Illinois prep history before returning to the Hilltop for his second stint as a men’s basketball assistant coach, helping the Braves to the 2006 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16; and Kalmer will retire at the end of this month as the winningest coach in Bradley Athletics history with 842 wins and 35th on the NCAA Division I Baseball all-time list with 1,032 career victories.
Kalmer will remain on staff until June 30 and Dominguez officially will take over as Bradley’s head coach July 1. Dominguez is expected to inherit a veteran roster with 19 returning lettermen from Bradley’s 2008 squad that finished 26-28 overall and advanced to the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament for a fourth consecutive year. Although junior outfielder Dan Brewer signed with the New York Yankees after being selected in the eighth round of this month’s draft, Bradley’s 2009 roster is expected to include second-team All-MVC rightfielder and team batting leader Colby Luttrell, as well as honorable mention All-MVC selections Grant Escue (1B), Matt Fritz (2B) and Kori Jensen (RP). In addition to Brewer, junior pitcher Collin Brennan was a 34th round pick by the Cleveland Indians and sophomore hurler Rob Scahill was a 48th round selection by the Yankees. Both pitchers have until Aug. 15 to negotiate with the organizations before deciding whether or not to return to Bradley.
The Elvis Dominguez File
Creighton University ‘86
B.A. — Secondary Education (Spanish)
Head Coaching Experience
Eastern Kentucky (2001-08)
• 178-199-2 (.472) record
• 2004 national statistical champion in batting average (.375) and doubles (137)
• Nine All-Americans
• Eight MLB Draft picks, including three within the first seven rounds
• Three OVC Players of the Year
• 2008 OVC Pitcher of the Year
Previous Coaching Experience
University of Iowa (1997-2001)
Creighton University (1992-97)
Assistant Head Coach
Omaha Central H.S. (1988-92)
Varsity Boys Head Coach
Creighton University (1987-88)
Creighton University (1986-87)
Graduate Assistant Coach
Creighton University (1982-86)
Career Coaching Highlights
• Recruited and coached 22 All-Americans
• Recruited and coached eight players that have advanced to the Major Leagues:
• Five of his last 10 recruiting classes have been nationally ranked
• Teams have recorded at least a 3.0 squad grade point average each of the last five years, including a 12-year best of 3.1 during the 2007 Fall semester
• Eastern Kentucky boasts the best APR score (960) of any program in the state of Kentucky and ranks in the top 80 percent of all Division I baseball