FROM CBB NEWS SOURCES
Loyola Marymount University Athletics Director Dr. William Husak formally announced on Thursday that Jason Gill has been named head coach of the LMU baseball program. After serving as an assistant coach at LMU in 1999 and 2000, Gill, who has spent the last four years working under head coach George Horton at Oregon and Cal State Fullerton, will return to the bluff to become the seventh head coach of the Lions’ program.
“I’m excited to make my return to LMU, a program that has always held a special place in my heart,” Gill said. “The people in and around the Lion family have always been supportive, and I look forward to re-joining that group as the head baseball coach. I believe in the direction that Dr. Husak is taking the program and the Athletic Department, and I feel that LMU as a whole is structured and ready to win from top to bottom. Upon reflecting on my personal experiences at the university, and talking to current and former coaches, it is extremely clear that LMU is destined for great things. The bottom line is it is a great time to be a Lion.”
LMU is just as eager for Gill to return and re-establish the tradition of Lions baseball. “Jason is widely respected and has been regarded as one of the premier assistant coaches and recruiters in the country over the past few years,” Husak said. “His experience coaching at college baseball’s highest levels, coupled with his previous years coaching at LMU, makes him a great fit for our program. There is no doubt that Jason is ready to take the reigns as our head coach and we feel that he will create an environment that will allow our student-athletes to compete for championships, graduate and grow as people. Jason was on the coaching staff the last time our program made the postseason, and it is our goal to have many more trips under his guidance.”
For the past four years, Gill has worked under Horton, serving as an infield coach, recruiting coordinator and as a primary hitting instructor. Gill is no stranger to starting a program from the ground up, taking on the task twice, most recently at the University of Oregon. Gill was Horton’s first hire as both men left Cal State Fullerton to begin the reconstruction of the Duck baseball program in 2007. Always considered one of the best recruiters in college baseball, Coach Gill’s 2007 recruiting class was ranked in the top-10 in the nation by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America.
In the three years preceding the move to Eugene, Ore., the Titans made it to Omaha and the College World Series twice, won two Big West Conference championships and had 35 players drafted. The three-year stint under Horton was Gills’ second on the Fullerton coaching staff, having started his coaching career as an undergraduate assistant coach for legendary skipper, and Division I baseball’s all-time winningest coach, Augie Garrido. In that first term, Gill served essential roles on both the 1995 National Championship and 1996 Fullerton squads.
Before his return to Fullerton, Gill spent three seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for UC Irvine, as the coaching staff resurrected the baseball program from extinction. After just three years of developing the program, Gill helped lead UCI to the NCAA Regional in 2004.
Furthering his reputation as a standout recruiter, the Anteaters’ 2002 recruiting class was ranked eighth in the country by Baseball America, with the following two classes among Collegiate Baseball’s top-30. Overall, Gill has served as a collegiate recruiting coordinator for seven years, recording six recruiting classes in the top-30 and two in the top-10 over that span.
Prior to UCI, Gill was an assistant coach at Loyola Marymount where he helped guide the Lions to their most recent WCC titles in 1999 and 2000, earning postseason berths in both years. Over that two-year span, nine LMU players moved on to professional baseball. Perhaps the most successful draft year in LMU history, Gill watched six of his Lion ballplayers sign professional contracts in 2000, including one player in each of the first three rounds.
Coach Gill also served two years as an assistant coach at Nevada in 1997 and 1998. While there, the Wolfpack made the postseason for just the second time in school history. Serving as the team’s hitting coach and working closely with the infielders, Gill’s 1997 team currently holds nine offensive team records at Nevada. In addition, his tutelage of the infielders was instrumental in placing Nevada first in the country in double plays in both years.
Before embarking on his coaching career, Gill played one year at Cal State Fullerton, hitting .345, scoring 28 runs and starting 43 games at third base. That year, the All-Big West Conference infielder helped the Titans to a 47-16 overall record and a College World Series berth. Gill started his collegiate career playing two seasons at Cuesta College and played his junior year at Cal State Dominguez Hills before transferring to Fullerton.
Overall, Coach Gill has been to Omaha four times as a player and a coach. In his 12 years of coaching, he has been to the postseason a total of nine times, coached four conference players of the year, including three infielders directly under his guidance, and been a part of six conference championships. In addition, Gill has seen 14 of his former student-athletes make it to the Major Leagues.
A local product who prepped at Mater Dei H.S. in Santa Ana, Gill received his bachelor’s degree from Cal State Fullerton in kinesiology in 1996. He lives with his wife, Kacey.