Wilkins joins Pepperdine Baseball Staff

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

WilkinsatWake MALIBU, Calif. – Pepperdine head baseball coach Steve Rodriguez Friday announced the addition of Joe Wilkins to the Waves’ coaching staff. As the team’s volunteer assistant coach, Wilkins responsibilities will include training the catchers, helping to develop the offense and coaching first base.

"Joe is going to be a great addition to this ball club," Rodriguez said. "He’s comes to us highly recommended by a number of head coaches, many of whom have cited his tireless work ethic as one of his many strong points. He’s also played for a great championship-caliber program at Ohio State. We’re really looking forward to working with him on a daily basis. "

Wilkins move to Pepperdine marks his West Coast coaching debut. He spent this past season volunteering at Wake Forest where he tutored 2009 Cape Cod All-Star catcher Mike Murray. 

Prior to his hiring at Wake Forest, Wilkins spent more than year working at the Florida-based IMG Academies where he worked under former Cleveland Indians bench coach Ken Bolek as the full-time catching instructor.

Wilkins helped in the development of 2009 New York Yankees second round draft pick J.R. Murphy while at IMG. A catcher, Murphy hit .627 this spring with 11 home runs in 102 at-bats. He added 34 extra-base hits and struck out just four times.

"I feel very fortunate to be coaching at Pepperdine and I appreciate Coach Rodriguez for bringing me on board," Wilkins said. "Working with Coach Rodriguez and his staff will be great for me. I just hope I can add an element that gets us back in National Championship contention." 

As a catcher with more than a decade’s worth of competitive experience, Wilkins has transferred much of his expertise about the game and the catching position onto his personal website at www.JoeWilkinsCatching.com. The site includes a blog on catching tips, a series of instructional videos, plus information on how teams, groups or individuals can sign up for workouts and lessons.

As a two-year assistant baseball coach Tiffin (Ohio) University, Wilkins coordinated the recruiting efforts, developed athletic marketing plans and coordinated fundraising efforts to improve facilities. These efforts are now being implemented at Tiffin.

In the summer of 2007, Wilkins was the head coach for the Stark County Terriers of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League. As head coach of the Terriers, he worked with players from such collegiate programs as Wake Forest, Kent State and Cincinnati.

Wilkins was an assistant coach for the Delaware Cows of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League during the summer of 2006. While with the Cows, Wilkins was the third base coach and worked with the hitters, catchers, outfielders and infielders. Wilkins began his coaching career at Dublin Scioto High School during the 2005 season, where he worked with the catchers and served as the off-season hitting instructor.

Wilkins played professionally for three years, spending time in the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks farm systems. He led the Northwest League’s Yakima Bears in hitting in 2002.

A four-year letterwinner at Ohio State, Wilkins was named second team All-Big Ten during the 2002 season and also earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the 2002 Big Ten Tournament after hitting a walkoff home run vs. Indiana. The Buckeyes won two Big Ten regular season championships and advanced to three NCAA Tournaments, including a Super Regional appearance in 1999, during Wilkins’ collegiate career.

"My biggest goal is to win and I want to get Pepperdine back to the NCAA regionals and College World Series," Wilkins said. "I remember being one win away from Omaha, which is the ultimate goal of every Division I program."

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Wilkins graduated from Ohio State in 2005 with a degree in human ecology and a specialization in consumer affairs. He earned his masters of business administration in 2007 from Tiffin University.

Wilkins was a two-sport student-athlete at Dublin Scioto High School, where he was an All-State selection in both baseball and football.