FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
LOS ANGELES– Eric Munson, a former USC All-American catcher and third overall pick in the 1999 major league baseball draft has been named Trojan undergraduate assistant coach, USC head coach Frank Cruz announced today.
Munson joins assistant head coach Dan Hubbs, assistant coach Gabe Alvarez and volunteer assistant Jason Brown on the 2011-12 coaching staff. All four individuals played at USC.
“It is incredible to have a person like Eric come back and coach as well as to continue the pursuit of his college degree,” said USC head coach Frank Cruz. “He sets a great example for our players as to how they should balance their careers. To be the No. 3 pick in the draft and finish your education is a testament to the type of kids we want at USC. ”
Munson, who starred at USC from 1997 to 1999, helped the Trojans to their 12th national title in 1998. During that title run, he batted .476 in the College World Series and was named to the All-CWS team.
On USC’s career lists, he ranks third in home runs (44), fourth in slugging percentage (.655), sixth in batting average (.356), ninth in RBI (147), tied for ninth in walks (106), and tenth in total bases (364).
Munson played for the USA National Team in both the summer of 1997 and 1998. He was also named The Sporting News National Freshman of the Year in 1997 and a first team All-American in 1999.
A first round selection of the Detroit Tigers, Munson played five seasons with the organization, including stand-out campaigns in 2003 and 2004 in which he totaled 18 and 19 home runs, respectively. He went on to play for the Tampa Bay Rays, Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres before retiring in 2010.
“His baseball experience and knowledge is top-notch,” said Cruz. “With a national title and a professional career under his belt, the insight he will be able to provide to our catchers and hitters will be a huge addition for us. ”
The San Diego native is a graduate of Mt. Carmel High School. He and his wife, Shanda, have 2 children, Solen (7) and Soraya (3).