KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Head baseball coach Billy Gernon has announced the addition of former Bronco Tim Cross and Montevallo assistant Matt Rademacher to the Western Michigan baseball staff. Cross will work with the Bronco outfielders and hitters, while Rademacher will be the assistant recruiting coordinator and will coach the Bronco catchers and hitters.
“It goes without saying that we are extremely excited about having Tim back with us,” Gernon said. “He was a player that exhibited an enormous amount of energy and passion for the game and I am confident that he will be that way as an assistant coach. Tim epitomizes the student-athlete and has a true affinity for Western Michigan. He will do a great job coaching our outfielders and hitters.
“We could not be more excited about the addition of Matt Rademacher to our coaching staff as well. Matt has an infectious personality and a true passion for the game. I am confident he will do a great job with our catchers and hitters but yet equally excited about what he will do for our program as a recruiter. Matt is originally from Bay City, Mich., and has many solid contacts and relationships that will most definitely be an asset for our program.”
A three-year letterwinner for the Broncos from 2009-11, Cross returns to Western Michigan a year after earning a business administration degree from WMU. This past year, Cross played and coached in Australia as part of the South Perth Cubs, where he led the team in home runs and stolen bases, helping the Cubs win a Western Australia State League championship. He also served as head coach for a 15 and under baseball team that advanced to the semifinals in their respective age group.
A Walled Lake, Mich. native, Cross played in over 140 career games at Western Michigan, starting primarily in the outfield. He helped lead the Broncos to the Mid-American Conference Tournament for the first time in five years in 2011, and was instrumental in Western Michigan securing its first postseason victory in over 12 years with a win over No. 2 seed Central Michigan. Cross was a two-time Academic All-MAC selection and was a First Team Academic All-District selection in 2010.
“I am very grateful and excited for the opportunity to return to Western Michigan University as a member of the coaching staff,” Cross said. “I hope to contribute to the growing momentum of the Bronco baseball family and help us realize the type of success we greatly desire. I would like to thank Coach Gernon for bringing me on board, and I look forward to working with and learning from him, Coach McFerrin, and Coach Rademacher.”
Rademacher comes to Western Michigan from Montevallo, a Division II program in Alabama. As an assistant in 2012, Rademacher helped guide the Falcons to their first Peach Belt Conference Tournament appearance. Rademacher served as a volunteer assistant at Air Force for one season in 2010 before handling the same duties at Southern Conference champion Georgia Southern for the 2011 campaign.
While at Air Force, Rademacher mentored catcher Garrett Custons, a three-time freshman All-American, to Louisville Slugger, Ping!Baseball and Pro-Line Athletic NCBWA Freshman All-America honors. At Georgia Southern, Rademacher was fortunate to coach Southern Conference Player of the Year and All-American Victor Roache and Kansas City Royals’ draftee Shawn Payne.
Collegiately, Rademacher earned First Team All-Big South and Second Team All-Region honors as a catcher his senior season with Coastal Carolina University. As a captain for the Chanticleers, CCU hosted their first NCAA regional in school history. An all-around student-athlete, Rademacher also excelled in the classroom, earning All-Big South Academic honors in both 2006 and 2007. Prior to Coastal Carolina, Rademacher was at the University of Michigan for three years. Rademacher’s father, Gene, lettered three seasons at Western Michigan in football 1968-70.
“First, I would like to thank Coach Gernon, and those involved with the process, giving me this opportunity to become a Bronco,” Rademacher said. “The energy around the program right now is very positive and I will be jumping in with both feet ready to do my part for Western Michigan. Its exciting to see things come full circle and be able to coach back in my home state. Also, It’s an honor to be a part of the University that has given so much to my family. I am eager to get started.”
Western Michigan heads into its third year under Gernon and has advanced to the MAC Tournament each of the past two seasons. Western Michigan made a 14-game improvement in Gernon’s inaugural campaign in 2011, ranking the Broncos 10th among NCAA Division I institutions in terms of program turn around. This past spring, WMU posted the team’s first winning MAC record since 2006, going 14-12 in conference play, 26-29 overall.