FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
FARMVILLE, Va. — Longwood University baseball head coach Buddy Bolding has announced the recent appointment of Jon Benick as a new assistant coach. Benick will assist with all baseball operations, including recruiting. The former University of Virginia standout and professional baseball player served as an assistant coach at St. Anne’s Belfield School in Charlottesville during 2012.
“We are pleased to bring Jon to Longwood at this critical and exciting moment in the history of Longwood Baseball,” said Bolding who is entering his 35th year at the school. “With his outstanding baseball pedigree, his strong academic background, and his energy and enthusiasm, Jon will play a vital role in the days and years ahead as we strive to become contenders in the powerful Big South Conference.”
Benick was the hitting coach for the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League during the summer of 2012, and for the Staunton Braves of the Valley Baseball League during 2011. He organized all early hitting and extra work, and threw batting practice, as well, for the Braves. Benick served as a hitting coach at Wilkes University for the 2010-11 season, planning all team practices and supervising all defensive work. He was also a hitting instructor at the Slugger Indoor Batting Cages & Pro Shop in Suffolk, Virginia from 2009-10.
“I am elated to be on the staff at Longwood,” said Benick. “Coach Bolding runs a first rate program focused on player development. I truly believe Longwood is a sleeping giant and can grow into one of the premier baseball programs in not only Virginia, but the country as well.”
Benick was first drafted by Tampa Bay in 1997, but decided to play his freshman season at Auburn University before transferring to Virginia. Benick was a three-year starter at first base, third base and catcher for the Cavaliers, earning First-Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and ACC All-Tournament Team honors in 2000. He was a Second-Team All-ACC selection in 1999 when he hit a team-best .384 with 10 home runs and 54 RBI. Benick completed his career at Virginia with 35 homers and 160 RBI.
Benick was chosen in the ninth round of the 2001 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft by the San Diego Padres and played with several minor league clubs during the next three years. In 2004, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization and had a successful season with the Hickory Crawdads of the South Atlantic League (SAL), hitting .328 with 32 home runs and 104 RBI while named All-SAL. Benick played for the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Carolina League during 2005 before finishing his pro career with Winnipeg (Canada) of the Northern League in 2006.
A native of Glen Lyon, Pennsylvania, Benick earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Archaeology from Virginia in 2012.