Kenny Resigns as ISU Baseball Assistant Coach
Sept. 11, 2007
NORMAL, Ill. - After leading the Illinois State pitching staff and helping its players reach professional baseball for the past five seasons, assistant baseball coach Seth Kenny turned in his resignation to head coach Jim Brownlee after accepting a coaching position at another NCAA Division I university as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
Kenny brings a vast knowledge of collegiate and professional baseball to his new position, as the Novato, Calif., native began his playing career at Eastern Michigan where he played four seasons under head coach Roger Coryell, before moving on to the Oakland A's organization in 1998. Kenny played the 1998 season with Southern Oregon, a short-season Class-A club, and spent the 1999 season with the Modesto A's of the California League, a Class-A affiliate, before leaving professional baseball to pursue a career in coaching.
After beginning his coaching career at Austin Peay State, Kenny arrived on the Illinois State campus in 2003, and immediately made an impact as he worked with current Toronto Blue Jays' closer Jeremy Accardo. In just his second year on the staff, Kenny's pitchers were second in the league in total team strikeouts, setting an ISU season record with 438. He also coached three draftees from the 2004 class who were selected in the first 25 rounds. In 2005, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected former Redbird hurler Matt Fowles in the 27th round, while right-handers Dan Frega (Cleveland Indians) and Kitt Kopach (Chicago Cubs) were both selected in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in 2006.
Kenny's hard work in recruiting also paid dividends during his tenure at ISU, as he helped bring in three all-state pitchers in 2007 in Ryan Copeland, Josh Schultz and Dan Weston. Kenny also helped recruit pitchers Kenny Long, Corey Maines and Kyle Nelson, who will all look to make an immediate impact to the Redbird roster in 2008.
For Brownlee, who will take over the pitching coach duties in 2008, seeing Kenny leave is hard, but Brownlee knows that he will continue to work hard and help young pitchers achieve their goals.
"Coach Kenny was here with coach (Tim) Brownlee and myself for five years, and he has done an outstanding job," said Brownlee. "I am always happy for assistant coaches when they get other opportunities, and I think it will be a good step up for coach Kenny. We're going to miss Kenny and his family, but I think it is a really good opportunity for him. He will do a great job in his next position and he did a great job while he was here, developing our pitchers."
Kenny and his wife, Andrea, and their two children enjoyed their time at Illinois State and Kenny credits Brownlee as a mentor and friend.
"My family and I really enjoyed our time at Illinois State. Everyone in the athletics department was great during my time there, and it really felt like one, big family. Since (Director of Athletics) Dr. Sheahon Zenger arrived at ISU, all of the athletics programs have moved in the right direction. It's an exciting time at Illinois State, as the success continues on the field, as well as the new facilities being built off of it.
"I have no doubt in my mind that coach Jim Brownlee and his staff will get it done. They will continue to move the program in the right direction, and I never wavered in that belief during my time at ISU. Coach Brownlee is very special to me, as he taught me a lot about not only baseball, but about life. He is so knowledgeable about the game, but the most important thing he taught me was lessons about life."