Lee head baseball coach Mark Brew has reached into the Miami area to hire his new pitching coach.
Drew French, who has served as an assistant coach at Florida International University for the past two years, will bring his multiple skills to Lee baseball.
French holds an impressive NCAA Division I coaching resume from FIU and the University of Alabama. His qualification list consists of four Southeastern Conference tournament appearances, two Sun Belt Tournament appearances, four Regional appearances, one Super Region appearance; and 25 draft picks from 2008-13, including 13 pitchers and three catchers.
“I am really excited to announce the hiring of coach French,” commented Brew. “He brings an impressive resume as a pitching coach, but after getting to know him, I have been very impressed with him as a person.”
Brew added, “Drew has coached at the highest level of collegiate baseball (SEC and Sun Belt) and we are excited he will be able to share those experiences with our players and coaching staff.
“As a coach and player, he has been mentored by some of the top college pitching minds in the game. His pedigree will allow him to bring a level of knowledge that will be a huge asset to our pitching staff and team in general.
“He is student of the game, a tireless worker, and in my estimation one of the bright young coaches in the game. He is a solid recruiter and brings some great contacts in states (Texas, Florida, and Alabama) we would like to make some inroads. We are fortunate to obtain a person of his caliber and are excited to see our pitching staff’s progress in the future under his direction.”
Before spending the past two years in Miami, French was the director of baseball operations (2009-11) and a volunteer assistant/camp director (2007-09) at the University of Alabama. He played baseball at Concordia University (Texas) and received a bachelor of business administration degree. He remained at Concordia and served as an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator from 2004-07.
French and current Lee assistant coach Justin Dedman became friends when Dedman was working at Ole Miss and French at Alabama. “We always stayed in touch and Justin knew I was sending out fliers about another coaching position,” said French.
Dedman told French that Lee pitching coach Michael Moody had resigned and coach Brew was searching for a replacement. “I already knew about Lee and the tradition they had established in baseball. I think this opportunity is great,” the new Lee coach stressed. “I wanted to locate back into this region and I know kids are interested in coming here. I tried to recruit (former Flame) Myles Smith at FIU. I just want to join in and pick up where they left off. Having five pitchers drafted from last season’s team is very impressive.”
French noted that he has one main goal in mind. “I’ve played for and coached with a lot of teams that came close, but I want a national championship.”
Former Lee graduate assistant Andrew Carson is headed to Pan American University (Texas) to become a volunteer assistant coach. Matt Passauer, who pitched for the Flames during the 2011-12 seasons, has been named as an assistant coach at East Georgia College (in Statesboro).
“The past two years here at Lee have been great,” said Carson. “I am very thankful for the opportunity I had to work in a successful program with coach Brew, coach Dedman, and coach Moody. The Lee baseball program has extremely hard-working coaches that are a tremendous influence to the players, the university campus, and the surrounding community. Additionally, I feel fortunate to have obtained my master’s degree in educational leadership. The educational faculty at Lee, in my opinion, is second to none. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time and development at Lee.
“I am extremely excited to have an opportunity to advance in my coaching career at the University of Texas-Pan American. In interviewing with coach Mantrana and coach Lopez, I feel very confident that I will be surrounded by an atmosphere of growth and development.
“I love teaching the game of baseball. It offers a unique challenge to combine teaching detailed skills in a game where thoughts have to be simple to succeed. I am excited to continue this path of learning.”
“I am very blessed and humbled by the overwhelming support I have received from my wife, family, and friends during this process of transition.”