EUGENE, Ore. -- University of Oregon manager George Horton has rounded out his inaugural staff at the school with the hiring of Oregon native and former UC Riverside pitching coach Andrew Checketts.
Checketts, 31, who spent the past six seasons at UCR, joins Horton and former Cal State Fullerton assistant Jason Gill as the people in charge of rebuilding Ducks’ baseball after a 26-year hiatus.
Upon his arrival at UC Riverside, the West Linn High School product made an immediate impact as the staff earned run average improved by almost three runs and the team broke the school record for strikeouts in his first year. During his first three seasons at UCR, the team ERA improved every year.
Checketts also played a key role in recruiting for the Highlanders. UCR’s 2003 and 2004 classes received national recognition by being placed in Baseball America’s top recruiting classes. During his last five years coaching, 12 pitchers have signed professional contracts with four pitchers being drafted in the top 10 rounds.
This past season, UCR’s pitching staff ranked among the nation’s best in ERA (3.68) and strikeouts per game (8.0).
Checketts will earn an annual guaranteed salary of $120,000 plus a one-time expense stipend of $25,000.
A former draft pick of the Boston Red Sox, Checketts played one season at Florida and three at Oregon State. As a senior in 1998 he posted an 11-1 record and 3.77 ERA in 13 starts, striking out 73 batters in 86 innings, earning Pac-10 North Player of the Year, Collegiate Baseball Magazine Second Team All-American, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Second Team All-American and All-West Region Second Team honors. He was also named Pac-10 North All-Conference in 1997 and 1998, finishing his career with a 24-7 record.
Checketts began his coaching career at Riverside Community College, where he served as pitching coach under Dennis Rodgers and helped the team to their second consecutive California State Championship in 2001. While he was at RCC, the pitching staff set the school record for ERA.
Checketts graduated from Oregon State with a degree in Business Administration, Finance. He was drafted by Boston in the 21st round of the 1998 MLB draft.
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