JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – Illinois College baseball coach Jay Eckhouse has made the decision to retire at the end of the 2018 season. Eckhouse became the Blueboy baseball coach prior to the 2002 season and enters his final year with 242 career victories.
"Jay has made a huge impact on Illinois College since the day he first stepped foot on campus as a student-athlete," said Director of Athletics Mike Snyder. "His successes on the field and relationships he has built led to his long-term success as our head baseball coach. Jay has impacted so many student-athletes over his time here both as a coach and as a mentor. As solid as a baseball coach as he is, his personal, welcoming demeanor is what will be missed the most. I wish Jay the best on his retirement and know that he is always welcome here within IC Athletics."
A 1978 graduate of Illinois College who played both baseball and football, Eckhouse was a three-year starting first baseman for the Blueboys as well as a four-year starting quarterback. In 1988, he was inducted into the Illinois College Sports Hall of Fame. After coaching high school baseball at his alma mater, Alton Marquette, and at Jacksonville High School, Eckhouse was named the head coach of the Illinois College program prior to the 2002 season.
In his time with the Blueboys, the team has made four Midwest Conference Tournament appearances, while Eckhouse has become the second-winningest coach in school history behind his college coach and the namesake for the IC baseball facility, Joe Brooks. Illinois College has had two 21-win seasons in his tenure, one win behind the 1995 team for the most wins in a single season in school history. The 2004 MWC Coach of the Year, Eckhouse has led 53 First Team All-MWC South Division selections, 16 Second Team All-MWC South Division selections, four MWC South Division Co-Players of the Year, and one MWC South Division Pitcher of the Year.
The Blueboys open the 2018 season with eight games in Fort Myers, Fla. from March 3-8. Illinois College will host 18 games at Joe Brooks Field this season, starting with a doubleheader against Robert Morris University-Peoria on March 17 and ending with Senior Day against Knox College on May 6.
Illinois College will begin a national search for its next head baseball coach in the coming weeks.