College Sports

McKendree pitchers placed in hands of former O’Fallon standout

Former O’Fallon High and St. Louis University pitcher Jon Levin has been named the new piching coach at McKendree University in Lebanon.
Former O’Fallon High and St. Louis University pitcher Jon Levin has been named the new piching coach at McKendree University in Lebanon.

Former O’Fallon High School and St. Louis University standout pitcher Jon Levin has been hired by McKendree University as its new pitching coach.

Levin spent the past two seasons coaching at St. Louis U., under Billkens head coach Darin Hendrickson. Levin also coached previously as a graduate assistant coach at Lindenwood-Belleville, where he helped the 2014 Lynx team win the USCAA national championship along with 38 games.

“I think it’s a great fit,” said McKendree head coach Danny Jackson, a former Edwardsville High All-American and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville assistant coach who was hired by the Bearcats earlier this year. “I know Jon from when I coached at St. Louis U., he was a freshman in my last year as a volunteer there. He’s got free rein to do whatever he wants with the pitchers and has already made a huge impact.

“I think he’s going to help us take them to the next level and he’s also going to help us in recruiting, too.”

A left-handed pitcher, Levin also pitched in the Frontier League for two seasons, playing with the River City Rascals and Southern Illinois Miners.

While in college, he was on Billikens teams that won Atlantic 10 Conference titles and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010 and 2013.

Working mostly out of the bullpen, Levin set a school record with 90 appearances for the Billikens. He struck out 61 in 94 innings against only 21 walks, including a 3-0 record as a senior with a 1.21 ERA in a school-record 30 appearances.

“I’m excited to have this opportunity,” Levin said. “I am really looking forward to developing and building our pitching staff. We have a really good core group returning along with some newcomers who will step in and help as we work toward our goal of competing for a conference championship.”

As a senior, Levin helped O’Fallon to a third-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament, going 9-4 with a 3.55 ERA.

McKendree already has 10 verbal commitments from high school players, the majority from the metro-east region.

“We want local guys to stay local and help us build this into something special,” Jackson said. “Jon has good local ties both in the metro-east and it St. Louis, so that does nothing but help.”

Norm Sanders: 618-239-2454, @NormSanders

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