Baseball: Dundee-Crown names Jon Anderson coach
Updated: August 6, 2012 8:01PM
In searching for its fourth baseball coach in six years, Dundee-Crown zeroed in a candidate with a strong background in the sport.
Jon Anderson spent four years playing Division I baseball at the University of Illinois before logging three seasons as a member of the Boston Red Sox farm system. That experience as a player combined with several years of service as a high school assistant coach all played a role in the 1995 Barrington High graduate being announced as the new Chargers coach Monday.
Anderson becomes the fourth Dundee-Crown baseball coach in the past six years, and he looks to bring some stability to a program with a rich tradition that includes two trips to the state finals in the past 12 years.
“It’s a unique opportunity,” Anderson said. “The program has had success in the past, so now it’s a matter of building on that success and continuing to build that pride and tradition of the program and to keep moving it forward.
“I know how to win and I know how to teach the kids, and that’s what they need. Winning is an attitude and it’s something you can teach the kids how to do.”
Anderson, who was primarily a shortstop during his playing days, enjoyed a successful high school career at Barrington under legendary Broncos coach Kirby Smith. He then played under Richard “Itch” Jones, an American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee, at Illinois.
“I’ve had a pretty good pedigree of coaches throughout my career,” Anderson said.
Following college, Anderson was drafted by the Red Sox in the 28th round of the 1999 MLB Amateur Draft. He spent three seasons in the organization’s farm system, rising as high as the Class A-Advanced level, before wrapping up his playing career in 2002 as a player/coach with the Rockford RiverHawks of the independent Frontier League.
A desire to enter the teaching profession and to coach high school baseball led Anderson to Jacobs High, where he worked as a paraprofessional and spent four years as an assistant coach on the varsity, sophomore and freshman levels with the Golden Eagles. This past spring Anderson was the sophomore coach at Bartlett.
Anderson will begin his first year as a full-time teacher this fall at Dundee-Crown, where he will work as a special education instructor.
Anderson fills a baseball coaching vacancy left by Tom Parisi, who stepped down in May following only one season at the helm. Parisi was hired last October and led the Chargers to a 9-21-1 record this spring.
Unlike his predecessor, Anderson had the opportunity to coach Dundee-Crown during the summer prior to his first season leading the program. The Chargers posted a 9-13 record in June and July during what Anderson believes was a productive summer season.
“I think this summer really helped with getting a leg up as far getting to know the players, their strengths and weaknesses and what we need to work on,” Anderson said. “I wasn’t looking at our record as much as I was looking at the development of players from where they started at Day 1 to where they were at the end of the summer. I feel like the improvements we made were tremendous.”
Senior catcher Dylan Kissack, senior outfielder Ryan Suwanski and junior infielder Zach Girard figure to be some of the top returning players for the Chargers next spring. Dundee-Crown claimed a regional title in 2011 but can expect plenty of challenges as usual in the highly competitive Fox Valley Conference.
Pratt hired as girls tennis coach
Dundee-Crown also announced the hiring of Yvette Pratt as its girls tennis coach. Pratt replaces the retired Jan Malecek.
Pratt is a guidance counselor at Dundee-Crown. She played tennis in high school at Queen of Peace and is an inductee of that school’s hall of fame. She went on to play at Dominican University and coached there as an assistant.