ASHEVILLE, N.C. - UNC Asheville head baseball coach Tom Smith has announced the hiring of former Ball State assistant coach and former Winthrop standout Jeremy Plexico as the program's new assistant coach. He will replace Aaron Rembert, who left in June to take head coaching position at Mars Hill College.
"We're delighted to have Jeremy Plexico as a part of our program," stated Smith. "Jeremy enjoyed an outstanding career as a player both in college and in pro ball. He's picked up a lot of experience in coaching and is going to help our program in a lot of different ways. We're glad that Jeremy's a Bulldog."
Plexico, a native of Chapin, S.C., had been at Ball State the past two years. In 2011, he helped the Cardinals post an 11-15 record in Mid-American Conference play. Under his guidance, junior right-hander Cal Bowling posted a career-high four complete games, which led the MAC in 2011. Bowling's 89.2 innings worked ranked eighth in the MAC.
Plexico spent the 2010 season as the pitching coach at Young Harris College (Ga.) where he helped the Mountain Lions to a 39-17 overall record. Under his tutelage, freshman left-hander Mitchell Knox earned All-Conference honors while posting an 8-3 record with 48 strikeouts compared to just 20 walks.
Plexico was a left-handed standout at Winthrop where he earned Third Team All-America honors as a senior in 2003 after leading the Big South Conference with an 11-3 record. He appeared in 17 games and posted a league-high five complete games while logging a 2.90 ERA in 108.2 innings pitched. As a junior, he had a 9-5 record with a 4.38 ERA in 109 innings of work. He transferred to Winthrop from the University of South Carolina.
Plexico excelled not only on the playing field at Winthrop but in the classroom as well. As a senior, he was voted by the Big South Conference's sports information directors as the league's Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. Also, he earned the Winthrop Senior Academic Award for the highest GPA for a senior male and Big South Presidential Scholar accolades.
Plexico was drafted out of Winthrop in the 19th round of the 2003 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Montreal Expos. In his first professional stop, he tied for the Vermont Expos' team-lead in victories in the short-season New York-Penn League in 2003. In 2004, he had one of his best years posting an 8-5 record with six saves and a 2.63 ERA. He also struck out 102 batters in 82 innings of work while holding opponents to a .195 batting average.
After having shoulder surgery in December of 2004, Plexico started an impressive 2006 season with Potomac of the Carolina League posting a 3-0 record and a 1.93 ERA out of the bullpen before being promoted to Double-A Harrisburg. He made 34 appearances for Harrisburg and posted a 4-3 record with a 4.00 ERA. He also made 43 appearances, including 40 out of the bullpen, in 2007 for the Senators.
Plexico returned to his role as a starter in 2008 when he joined the Gary Southshore Railcats of the Northern League. He posted a 10-3 record with a 2.79 ERA while being named the Northern League Pitcher of the Year. He held opponents to a .250 batting average while striking out 68 batters and walking just 32. His 135.1 innings pitched led the league, while his 2.79 ERA was third. He was also the winning pitcher for the Northern League All-Star Game and was named to Baseball America's All-Independent League Second Team.
Plexico received his bachelor's degree in history in 2002 and his master's degree in teaching (social studies) in 2008 from Winthrop.