Release courtesy of the Tiffin University Sports Information Department
TIFFIN, OHIO – Lonny Allen has stepped down as Tiffin University Head Baseball Coach, with assistant coach Joe Wilkins taking over as the new Head Baseball Coach. Allen will continue to serve as Tiffin University’s Athletic Director.
Allen recently finished his 21st season at the helm of the program. Counting his days as a student-athlete for the Dragons, he has been associated with the program for 24 years. After taking over in 1992, Allen helped the team post a winning record in just his second season, going 17-15 in 1993. One staple of Allen's teams was heavy hitting, as the offensive record books were rewritten numerous times during his tenure. With 444 career victories, no other Dragons baseball manager has won more games. The Dragons have been remarkably consistent, posting 20 or more victories in 14 of his seasons. In 2012, the Dragons also qualified for the GLIAC Tournament for the first time in school history.
"It is with mixed emotions that I give up coaching baseball,” said Allen. “This move will help me focus more on being Athletic Director. Being a head coach is very time-consuming, and I never could have done it without the help of (assistant coaches) Joe Wilkins and Kurt Rammel. I also could not have performed all my duties as athletic director without the help of my staff in the athletic department. With the development of the Heminger Center and other projects, this allows me to have a more hands-on role. Most importantly, I would like to thank President Marion for allowing me to serve in both capacities and also for giving me this opportunity to focus more specifically on my duties as athletic director.”
“This is a great opportunity for me,” said Wilkins. “Coaching here at Tiffin was my first taste of coaching and I have been able to coach at different institutions around the country. I have learned a lot from all the different coaches I have worked with and look to put that knowledge to use with the Dragons.”
Joe Wilkins recently completed his fourth season as an assistant coach for the Dragons. He has an extensive background in baseball. Joe spent the 2010 season as an Assistant at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. Wilkins' responsibilities included training the catchers, helping to develop the offense and coaching first base. Prior to that he spent the 2009 season as the Catching Coach at Wake Forest University. Prior to his hiring at Wake Forest, Wilkins spent more than a year working at the Florida-based IMG Academies where he worked under former Cleveland Indians bench coach Ken Bolek as the full-time catching instructor. He also has coaching experience with the Delaware Cows and the Stark County Terriers of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League.
Wilkins played professionally for three years, spending time in the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks' farm systems. He led the Northwest League's Yakima Bears in hitting in 2002.
A four-year letterwinner at Ohio State, Wilkins was named second team All-Big Ten during the 2002 season and also earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the 2002 Big Ten Tournament after hitting a walkoff home run vs. Indiana. The Buckeyes won two Big Ten regular season championships and advanced to three NCAA Tournaments, including a Super Regional appearance in 1999, during Wilkins' collegiate career.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Wilkins graduated from Ohio State in 2005 with a degree in human ecology and a specialization in consumer affairs. He earned his master's of business administration in 2007 from Tiffin University. Wilkins was a two-sport student-athlete at Dublin Scioto High School, where he was an all-state selection in both baseball and football.
“Our immediate goal is to get back to the GLIAC tournament,” said Wilkins. “Just getting a taste of that this spring gives us motivation for next year. We also want to start making a mark in the region, trying to take the program to the next level. We also look to get even more involved with the community.”
“I am confident the program will be in good hands under Joe’s direction,” said Allen. “He is ready to take the program to a new level.”