Western Illinois has hired Central Michigan assistant coach Mike Villano as its new head coach, replacing the late Stan Hyman, who died of leukemia in September. Villano spent the past six seasons as the recruiting coordinator for the Chippewas, developing a reputation as one of the top up-and-coming assistants in the Midwest. He spent five seasons as pitching coach and served as hitting coach in 2009.
"This is a bittersweet announcement in that we will always remember Stan Hyman as a great person and a great baseball coach," Western Illinois director of athletics Dr. Tim M. Van Alstine said in a release. "However, I am pleased to announced that Mike Villano will continue in Stan’s footsteps as the new Leatherneck baseball coach. Mike has an impressive and extensive background that spans from his time as a student-athlete to his professional playing career and his time as a coach."
Under Villano’s guidance, the Central Michigan pitching staff led the Mid-American Conference in EA in 2008 (4.62) and 2005 (3.31). The Chippewas went 202-137 during his time on the coaching staff. This is a strong hire for a Western Illinois program seeking to build on Hyman’s foundation.
"I am very excited about this great opportunity at Western Illinois," Villano said. "I believe the program has tremendous potential because of its location in an area of the country that produces many great baseball players."