A new face will join Illinois State's baseball coaching staff under head coach Steve Holm this season.

TJ Bennett

Illinois State assistant baseball coach TJ Bennett

Former professional player TJ Bennett comes to the Redbird staff after spending six years in professional baseball.

"I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to begin my coaching career at such a great university," said Bennett. "I have the utmost respect for Steve Holm and am looking forward to learning from and working with him and his staff."

Bennett comes to ISU after recently retiring from the game as a player for the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks of the Independent League. There, Bennett slashed .276/.353/.444 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs en route to an American Association All-Star selection.

Before playing with the Redhawks, Bennett played two and a half seasons in the San Francisco Giants organization from 2016-2017, reaching Triple A both seasons. He began his pro career in 2014 with the Frontier League's Gateway Grizzlies and in 2015 with the Schaumburg Boomers.

Along with this, Bennett had the opportunity to play for the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League for four seasons where he led the league in home runs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Bennett, a Mesa, Arizona native, played a year of college ball at Oral Roberts University in 2011 before transferring to his hometown Mesa Community College in 2012. He finished his last two years of his collegiate career at Utah, where he hit .277 his senior season.

BLAINE LEWALLEN is the Sports Editor for The Vidette. He can be contacted at bmlewal@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @blainelew3 

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