Alma Mater: East Carolina '00
2008-09: Erik Bakich, one of collegiate baseball's top recruiters, is in his seventh season as an assistant coach for the Commodores.
The Commodores had the No. 1 recruiting class in the country in 2005 and the No. 2 recruiting class in 2008. Every class he has helped bring in has been ranked in the Top 25.
11 players of the 2008 class were drafted with eight coming to campus. The class is the deepest group of players Vanderbilt has had in Tim Corbin and Bakich's tenure.
The 2005 class had the most freshmen ranked in the top 100 of any school in the country and had five student-athletes named Player of the Year in their state.
The 2007-08 class was ranked No. 12 by Baseball America. The 2006-07 class focused on Tennessee and the Commodores signed what some experts believe were the top six high school players in the state. The class was ranked No. 25 by Baseball America.
In 2004-05, the freshmen class consisted of nine players who were ranked 19th nationally. His first recruiting class (2003) was ranked 24th in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.
In addition to spearheading the recruiting efforts, Bakich also is Vanderbilt's primary outfield coach and assists in hitting. In 2008, the Commodores had a .970 fielding percentage and the outfielders combined for 13 assists. The team finished third in the SEC with a .309 batting average and has been in the top three the last three seasons.
In 2007 the Commodores had a .973 fielding percentage and the outfielders combined for 20 assists. The team led the SEC with a .324 batting average and 240 extra base hits. Dominic de la Osa, a first-team All-American, made the switch from shortstop to a full-time outfielder and came through with his best offensive season, batting .378 with 20 homers and 62 RBI. He also stole 20 bases, one of just three players nationally to do that with 20 or more homers.
In 2004 the Commodores generated the single largest jump in team batting average in team history when the players hit a combined .304 after having a collective .258 average the season before. Warner Jones became the first player in school history with at least 100 hits in a season and just the seventh to hit .400 for a season.
"Erik is without question one of the very best at what he does and it is one of the main reasons we are able to coach such good players," head coach Tim Corbin said.
Bakich began his coaching career in 2002 as a volunteer assistant at Clemson, where he contributed as a hitting coach and worked with both infielders and outfielders. That year the Tigers advanced to the College World Series.
Prior to that he worked one year as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at East Carolina, where as a player he was a central figure on a team that won Colonial Athletic Association championships in 1999 and 2000. He earned 1999 All-Regional honors for his performance at LSU. He had a .315 career batting average with 14 home runs and 85 RBI at East Carolina after two years at San Jose City College in California (1997-98), where he lettered as a third baseman and earned All-Conference and All-Northern California honors as a sophomore when he batted .452.
Bakich graduated from East Carolina in 2000 with a degree in Exercise and Sports Science. He has been a certified personal trainer for six years and in 2001 was fitness director for Sports Connection, a performance enhancing company specializing in baseball-specific training for young athletes.
He has been a consultant for other strength training and conditioning programs for high school, college and minor league players, and has made numerous speaking appearances at clinics across the country.
Bakich signed a professional contract with the Springfield Capitals of the Frontier League in the Independent Professional Baseball League in 2000 and played professionally into 2001.
He and his wife, Katherine, reside in Nashville.