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Jermaine Van Buren is new to both the Chaparral staff and Lubbock in general for the 2020 season, but brings an impressive resume both as a coach and a player to the pitching coach position.

Van Buren is coming off a two-year stint as the pitching coach at the New Mexico Military Institute after being hired there in September of 2017. In 2019, the Broncos pitching staff racked up 410.1 innings on the mound, allowing just 235 earned runs and averaging 8.82 strikeouts per nine innings.

"Jermaine will be a tremendous asset to this program with his enthusiasm, positive energy, competitiveness and passion for the game of baseball that is evident to anyone who knows Coach Van Buren," Blackwood said.

A native of Mississippi, Van Buren has been in Amarillo more recently as the head pitching instructor at the Amarillo Baseball Academy, helping to build one of the top select baseball programs in the country. In more than seven years with the program, ABA has sent at least 200 kids into collegiate baseball programs. His family includes wife Tiffany and four children – Jermaine (20), Jaden (17), Lara (11) and Karis (3).

Van Buren also has extensive professional baseball experience, spending 12 years in the professional ranks, including two pitching for major league baseball teams. Van Buren was selected in the second round of the Major League baseball draft out of high school in 1998. He made his major league debut in 2005 with the Chicago Cubs and pitched for the Boston Red Sox in 2006, appearing in 16 big league games overall. Van Buren was also very successful in the minor league ranks, leading the league and setting a team record for saves while pitching for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. He won a Pacific Coast League title in 2007 with the Sacramento River Cats and was named to All-Star teams at various levels in 1998, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009.

"His experience in professional baseball under several well-known successful pitching coaches, and his connections and experience in college baseball recruiting were two of the items that stood out the most to me in the hiring process" Blackwood added. "But more importantly, we are excited about his passion to teach and model life skills that support the mission of Lubbock Christian University."