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Former Knight is Coming Home.

September 5, 2007

Andrew Checketts Named Pitching Coach at University of Oregon

Former Knight is Coming Home.Former Knights pitching coach Andrew Checketts accepted the pitching coach position at the University of Oregon this past week. Checketts got his start in coaching with the Aloha Knights in 2000. He was the club's pitching coach under head coach Geoff Loomis. Coach Loomis, the skipper at Pacific Lutheran University, led his Lutes to a Northwest Conference Championship last spring while Checketts led his pitching strong Highlanders to a Big West Championship.

Andrew pitched at Oregon State for Pat Casey in the late nineties. After a year in pro ball, Andrew got his first taste of coaching with the Knights in 2000.

A 21st pick of the Boston Red Sox in the 1998 MLB draft, Checketts played one season at University of Florida and three at Oregon State. As a senior in 1998 he posted an 11-1 record and 3.77 ERA in 13 starts, striking out 73 batters in 86 innings, earning Pac-10 North Player of the Year, Collegiate Baseball Magazine Second Team All-American, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Second Team All-American and All-West Region Second Team honors. He was also named Pac-10 North All-Conference in 1997 and 1998, finishing his career with a 24-7 record.

Checketts began his college coaching career at Riverside Community College following his 2000 summer with the Knights, where he served as pitching coach under Dennis Rogers and helped the team to their second consecutive California State Championship in 2001. While he was at RCC, the pitching staff set the school record for ERA.

Checketts graduated from Oregon State with a degree in Business Administration, Finance.

Andrew Checketts heads back to Oregon where he starred at West Linn High School. He accepted the assistant's position at the University of Oregon, which is reinstating is baseball program after a 26-year hiatus.

Checketts was the Highlanders pitching coach since 2001. The Highlanders staff was among national leaders in strikeouts (8.0 per game) and ERA (3.68) this season, and the program has had several pitchers drafted, including first-rounder James Simmons this year.

"Because we pitched very well, people were interested in Andrew, and rightfully so," UCR head coach Doug Smith said. "You never want to lose good people, but one of the things that happens when you're successful is that you lose good people."

The Ducks hired George Horton away from Cal State Fullerton last week. Horton asked permission to interview Checketts and he and his wife visited Eugene this past weekend.

"It took a lot of things to really line up to leave UCR," said Checketts, who will make a base salary of $120,000. "I don't think it's going to be easy (building a program), but it's very exciting."