Former UR baseball star takes over at Occidental

A former University of Redlands Bulldog is now going to try and beat the Bulldogs.

Luke Wetmore has taken the head coaching job after serving as hitting coach for three years under jason Hawkins, also a former Redlands player who resigned to pursue a Division I position.

Wetmore, a 28-year-old from Santa Cruz, transitions to head coach with the responsibility of returning the Tigers to prominence.

“I’m excited to be apart of a program with such rich baseball tradition,” Wetmore said. “I’m expecting that we’re going to compete right away. You can’t put a number on wins for the next couple of years, but I do know we are going to get better every day and every game.”

Wetmore comes highly recommended by his predecessor, who sees Wetmore as a dynamic coach, capable of taking the team to the next level.

“We created climate conducive to winning. Luke is a part of that and he is going to carry that forward,” Hawkins said. “It’s an attractive job. I think if you were to pool it at the national level you would get great candidates, but I don’t think anyone will do a job like Luke will.”

Wetmore grew up in Santa Cruz and was a multi-sport standout in football, baseball and wrestling at Santa Cruz High School. Later, Wetmore played baseball and football at the University of Redlands from 2004-08.

During his tenure with the Bulldogs, Wetmore won three SCIAC championships, one as a baseball player and two as a football player. He finished his career as an outfielder with a .317 batting average, a .516 slugging percentage, a .412 on-base percentage and 13 home runs.

Wetmore’s only other professional coaching stint resulted in a 2010 Mountain Collegiate League Baseball championship as an assistant with the Cheyenne Grizzlies.

The Tigers are looking to improve on last year’s 13-26 overall record and 9-19 sixth-place finish in the SCIAC.