Kollin Conner | Head Assistant Coach
Kolin Conner has been named as the head assistant baseball coach at Concordia University Chicago. Conner will serve as the Cougars' hitting coach, work with the team's catchers, run the strength and conditioning program and assist in the recruiting.
"It's truly an honor to be brought aboard the CUC baseball staff," said Conner. "This program has a long history of winning, and I am glad to be a part of that and to keep it going."
Conner comes to River Forest from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, IN where he played and started in 90 games during the 2012 and 2013 season as the Pumas' catcher. He hit a career .302 with seven homers, 65 RBIs and a .471 slugging percentage. Conner was awarded first-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference and second-team Daktronics All-Region honors in 2013.
Two years of minor league experience also form part of Conner's background. He signed a free-agent contract directly out of college with the Joliet Slammers and played in 49 games that summer. In 2014, he batted .245 in 62 games with the Evansville Otters, also in the Frontier League.
Conner returned to St. Joseph's as a volunteer assistant coach and also helped with some kids' camps, the combination solidifying his decision to pursue coaching. "I love coaching, it's amazing that it is considered a job," said Conner. "Coaching gives me an opportunity to be around a game I love and do it for a living. What more can I ask for?"
His development as a coach earned Conner a recommendation when the opening for the Concordia-Chicago position became available, as Conner explains: "Mike Stawski (CUC head coach) is also a St. Joseph's alumnus (2006) who has remained in touch with the program. Both of us played for Rick O'Dette, who I consider an amazing coach and mentor. When Coach O'Dette found out from Mike about the opportunity, he suggested checking me out, and everything came together."
A native of Indianapolis, IN, Conner earned his BA in educational studies with a minor in communications from St. Joseph's in 2013. He is engaged to Lyndsey Hirons of Indianapolis, and the couple plans a June 2016 wedding.
Shawn Miller | Assistant Coach
Shawn Miller begins his first season as a full time assistant for the Cougar baseball program. Miller serves as a hitting coach and works with the team's outfielders.
A native of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin who attended Tremper High School, Miller enjoyed a stellar four years with the Cougars from 2010 to 2013. He started all 171 games of his collegiate career during which the Cougars went 138-40 with two NCAA III regional appearances. Miller was a career .354 hitter with 161 runs scored and 38 stolen bases. His biggest impact as a Cougar was arguably in the 2013 regionals when he accounted for two of the team's wins with first-inning, two-run homers against Augustana College in games three days apart; the first accounted for the game's only runs in a 2-0 victory that marked the Cougars' first-ever win in a regional game.
For all of his hitting prowess, Miller made his biggest mark on the program with his defense. The centerfielder was awarded Gold Gloves from the American Baseball Coaches Association in 2011 and 2012. He committed just one error in each of his final three seasons and finished his career with a sparkling .984 fielding percentage.
Tyler Shipley | Graduate Assistant Coach
Tyler Shipley is beginning his first year as a graduate assistant for the Cougars, and will mainly be working with the pitching staff.
Before coming to Concordia, Shipley, was the Pitching and Strength and Conditioning coach at Ecclesia College. Under his guidance, the pitching staff was able to set records in multiple pitching categories including, finishing the year with a NCCAA Regional appearance, and finishing ranked 11th in the nation.
Shipley also was an assistant pitching coach at Kickapoo High School and assisted in the strength and Conditioning Department at Missouri State University. He assisted in the athletic preparation of six Major League Baseball draft picks and a United States College National Baseball Team selection.
After a decorated pitching career at Kickapoo High School, Coach Shipley signed with Drury University, where he finished his collegiate pitching career as part of the Panthers pitching staff for one of the top NCAA Division II baseball programs in the nation.
He graduated with a double major in Exercise/Sports Science and Sports Management, minored in Business Administration and earned a Certificate in Personal Development, Health, Wellness and Nutrition. He is currently a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.