Just over a month after former coach Frank Pufall resigned after five seasons with the team, the Yellowjackets have a new baseball coach.

The University of Wisconsin-Superior announced today that they hired TJ Oakes, who spent the past six seasons as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Saint Mary's University in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Oakes is a former player, he played for three seasons with the University of Minnesota, he earned All-Big Ten Third Team honors as a freshman and as a sophomore, he was also named All-Big Ten First Team honors as a junior. He was eventually drafted in the 11th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft, and he played two seasons with the Rockies.

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After playing baseball, Oakes coached some high school baseball before going to coach at Saint Mary's, in his six seasons there the Cardinals had a record of 121-91-1 and in 2021 Saint Mary's won the MIAC tournament championship and qualified for the NCAA tournament.

"We are excited to welcome Coach Oakes to Yellowjacket Athletics and to lead our baseball program. His passion for the game and commitment to player development will have an immediate impact on our program," Director of Athletics Nick Bursik said.

Oakes is a native Minnesotan born in Jordan and graduated from the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development in 2014, earning a bachelor of science degree in sports management.

"From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew this could be a good fit for what I was looking to be a part of. I am excited to get started and have the opportunity to help guide a group of young men to achieve success both on and off the field," said Oakes.

Fun fact about Oakes, as a pitcher for the Gophers he threw the very first pitch at Target Flied on March 27, 2010 in a game versus Louisiana Tech attended by 37,757 fans. Below is a photo of that pitch.

Louisiana Tech v Minnesota
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