Manny Cervantes heads into his sixth season as the head coach of the Eagles in 2019-20.
In 2019, the Asbury baseball team produced a historic season. The Eagles accumulated a 24-22 record (the most wins since 2011) and reached the River States Conference Tournament for the first time ever under the new format.
AU had five players named to the All-Conference teams in 2019, which is the most in the Cervantes era. Paul Haupt and Trevor Campbell were named to the First Team and Will McDonald, Colton Back, and Alec Lush were chosen to the All-RSC Second Team.
Additionally, Campbell was named RSC Freshman of the Year and Coach Cervantes earned River States Conference Baseball Coach of the Year. No other coach in AU baseball history has achieved this accomplishment.
The Eagles also excelled in the classroom in 2019, as nine were named to the RSC Scholar-Athlete Team and three Eagles were also honored with NAIA Scholar-Athlete status.
As a team, AU was recognized by the American Baseball Coaches Association with a Team Academic Excellence Award.
"For me, coaching is about more than the game of baseball, it’s an opportunity and responsibility to make a positive impact on young adults," Cervantes said. “I’ve learned that a coach who demonstrates strong Christian leadership makes a lifelong impact on his players as Christ’s ambassadors to the world."
Cervantes became the first full-time head coach in program history when he joined the Asbury staff in late summer of 2014.
The Eagles have had 10 players earn all-conference honors during Cervantes' tenure. The Eagles placed two players on the KIAC Second Team All-Conference team under Cervantes in 2015 (Zach Settle and Spencer Andrews) and two more in 2016 (Andrew Moran and Joey Johnson). In 2017, Colton Back earned a spot on the All-RSC Second Team. Last season, five earned All-Conference honors with Paul Haupt and Trevor Campbell being named to the First Team and Will McDonald, Colton Back, and Alec Lush were chosen to the All-RSC Second Team.
In 2016, the Eagles doubled their win total from the season before and finished with a 22-29 record. They season included two wins over 25th-ranked Rio Grande (Ohio)and a 13-4 stretch mid-season.
In his first season, Cervantes and his staff saw change in the culture for Asbury baseball for the long haul. The Eagles finished the season strong, knocking off Brescia and taking perennial conference leader IU-Southeast to the brink in an elimination game during the KIAC Tournament.
Cervantes, originally from Whittier, Calif., was drafted by the New York Mets in 1987 straight out of high school, but instead opted to play in college.
He played first base at Oklahoma State from 1988 to 1990, during which time the Cowboys made the NCAA tournament three times and reached the national title game in 1990. In April 1988 he was named as the Big Eight Conference player of the week and was a two-time Academic All-Big Eight Conference selection (1989 and 1990). He transferred to the University of Kentucky for his senior season and earned second-team All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1991 for the Wildcats.
He went on to sign with the Seattle Mariners and played two seasons in the minor leagues before becoming a coach in the Mariners’ minor-league system. He later established a private baseball coaching business in Stillwater, Okla. and worked as a volunteer coach at Stillwater High School in 2011 and 2012.
Prior to coming to Asbury, Cervantes served as an assistant at Oklahoma Christian University from 2012 until 2014, helping the Eagles finish '14 with a 38-17-1 record.
Coach Cervantes resides in Wilmore with his wife Jami, their children Mikayla, Jacob and Mia, and their chocolate lab Jackie.