UPike introduces new baseball and tennis coaches

University of Pikeville athletics director Kelly Wells introduces Casey Hamilton as the new baseball coach Monday morning during a press conference.

The University of Pikeville introduced three new coaches Monday morning during a press conference.

Juan Reyes was introduced as the new men’s tennis coach, Cailee Marcum was introduced as the new women’s soccer coach and Casey Hamilton was introduced as the new baseball coach.

Reyes is a native of Cali, Columbia and was a four year UPike athlete and has been an assistant coach for two years.

“Ever since I came here, the UPike program had just got started,” Reyes said. “It was banned and stuff, so UPike decided to re0open it again. The previous coaches have done a good job of recruiting, but there was never any consistency in the program. There was no consistency in practicing and conditioning and that kind of stuff. That’s what I’m going to bring to the table. I want to bring consistency and just sort out everything because everybody already knows what they’re doing. I just want to help bring this program to the next level and get them to the national tournament.”

Marcum graduated from Pikeville High School and was a four-time participate  for the 15th Region at the state tournament. Marcum was a four-year UPike student athlete and was named as a NAIA Scholar Athlete and All-Conference player.

“I think it’s such a great opportunity and I’m so thankful to coach (Kelly) Wells and everybody,” Marcum said. “The great thing about graduating from here is that you already know everybody and they’re already family. Coming into it, if you have questions you can automatically ask. I’m really excited to hopefully take this program to the next level. It’s kind of like Juan (Reyes) said, the previous coaches have done a great job recruiting and things, but no one has constantly set those practice schedules and those standards. That’s something that I want to do when I bring my girls in here. I want to set the standards and meet out goals and know what we want to achieve by the end of the year.

“I think in the next couple of years that this program is definitely going to take off. Hopefully we can increase interest within the community and recruit kids from throughout Eastern Kentucky bring in those players with some other players and take this program to the next level.”

Hamilton is an Ashland native and graduated from Boyd County High School. He played college baseball at Mississippi State and Western Kentucky. He has coached at Vero Beach High School, West Jessamine High School, Olney Central College, Western Kentucky University and the Owensboro Oilers in the Ohio Valley College Summer League.

He was most recently the associate head coach at Kentucky Wesleyan. Kentucky Wesleyan had a 91-67 record during his time there.

“It’s very exciting,” Hamilton said. “My wife and I love the area. Me being from around this area, it’s good to get back. The program was left in great shape, so I’m not coming in to rebuild a whole program. We’re going to start with what we got and go from there. It’s not going to be a rebuild, it’s going to be more like a reload type of deal. We’ll start tomorrow and get at it. I’m really thankful that coach (Kelly) Wells thought of me.

“The baseball fraternity goes everywhere. I know guys in Texas that I know just as good as I do guys from Ashland now. It is a big help when it comes to getting local kids, though. We do want local kids on the team to make it more of a homey place.”

Hamilton wants to build a culture. A culture built around the players.

“I really believe that me coming in and bringing a new face changes a lot of the stuff going on, especially with guys not knowing you. So I’ve got to get the trust built first and then I want to get the culture to what I’m used to and that’s more of a player oriented program. So hopefully once I have everybody doing there job, I can sit over there in the dugout and not doing anything because the players can do it.”

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