John Weber enters his first year as the Head Baseball Coach and Director of Athletics at Purdue University North Central.
For the past six years Weber was the Head Baseball Coach, Sports Information Director and a teacher at Lakeland College in Sheboygan, WI.
On the diamond, Weber established himself as the most successful coach in the history of Lakeland College in any sport. Prior to his arrival the baseball team had won only two conference titles in the 60-plus year history of the program. Weberís teams won Lake Michigan Conference titles in his last four years and also earned the programís first-ever NCAA tournament appearances in 2002 and 2003, becoming the first sport in conference history to win back-to-back conference tournaments to earn NCAA bids.
Furthermore, Weberís teams won 600 percent more post-season games than any other program at Lakeland. This stretch included an amazing 5th place finish at the 2002 Division III College World Series. In doing so, Lakeland became the smallest school in Division III, CWS history to make an appearance with an enrollment of just over 700.
Weber received numerous honors for his teamís accomplishments, including being named the LMC Coach of the Year the past four seasons. He was also selected as the 2002 Midwest Regional Coach of the Year, the 2002 Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association College Coach of the Year and was a featured speaker at the 2004 American Baseball Coaches Association national convention in San Antonio, TX.
Weber finished his career at Lakeland as the all-time victories leader with the highest winning percentage in the programís history. During his tenure, his teams rewrote the record book by setting virtually every team and individual mark, including wins in a season (3 times). In fact, Weberís teams averaged more wins per season than the previous single season wins record at Lakeland.
While at Lakeland, Weberís teams were nationally ranked several times, reaching a high of 5th in 2002 and a preseason high of 17th in 2003. The Muskies were also regionally ranked consistently, and reached a high of 1st in 2002. Weber coached 46 All-Conference selections at Lakeland, including three Players of the Year.
Off the field Weberís teams were equally successful. He had nearly 50 Academic All-Conference selections and his team maintained a GPA of almost 3.0.
As SID, Weber oversaw the daily management of the department. He developed the schoolís first athletic website and was responsible for all written content. Weber also wrote all press releases, designed media guides, hosted a local television show and maintained all statistical records. Weber served on the Hall of Fame Committee and was a member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Prior to Lakeland Weber was the Associate Head Coach at Lewis University (Romeoville, IL) in 1998, where he led the pitchers to the second best ERA out of the prestigious 12-team Great Lakes Valley Conference. Weber worked under legendary coach Irish OíReilly during this time.
Before Lewis, Weber coached at Morton Community College in Cicero, IL where he served as head coach for the 1997 season and built the program from 12 to 40 players in one year.
Weber started his career at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL as a graduate assistant under another legendary coach, John Ostrowski. In Weberís first season as pitching coach his staff led the nation in ERA at 2.49, down from 6.40 the previous year.
Weber is known for recognizing and developing talent in both his players and his coaches. Six of his former assistant coaches are currently head coaches at the collegiate level, while 10 of his former players were either drafted or signed to professional contracts.
Weber graduated from Lewis in 1993 with a Bachelorís degree in Marketing. He attended school on a baseball and academic scholarship and played for OíReilly as a right handed pitcher. During this time the Flyers made two Division II CWS appearances, finishing 3rd in 1990 and 4th in 1992. Fifteen of Weberís team mates moved on to professional baseball with three making the major leagues.
While coaching at Benedictine, Weber earned his Masterís degree in Management and Organizational Behavior with an emphasis in Human Resources in 1996.
Weber attended Benet Academy High School in Lisle, IL and graduated in 1989, the same year he led the Redwings to their only trip to state for baseball. The Redwings finished 31-9 under Marty Wiora as Weber finished 14-3 on the mound.
Weber, 34, and his wife Erin are both natives of Lisle, IL. They have one daughter (Hope, age 1 Ĺ) and reside in Valparaiso, IN.
Chet Ebner enters his third season as an assistant coach for the Panthers. Ebner will oversee the pitching staff and assist as a bench coach. In prior years, Ebner also served as a hitting instructor.
Prior to joining PNC, Ebner was an assistant varsity coach at Hebron High School for three years where he also was the pitching, hitting and bench coach.
Ebner, who been coaching baseball in some capacity for over 20 years, founded and coaches the Northwest Indiana Pioneer Baseball Club in the summertime. In their first year (2000) the Pioneers represented Indiana at the AAU Nationals in Orlando, FL.
Ebner currently works as a Supervisor at Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). He resides in Hebron with his wife Patty and son Blake, who pitched for the Panthers in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.