CHAMPAIGN — Illinois baseball coach Dan Hartleb rounded out his coaching staff for the 2020 season with the hire of pitching coach Mark Allen on Tuesday. Allen will join the Illini after spending the past nine seasons in professional baseball working in several different roles, including this past season as the San Francisco Giants' pitching coordinator.
"I'm humbled and honored to have this opportunity at the University of Illinois," Allen said in a release. "I am extremely excited to begin working alongside our baseball coaches, our baseball players, our entire athletic department and the university. I would like to thank Dan Hartleb and the entire Illinois family for giving me this chance to positively contribute in any and every way I can to our Fighting Illini student-athletes and their futures."
Allen oversaw all of San Francisco's minor league teams and pitching development this season. Five of the Giants' eight minor league teams reached postseason play, and the Sacramento River Cats won the Triple-A national championship.
Before working with the Giants, Allen held a number of different positions in eight seasons with the Cleveland Indians' organization. He worked as a scout, cross checker, national pitching cross checker and pitching coordinator. During his time with the Indians, Allen was also an on-field coach for three seasons in the Arizona League.
"I am extremely excited about the opportunity we have with the hiring of Mark Allen," Hartleb said. "Mark's knowledge, experience and people skills are off the charts. His past experiences as a collegiate coach, minor league instructor, and his most recent position as a pitching coordinator show his great abilities with development and also evaluation in the recruiting process.
"Mark fits in our Illini family in so many ways, starting with the type of person that he is. He will be a great asset to our program moving forward and I'm extremely excited to get to work with him."
Allen's college playing career spanned three teams in four seasons with stops at Vernon Junior College (Texas), Texas-San Antonio and Phillips University (Okla.). He jumped immediately into coaching after his playing career concluded and worked at St. Gregory's University (Okla.), Northlake Junior College (Texas),. Frank Phillips College (Texas), North Central Texas College, in the Northwoods League with the Wisconsin Woodchucks and at Seminole State College (Fla.).
Seminole State College was his final stop before jumping into professional baseball. He helped the Raiders reach the 2009 NJCAA Division I World Series where they lost to Howard College (Texas).