Brian DeLunas returns to Mizzou baseball as pitching coach

Eric Blum
Columbia Daily Tribune

Missouri baseball announced the hiring of Brian DeLunas as the Tigers' new pitching coach Thursday. 

DeLunas returns to Columbia after spending the 2021 season as a special projects coordinator in the New York Mets organization, where he worked extensively in pitching development.

He spent the previous three seasons with the Seattle Mariners as the bullpen coach and director of pitching development and strategies. 

Brian DeLunas

DeLunas served as a volunteer assistant and pitching coach at Missouri during the 2007-09 seasons.

“Brian has a great reputation in the game as an excellent communicator and has demonstrated great success in developing pitchers for a long time," Missouri head baseball coach Steve Bieser said in a news release. “His knowledge and understanding of the game, along with his most recent experience in Major League Baseball, is going to be a valuable asset for Mizzou. Brian bleeds black and gold, and his ties to the state and St. Louis area are going to help us recruit the top talent in Missouri.”

More:Missouri baseball had a disappointing season. The team already has changes in mind for 2022.

DeLunas mentored some of Mizzou's most successful pitchers

During his previous stint at Missouri, DeLunas helped the Tigers to three straight NCAA regional appearances and mentored some of the Tigers’ most successful pitchers in program history, including MLB first-round picks Aaron Crow and Kyle Gibson.

In his three seasons working with the MU pitching staff, the Tigers posted 116 total wins while racking up over 400 strikeouts each year. The 2008 and 2009 pitching staffs produced top-five single-season marks in program history with 495 and 492 strikeouts, respectively.

“I am truly excited about the opportunity to come home and be back in the black and gold,” DeLunas said in the release. “It’s an honor and a privilege to wear Mizzou across the chest, and I look forward to the challenge of returning the pitching program back to the prominence it once held as ‘Pitcher U.'

“There’s no doubt we can get it done with the dedicated guys we have on campus and the future Tigers that are coming. We will all be focused on one goal: giving our absolute best effort to compete for the University of Missouri.”

DeLunas replaces Fred Corral, who was let go as the team's pitching coach last month after four seasons. 

Missouri finished the 2021 season at 15-36, including an 8-22 mark in the Southeastern Conference, which was last place in the league standings, failing to qualify for the conference tournament.

More Missouri baseball:Mizzou baseball powers past No. 3 Mississippi State for series victory

Coach DeLunas is 'one of the brightest pitching minds in all of baseball'

DeLunas is an Oakville native and a co-founder of Premier Pitching and Performance in the St. Louis area. He helped groom some of baseball’s top prospects, including former MU star and first-round pick Tanner Houck.

He has also worked extensively with MLB pitchers, including Jake Odorizzi, David Phelps and Mitch Keller.

“Coach DeLunas is one of the brightest pitching minds in all of baseball. He has experience developing pitchers at all levels of the game, and his track record is off the charts," said Gibson, now a hurler for the Texas Rangers, in the release. "My three years with him and our staff at Mizzou had a huge impact on my career and where I am today. Coach B has just hired a man who on and off the field is a quality human being, and he is the perfect guy to be leading this pitching staff in the years ahead."

DeLunas played college baseball at Missouri Baptist and coached at Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis before starting Premier Pitching and Performance. 

“Brian has an in-depth understanding of pitching biomechanics that will surely benefit developing pitchers," Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais said in the news release. "He can combine advanced metrics related to pitching and take it to the field to improve young men at the University of Missouri.”

Contact Eric Blum at eblum@columbiatribune.com. Follow @ByEricBlum on Twitter.

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