Ellsworth Community College's new head baseball coach, Samuel Vega, is heading to Iowa Falls soon, but his first few days on the job will be spent handling some last-minute recruiting to fill the Panthers' 2019-20 roster. He's also been busy calling his nearly 20 returners and committed freshmen to introduce himself.
A native of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, Coach Vega comes to Ellsworth Community College after one year as an Assistant Coach/Intern at Kishwaukee Community College in Illinois. He replaces Travis Akre, who was ECC's head baseball coach for the past six years.
"I am very excited to name Samuel Vega as the new baseball coach at ECC," says Nate Forsyth, ECC Director of Athletics and Student Life. "He will bring a lot of energy and passion to the program."
Coach Vega played as an infielder at Southwestern Community College (Creston, Iowa) in 2015 and 2016 and at Northern Illinois University in 2017 and 2018; he graduated from NIU last year with a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology. In his senior season at NIU, Vega was the Huskies' lead-off hitter; he finished the year leading the team in batting average (.309), at-bats (217), hits (67), total bases (86) and walks (32). He also stole a team second-best eight bases in 11 attempts for a 72 percent stolen base average, and became the first Huskie hitter to connect for five hits in a game (5 for 5 vs. Indiana State April 24) since the 2015 season.
After graduating from NIU, Vega signed a pro contract with the Normal Cornbelters in Illinois. He played 25 games with the team, hitting .247.
In addition to his head baseball coaching responsibilities, he will be working as an Admissions Counselor for Ellsworth Community College.