COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Assistant coach Eric Milton has been elevated to interim head coach of the University of Maryland baseball team, director of athletics Kevin Anderson announced Thursday.
Milton, who played at Maryland from 1994-96 and had an 11-year Major League career, joined the Terrapin coaching staff as volunteer assistant in September 2011.
“I’m honored to accept this position and look forward to working with our players and recruits in the coming months,” said Milton. “My goal when I came here was to help develop our players for professional careers and build a winning tradition at my alma mater. That goal remains the same.”
“Eric’s knowledge of the game of baseball, as well as this institution, makes him the right person to guide the program at this time,” said Anderson. “In his 11-year Major League career and during his time as an assistant last season, Eric has proven his ability as an elite talent and teacher. We couldn’t be happier to have him serve in this role.”
With Milton serving as interim coach, Maryland will move forward with a national search for a head coach.
Milton was an American League All-Star for the Minnesota Twins in 2001 and won 89 games in his major-league career, also pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds and L.A. Dodgers.
In his career, Milton started 270 games, pitched over 1,500 innings and faced nearly 7,000 batters, giving him a wealth of experience at the highest level of baseball.
A first-round draft pick of the New York Yankees in the 1996 amateur draft, Milton made his Major League debut at the age of 22 for the Twins.
From 1999-2001, he averaged 160 strikeouts per season, ranking in the top 11 of the American League each year. He was an All-Star in 2001 when he went 15-7 with a 4.32 ERA and a career-high 220 2/3 innings pitched.
He won 41 games for the Twins from 2000-2002 and helped them reach the American League Championship Series in ’02.
Milton led the Philadelphia Phillies with a 14-6 record in 2004, when he topped the 200-inning mark for the fourth time in his career. He went on to pitch for the Reds for three seasons and finished his career with the Dodgers in 2009.
At Maryland, Milton racked up 236 strikeouts in his three-year career, which ranks third in school history. In his last season, 1996, Milton struck out 118, a mark that stands as the second most in a season in program annals.