Leading the Dans to Victory

COACHING STAFF

MANAGER

ERIC COLEMAN

ASSISTANT COACH

RON POLK

PITCHING COACH

ANDREW LOUDERMILK

HITTING COACH

JESSE HALL

ERIC COLEMAN

Eric Coleman has been a fixture on the top step of the Danville Stadium dugout for nine seasons. And he will be back for his tenth as manager of the Danville Dans.

His 2023 team finished in first place in the Wabash River Division and made the Prospect League playoffs for the fifth straight season. During his tenure in Danville his teams have compiled a record of 312-217 for a .590 winning percentage, with seven of his nine teams making the playoffs.

Coleman set a personal mark of 300 victories with the Dans during the 2023 season. The team also recorded their 1,000th regular season win toward the end of the 2023 season.

Coleman's impact on Dans players is evident in the numbers. There have been six of his Dans players make it to the Majors, including recent call-up Will Klein with the Royals. A total of 32 players that played under Coleman's leadership have been selected in the MLB Draft -- including Landon Tomkins, Sam Whiting and Johnathon Thomas from the 2022 team that were selected in the 2023 draft. An additional 4 Dans signed professional contracts with major league farm systems following the draft.

Coleman has coached summer collegiate baseball in the New England Collegiate League, Northwoods League, Coastal Plains League, Texas Collegiate League and Perfect Game Collegiate League for 10 different years. He also spent time coaching in the Frontier League with the Midwest Sliders/Oakland County Cruisers and Joliet Slammers.

Eric Coleman has become part of the mystique of the Danville Dans, and we're glad to have him back in 2024.

RON POLK

When legendary college baseball coaches are discussed, the conversation will undoubtedly include the name Ron Polk. The Danville Dans are excited to have Coach Polk on their coaching staffing for the third year in a row in 2024. Polk has 52 years of experience coaching NCAA-D1 teams and has compiled one of the most successful winning records. His resume includes 1,373 wins, eight trips to the College World Series, six Hall of Fames inductions, and seven tours as a USA Baseball coach.

Polk’s connection to the Danville Dans goes back to the start of the current franchise. About 36 years ago, he first sent one of his staff to coach in Danville. He even traveled to Danville to be a guest speaker at a local sports banquet. “Our coaching staff and players will learn a lot from him.” said Rick Kurth, Danville Dans co-owner. “I believe his time here will lead to some pretty exciting games, too. After all, we’re all about player development and a fun time at the ballpark. It’s a genuine honor to have Ron Polk join the Danville Dans.” Coach Polk has coached at Georgia Southern University and University of Arizona but is most famous for his 29 years as head coach of the Mississippi State baseball team.  With a total of 31 seasons as a head coach in the SEC, Polk is often referred to as the "Father of Southeastern Conference Baseball." He has coached summer baseball in the Cape Cod League for the eight years previously, but wanted to get closer to home during the season. He offered to help out in Danville, and team management welcomed him with open arms. 

Polk’s unmatched expertise will benefit the college athletes from across the country who come to Danville, IL to develop their baseball skills during the upcoming Prospect League season. "Anytime you get to work with a baseball legend like Coach Polk, it's an honor,” said Dans manager, Eric Coleman. “His knowledge of the game is second to none. We couldn't be more excited for our players and coaches to learn from him this summer." Polk’s coaching technics get results. Nearly 200 of the players he has coached have signed professional baseball contracts, with 29 of those athletes played in Major League Baseball. Eight of those major leaguers were first round draft picks. This success is why his textbook, The Baseball Playbook, is the chosen teaching tool at 450 colleges and has sold more than 125,000 copies.

ANDREW LOUDERMILK

Andrew Loudermilk joins the Dans coaching staff as the 2024 pitching coach.

Loudermilk enters his third year at East Texas Baptist University. In January 2021, he was promoted to Director of Operations, where he also assists with pitchers and catchers.

During his two years, ETBU has won back-to-back ASC regular season championships with the programs first ASC Tournament Championship coming in 2023. Also 2023 would see ETBU advance to the Division III National Championship losing out to the eventual National Champions, Lynchburg University.

He came to ETBU after a playing career at the University of Houston-Victoria (NAIA). Loudermilk graduated from UHV in May 2021 with a degree in business management and a degree in Human Resources. In January 2023, he earned his master’s degree in Strategic Communication from ETBU.


ANDREW LOUDERMILK

Jesse Hall is the new Hitting Coach for the Dans,
A native of Tallahassee, FL, Hall has been a graduate assistant with Troy University baseball since the spring of 2023. During that time he has helped with infield and hitting over the last year in a half. His 2024 team was disciplined at the plate, ranking ninth in runs scored, 14th in runs per game and fifth in walks in country.
Hall also played at Troy for three years, mostly shortstop but also second and third. Prior to Troy, he played two years at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College.



CASEY CROMWELL

Casey Cromwell, a Danville native, will be Bench Coach for the 2024 Danville Dans season.

She has been the head coach of the Washington University softball team for the past two years. Her two teams have accumulated a 48-30 record, and they hosted a DIII softball regional earlier this spring. 

Prior to WashU, Cromwell spent five seasons as the head coach at nearby Fontbonne University where she has steadily increased the success of the Griffins' program. She began her coaching career at Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW) where she served as a graduate assistant for two years, focusing on the team's defense, assisting with strength and conditioning workouts, practice plans, mental training, statistics, winter workouts, team travel and hitting clinics.

Cromwell played softball for four years at Danville High School, earning first team all-conference accolades each season. She was named the Commercial News Player of the Year as a junior

Following high school, Cromwell played one year at Weatherford College in Texas. She went on to play her final three years at Lamar University in Texas, where she earned all-conference honors.