Matt Myers Baseball Camps
WKU assistant coach Blake Allen enters his fifth year as an assistant with the Hilltopper baseball program, heading up the efforts with the WKU hitters and with recruiting. Allen, who spent four years as a volunteer assistant at Vanderbilt University, came to the Hill under former WKU head coach Chris Finwood in 2009.
Allen helped organize a 2012-13 Hilltopper signing class that included 14 student-athletes that spanned from seven different states, including seven from the state of Kentucky. Allen helped bring in talent from both the junior college and the high school ranks, with five players choosing WKU following time at junior colleges.
Allen has played a key role in developing Hilltopper players at the plate, as four of the WKU regular starters in 2012 saw their batting averages increase from the year before, including senior Casey Dykes, who led the team with a .289 average, with 33 RBI and 66 hits in 2012.
Senior Jared Andreoli, who spent all four years under Allen, ended his career with his named etched in numerous categories in the Hilltopper baseball record books, including ranking second in WKU history in hits (287), third in runs scored (196), sixth in games played (221), second in triples (15), seventh in stolen bases (40) and set the WKU all-time record for at-bats with 894.
Allen witnessed the Hilltopper hitters display a more patient approach at the plate in 2012, as WKU drew 277 walks on the year, good for the sixth-most in program history, and the most since drawing 290 free passes in 2009.
In his four years at WKU, the Hilltoppers as a team have hit over .300 for the year on two different occassions, including a .330 team average in 2009 – Allen’s first year. The 2009 Hilltopper hitters were highlighted by sophomore catcher Matt Rice’s school record 101-hit season and a spot on the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American Team. WKU ended Allen’s first season on the Hill in the top six in all nine single-season team categories and set new program marks for at bats (2,190), runs (538) and RBI (490).
The 2009 season also ranks second all-time in school history for total bases (1,152) and walks (290), third in home runs (88) and triples (21), fourth in batting average (.330) and sixth in doubles (124).
Allen has witnessed Hilltopper position players move on to the next level, as eight different position players have been drafted in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft since 2009. That list includes 2011 draftee and former Hilltopper outfielder Kes Carter, who was tabbed as the 56th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Rays – the highest draft pick in school history.
Catcher Matt Rice, who spent three years under Allen at WKU, was also selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011. Rice’s success behind the plate and as a hitter continued at the next level, as Rice hit .301 in 74 games behind the plate for the Bowling Green Hot Rods – class A affiliate of the Rays.
In Allen’s four years with the Vanderbilt program, he worked primarily with hitters and catchers and also assisted with the team’s strength and conditioning program. During his four seasons with the Commodores, Allen was part of three NCAA Regional teams, as well as an SEC championship team in 2007. The 2007 team was ranked No. 1 in the nation for most of the season and received the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Allen worked with two catchers in his four years at Vanderbilt that were drafted in the top 20 rounds of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Brian Hernandez was taken in the 19th round of the 2006 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres, and Shea Robin was a 20th round selection in 2008 by the Houston Astros.
A native of St. Louis, Mo., Allen began his collegiate playing career at DePauw (Ind.) University and finished at Blackburn (Ill.) College. At Blackburn, Allen was an all-conference and record-setting performer in both baseball and football.
He joined the Vanderbilt coaching staff after one year as baseball recruiting coordinator and linebackers/special teams coach for football at Franklin (Ind.) College. While there, he worked with the catchers and hitters, and also was involved with the strength and conditioning program as the baseball team set a record for home runs in a season and finished with its second-best victory total in team history.
Prior to that, he was a graduate assistant for both football and baseball for two years at DePauw.
Allen earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Blackburn College in 2001 and his Masters in Kinesiology from Indiana State in 2003.
A native of St. Louis, Mo., Allen is married to the former Cristin Czubik.
Brendan Dougherty enters his second season as an assistant baseball coach at Western Kentucky University in 2013, after joining the coaching staff in August of 2011 after six seasons at Coastal Carolina.
In Dougherty’s first year on the Hill, he helped the Hilltoppers to a .971 fielding percentage, good for the fourth-best percentage in the Sun Belt Conference. Two of the Hilltopper infielders – Ryan Huck and Scott Wilcox – posted fielding percentages of .994 and .978, respectively. Wilcox, a second team all-Sun Belt Conference selection as a utility player, saw action at three of the four infield positions in 2012, making only nine errors in a team-best 400 chances.
Dougherty was also instrumental in WKU’s offensive approach, as four different Hilltoppers hit .275 or better on the year, to go along with drawing 277 walks, which ranked sixth all-time in WKU history for the most walks by Hilltopper hitters in a season.
In his first true offseason with the program, Dougherty helped bring in a 14-member signing class in 2012. The large signing class included student-athletes from seven different states, including seven from the state of Kentucky and four from within a 30-mile radius of Bowling Green.
Dougherty experienced success at the highest level as an assistant at Coastal Carolina, as the Chanticleer’s made five consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, including a berth in the Super Regionals in both 2008 and 2010.
Coastal Carolina’s 2010 run was due in large part to the play of the infield, as the Chanticleer’s turned 50 doubles plays and saw shortstop Taylor Motter, third baseman Scott Woodward and second baseman Tommy La Stella each earn first team All-Big South honors. La Stella led the team in hitting (.378) and only made five errors in 213 chances for a .977 fielding percentage. He also solidified the middle of the CCU defense that included Motter and All-American centerfielder Rico Noel.
While at Coastal Carolina, Dougherty also coached third baseman Tyler Bortnick, who was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 16th round of the 2009 Major League First-Year Player draft, along with first baseman David Anderson who was named the Big South Player of the Year and Big South Tournament MVP after posting a .989 fielding percentage in 63 games and hitting 21 home runs in 2009.
Before making the move to Coastal Carolina, Dougherty spent a pair of seasons as an assistant coach at Army. During Dougherty’s stay, the Black Knights won the Patriot League title and advanced to the NCAA Regionals, which included a win in 2005 over South Alabama in the Tallahassee Regional. In Dougherty’s first year at West Point, he helped second baseman Nate Stone to an All-America honor from the American Baseball Coaches' Association, becoming the first Army player in 40 years to accomplish that feat.
Before Army, Dougherty spent the 2003 season at Auburn, working with the Tigers' infielders, outfielders and catchers, while assisting with bunting and baserunning. Auburn hosted a regional in that year and went 42-21 with an 18-12 record in the Southeastern Conference.
Dougherty began his coaching career at Elon University, spending four years as the Phoenix's hitting instructor and recruiting coordinator. During his time at Elon, Dougherty coached six all-conference performers and helped the Phoenix to their first NCAA Regional appearance in 2002.
Dougherty played two seasons at Coastal Carolina (1996-97), hitting .287 with 40 RBI in 104 games, playing mainly at shortstop, setting Coastal Carolina's single-season and career records for assists. Dougherty received his degree in interdisciplinary studies from Coastal Carolina in 1998.
Before Coastal Carolina, Dougherty played at Potomac State Junior College, where he posted a .370 career batting average and was a third team All-American in 1994. He was named a National Junior College Athletic Association All-American the following year, while helping the school to a national championship. He also was named to the Junior College World Series All-Tournament team that season. Dougherty was inducted into the Potomac State Athletic Hall of Fame in the spring of 2008.
Dougherty married the former Jonna Bunn in December of 2008. The couple has a son, Cruz Watson, born Nov. 1, 2010.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Jeff Mercer enters his first season as a volunteer assistant coach at Western Kentucky University in 2012. Prior to coming to the Hill, Mercer spent the 2011 season as a volunteer assistant coach at Michigan.
"Over the past few years I have heard great things about WKU baseball with a couple guys from my hometown having played here recently," Mercer said. "When the opportunity arose to coach here, I felt it was something I couldn't pass up and I jumped at the chance. There's little doubt with the success the program has had and with the direction of Coach Myers and the rest of the staff, there's a lot of wins in the programs future. I'm very fortunate to be here and looking forward to the opportunity to be part of WKU baseball."
Mercer will assist with the pitchers and outfielders as well as assisting with camps at WKU.
While serving as the volunteer assistant in 2011, Mercer worked with the catchers and outfielders. Mercer spent the 2010 season as the graduate assistant coach at Ohio Northern University where he was in charge of the infielders and hitters and was the recruiting coordinator.
As native of Bargersville, Ind., Mercer played two seasons at Dayton before transferring to Wright State where was a two-time First-Team All Horizon honoree as a first baseman. He was named to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper All-American Third Team in 2009 after hitting .357 with 26 doubles and 74 RBIs. He was also named the Horizon League Player of the Year in 2009. He was also named to the Horizon League All-Tournament team tied the Wright State single-season records for RBIs, doubles, games played and games started.
Mercer earned a degree in organizational leadership from Wright State in 2009.
Bio Coming Soon!