Wed, Jul. 8, 2009 - [Baseball]
HENDERSON, Tenn. - It didn't take long for Freed-Hardeman University to find a new leader in the dugout at Carnes Field.

Former Lion player Jonathan Estes was introduced as the new baseball coach at a press conference on Wednesday, July 8.  He replaces Patrick McCarthy, who recently resigned to become the head baseball coach at Faulkner (Ala.) University.

Estes, a native of St. Charles, Mo., was a pitcher for the Lions for three seasons after transferring from St. Louis University in the fall of 1999.  During his time on the hill, he set numerous single-season and career school records.  His career 2.51 ERA and 25 complete games still rank as the best in program history.

Following his outstanding career at Freed-Hardeman, Estes was drafted in the 41st round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.  He spent three seasons in their farm system, making 52 appearances and posting a 7-3 minor league record with an ERA of 3.54 with stops at three different levels.

Almost immediately after his playing days ended, Estes transitioned into coaching.  He spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Ritenour High School before accepting the head coaching position at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis in June 2006.  Estes was named the American Midwest Conference Coach of the Year in 2007 after guiding the Hornets to a second place conference finish, the program's highest since 1994.

Harris-Stowe enjoyed success under Estes that it had not seen in a long time.  In two of his three seasons, the Hornets advanced to post-season play.  Prior to his arrival, the program had only been to the post-season twice in its previous 12 years.  HSSU had 20 all-conference selections, one conference player of the year, three freshmen of the year, and one national pitcher of the week under his guidance.

Estes's teams at Harris-Stowe also excelled in the classroom.  His program produced five NAIA Scholar-Athletes in 2009 and earned the NAIA Scholar Team Award in 2008.  During his three years, his squads placed 52 total players on the academic all-conference teams.

In addition to his experience at Harris-Stowe, Estes also spent two summers as the head coach of the O'Fallon, Mo., Legion team and one summer as the head coach of the Union City Greyhounds of the KIT Collegiate League, a summer league that includes players from NCAA Divisions I, II, and III as well as NAIA and JUCO athletes.

"We're excited to have Jonathan join our staff at FHU," said FHU athletic director Mike McCutchen.  "He has been successful as a college and professional player and as a coach at the college level.  Along with his knowledge and ability to teach the game, he understands the value of character and academic success among our student-athletes.  

"I believe that Jonathan will help carry out the mission of FHU athletics which is to maintain spiritual and academic integrity of the university and provide for a positive student-athlete experience, while striving for championships."

Estes received his undergraduate degree from Freed-Hardeman University in 2002, graduating Magna Cum Laude.  He later earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Lindenwood University in St. Charles.

He is married to the former Ashley Bennett and they have two sons: Dean, 2, and Lane, 9 months.