Sept. 6, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - Two Lions return to campus this season, this time as members of the LMU baseball coaching staff. Benny Bonilla (1997-2000) and Brady Koch (2001-2004) were named assistant coaches, Head Coach Frank Cruz announced.
Bonilla will serve as the pitching coach, while Koch will work primarily with the LMU catchers.
Bonilla was a four-year letterman for the Lions as a left-handed pitcher. He received All-West Coast Conference recognition three seasons and still holds the LMU record for single-season winning percentage after going 9-1 in 2000. As a freshman in 1997, Bonilla led the Lion pitchers in victories. Bonilla and the Lions went on to win three straight West Coast Conference Championships in 1998, 1999, and 2000.
Following his undergraduate days in a Lion uniform, Bonilla signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and played one season in the organization. He then returned to his alma mater, Carlsbad High School, as an assistant coach.
Most recently, Bonilla was the pitching coach at Mission Hills High School in San Marcos, Calif., helping guide the team to the CIF semifinals in just its second season of existence. Bonilla and the Grizzlies finished 22-11.
Koch, who began working with the Lions last spring, officially returns to the club this fall.
After spending one season in the Houston Astros organization, Koch returned to LMU to work with the team and the summer camp program.
Koch was a four-year letterman as a catcher for the Lions. In his senior season, Koch helped the Lions to their best West Coast Conference record in 15 seasons.
"It is really special when LMU players return to the program as coaches," Cruz said. "Benny and Brady will both bring knowledge, talent, and a sense of tradition to our team right from the start."
The Lions open the 2007 season at Page Stadium against Sacramento State February 2.