Position: Assistant Coach
Jimmy Belanger completed his first year with the Tiger program as pitching coach in 2023. Belanger, who was named to the staff on June 28, 2022, spent the previous three seasons at Florida State, mentoring many of the best pitchers in the ACC.
In his first season in Tigertown in 2023, Belanger coached the Tigers to the league championship by going 4-0 in the ACC Tournament at Durham, N.C. It was a big reason they earned the No. 4 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. Clemson went from last place in the ACC in early April with a 2-8 record and finished with a 20-10 league mark, good for second place in the overall standings, thanks in large part to a 17-game winning streak.
The Tigers finished the 2023 season with a 44-19 record, their best mark since 2018, and ranked as high as No. 15 in the nation by Baseball America in the final polls. Clemson had a 4.30 ERA, 19th in the nation, and the 604 strikeouts were fourth most in school history. The Tigers also set a school record for fielding percentage (.977).
Caden Grice, the winner of the 2023 John Olerud Two-Way Player-of-the-Year Award, earned first-team All-America honors. Grice, who was the No. 64 overall pick of the 2023 MLB draft, became the first Tiger in history to either lead the team or tie for the team lead in wins and homers in a season. He was 8-1 with a 3.35 ERA, .196 opponents’ batting average and 101 strikeouts against 33 walks in 78.0 innings pitched. Belanger also coached reliever Nick Clayton, who developed a new delivery prior to the season and had a 8-0 record and 3.17 ERA. Ryan Ammons was a 10th-round draft pick in 2023 as well.
Belanger has been a full-time assistant coach for 13 seasons, with stops at Monmouth (2010-12), Maryland (2013-16), Kentucky (2017-19) and Florida State (2020-22).
The 2022 Seminoles totaled 702 strikeouts in 534.0 innings pitched, good for a national-best 11.8 strikeouts-per-nine-innings-pitched mark. Their 3.34 strikeout-to-walk ratio (No. 4) and 702 strikeouts (No. 2) were among the top-four marks in the country as well.
In 2021, Florida State was also among the national leaders in strikeouts per nine innings pitched (11.4), strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.19) and ERA (3.45), as all three marks led the ACC. Freshman Parker Messick earned ACC Pitcher-of-the-Year and ACC Freshman-of-the-Year honors.
Belanger’s 2019 staff at Kentucky featured Zack Thompson, the highest-drafted pitcher in school history when he was selected No. 19 overall in the first round by the Cardinals. In 2017, Kentucky set school records for strikeouts and opponents’ batting average, as Sean Hjelle was named SEC Pitcher-of-the-Year that season. His 2017 staff included two All-Americans, one freshman All-American, two First-Team All-SEC selections and four pitchers drafted in the top-11 rounds.
As pitching coach at Maryland, he helped the Terrapins reach a super regional in 2014 and 2015, the first two super regional appearances in school history. In 2015, his pitchers totaled 549 strikeouts, leading to 42 wins. In 2014, Maryland reached 40 wins for the first time thanks in large part to All-ACC pitcher Jake Stinnett, who led the conference with 132 strikeouts.
In three seasons at Monmouth, Belanger worked with Pat Light, a first-round draft pick in 2012. He also mentored Nick Meyers, who was the 2011 NEC Pitcher-of-the-Year. He began his coaching career as a student assistant coach at Louisville in 2009, when the Cardinals advanced to a super regional.
Belanger played two seasons (2005,06) at Cecil (Md.) College before transferring to Louisville to play in 2007 and 2008. As a Cardinal, he pitched 98.2 innings over 33 appearances (17 starts). In 2007, Louisville reached the College World Series for the first time in school history.
Belanger graduated from Louisville in 2009 with a degree in sociology.
He was born James Michael Belanger on Sept. 23, 1986 in Queens, N.Y. The North Babylon, N.Y. native and his wife, Tiffany, have sons, Sutton and Hayes, and a daughter, Sloane.
December 6, 2023
November 28, 2023
November 17, 2023