Jermaine Van Buren will be the new pitching coach on staff. Van Buren comes to NMMI with over 12 years in professional baseball, two years in the Major LB. For the past seven years he has been building one the top select baseball programs in Amarillo, Texas, helping to send over 200 kids to college while building relationships with coaches and other organizations along the way. Van Buren comes to New Mexico Military Institute with many years of baseball knowledge with exceptional mentors that have helped him gain ground in the game.
“I’m excited to announce the hiring of Jermaine Van Buren as our new Pitching Coach and Recruiting Coordinator,” said coach Cook. “As a head coach I’m not just looking to bring coaches on staff to improve the players – I want people that will also help me become a better coach. I said that to my team when introducing coach Van Buren in our first team meeting of the year, and I stand by that today. Coach Van Buren will be a tremendous asset to this program with his experience, energy, recruiting connections, and his overall positive attitude and love of the game. Although he will rarely mention his own personal accolades and baseball accomplishments, it’s no secret that he has an impressive baseball background. That background combined with his high passion for the game, and desire to develop players, will amplify our program. We are lucky to have him in our program and I look forward to working with him here at NMMI”.
Jermaine Van Buren has been married to Tiffany Van Buren for 11 years; they have four kids total, Jermaine 19, Jaiden 16, Lara 9, and Karis who is almost 1 year old. His family resides in Amarillo, TX where they have called home for the past seven years.
In high school, Van Buren played for the Hattiesburg High School Tigers (Miss). His senior season they were ranked the #10 high school team in the nation and won the Mississippi Class 5A State Championship title. Jermaine was named Gatorade Mississippi Player of the Year, breaking a school record with a .86 ERA, 13 wins, and 162 strikeouts.
After graduating high school, Van Buren was picked in the 2nd round of 98’ draft by the Colorado Rockies. While playing for the Arizona Rockies, Van Buren won the Arizona League’s Triple Crown award and also helped them win a league championship.
In 2004-2005, he led the league in saves while pitching for the AAA Iowa Cubs. In 2007, he recorded the last out to win the Pacific Coast League’s AAA championship with the Sacramento River Cats. He was named to All-Star teams in 1998, 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009.
Van Buren had two brief stints in the Major League: his first call up being with the Chicago Cubs in 2005 and again in 2006 with the Boston Red Sox. During the 2006 season, while pitching in the old Yankee Stadium and floating between MLB Boston and AAA Pawtucket, Van Buren led the AAA affiliate in saves.
Van Buren has also experienced many different cultures during his professional career – logging playing time in Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Taiwan. In 2008 he was the saves leader for Taiwan’s La New Bears team in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, earning Closer of the Year honors and a new nickname: ‘ The Big Bear.’
“I am humbled to have the opportunity to continue my coaching career and teach the game of baseball to kids that have the heart and fight to go out and win each day,” said Coach Van Buren. “I am grateful for the opportunity from Coach Cook and excited to help put my stamp on a program that is pushing the excellence envelope each day. I would just like to see each kid get what he wants out of the program and see them excel in life.”