Saint Ignatius College Prep has a new head coach for its baseball program. Joel Southern brings deep experience to the Wolfpack. Most recently, he occupied that role at Elmhurst University.
As the leader of the Bluejays, Coach Southern was a recipient of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) Coach of the Year Award (2012). His team had appearances in the CCIW Tournament in 2007, 2012 and 2021, and enjoyed consecutive 20-win seasons in 2016, 2017 and 2018. During his time at Elmhurst, the program produced 35 All-CCIW honorees, 24 All-Central Region performers, two All-Americans and three All-Region Gold Glove award winners. Prior to Elmhurst, Coach Southern acted as an assistant coach at Western New England University and the University of Chicago.
Athletics credentials aren't the only part of his story. Coach Southern's academic skills brought him to Saint Ignatius College Prep. He will be joining our science department for a second time, having taught here in the 2001-2002 school year.
A graduate of Augustana College, Coach Southern later earned a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1999, and a Master of Education degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Athletic Administration at Springfield College (Mass.) in 2004.
Coach Southern understands what it means to be a student-athlete. At Augustana, he was a three-year starter and letter winner for the Vikings' baseball team, earning all-CCIW second-team honors, and finishing his college baseball career with a .308 batting average. He was also a two-year letter winner for the football team
“We are excited to welcome Coach Southern as our next baseball head coach and member of our Saint Ignatius Wolfpack family,” said Athletic Director Mike Hurley, “As an experienced and successful collegiate head coach and former collegiate student-athlete, he has trained and developed student-athletes and teams at a high level. He is a leader who will demand the best on and off the field of our student-athletes, reflecting our Jesuit mission and values throughout the program. We look forward to seeing the program advance under his leadership."
Coach Southern said, "I am very much looking forward to working with the student-athletes at St. Ignatius to build on their recent success in one of the top conferences in the state of Illinois. I want to thank Mike Hurley and all the members of the committee for the opportunity, and I am excited to get started!"