LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech baseball head coach Tim Tadlock announced Wednesday the hiring of former All-American first baseman Eric Gutierrez as a volunteer assistant coach to his staff.
Gutierrez returns to Lubbock after wrapping up a professional career in the Miami Marlins organization. In 2016, Gutierrez was drafted in the 20th round by the Marlins and spent three years with the Batavia Muckdogs, Greensboro Grasshoppers and the Jupiter Hammerheads.
"We are extremely excited for Gute to be joining our staff and program," Tadlock said. "His work ethic & passion for the game and this university should serve our program well. Gute is one of the more diligent workers our program has ever had and he always had a knack for seeing things on the field."
Gutierrez, a native of Mission, was a four-year letterwinner and one of the most decorated student-athletes to don the scarlet & black at Texas Tech. He started every game of his collegiate career, primarily at first base, totaling 244 games, the most in school history. Gutierrez still holds four school records, leading the team in eight yearly categories and checks in with 30 marks that rank in the top 10 in the Tech record books.
"I'm so fortunate to start my career in Lubbock working alongside coach Tadlock and his amazing staff at Texas Tech," Gutierrez said. "I am beyond excited for this opportunity and I'm eager to start the season."
Over his four-year career at Tech, Gutierrez racked up a .302 batting average behind 264 hits, including 59 doubles, five triples and 36 homers, leaving the collegiate ranks with a .302/.423/.505 line. He also totaled 193 RBI and 173 runs scored, while reaching base 195 times via walk & hit-by-pitch.
Gutierrez immediately made an impact upon joining the Red Raiders as a freshman in 2013, Tadlock's first year as head coach, becoming the ninth player in school history to earn freshman All-America honors. He was the only Red Raider to play and start in all 56 games, batting cleanup for 42 of those games on his way to a .251 average with 48 hits, 29 RBI and 35 runs scored, including seven home runs, with four in consecutive games, the most by a freshman at Tech since 2010.
In 2014, Gutierrez helped guide the Red Raiders to their first College World Series in program history after being named to the NCAA Coral Gables Regional All-Tournament Team before a Lubbock Super Regional victory to punch Tech's ticket to Omaha. Sixty-two of his 66 starts came at the cleanup spot and he improved his marks to a 302 average with 74 hits, 18 doubles, two triples and 12 homers, along with 58 RBI and 46 runs scored. He finished the year ranked in the top 30 in the NCAA in three categories on his way to a Big 12 Player of the Year honors by the Waco Tribune-Herald and ABCA All-Midwest Regional Second Team accolades.
Gutierrez raised his batting average again in 2015, hitting .315 behind 64 hits, including 28 for extra bases, to go with 46 RBI and 38 runs scored as a junior. He added first team All-Big 12 honors and ABCA All-Midwest Region team accolades for the second-straight season before having his best year as a collegian in his final year in 2016.
The 2016 campaign saw the Red Raiders reach the College World Series for the second time in three years, as well as the start of consecutive seasons with Big 12 titles and No. 5 National Seed rankings heading into postseason play. Gutierrez captured the Big 12 Player of the Year award given out by the conference coaches and five All-America accolades after hitting .333 over 67 games. He finished the year with 78 hits, including 17 doubles, a triple and 13 homers, as well as 60 RBI and 54 runs scored.
After the 2014 & 2015 seasons, Gutierrez had the opportunity to participate in the College Home Run Derby, literally leaving his mark on TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha. In 2014, he broke the derby record by smashing 52 homers and finished runner-up at the event, smashing the previous mark of 20 while sending 29 over 400 feet. The next year, he finished fourth at the event with 17, coming just shy of making the final.
In August, Gutierrez graduated from Texas Tech with a degree in general studies.