June 21, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Former Michigan State catcher Eric Roof has rejoined the program as a volunteer assistant coach, head coach Jake Boss announced on Thursday.
Roof replaces Jake Boss Sr., who retired following the 2012 season after 45 consecutive years of coaching baseball, including the past four as a volunteer assistant at MSU. Roof will primarily work with the catchers and hitters in addition to performing various administrative duties.
"We couldn't be more excited to have Eric Roof back at Michigan State as our new volunteer assistant," said Boss. "Eric is an outstanding baseball mind, and he will be a very good coach who will work with catchers and hitters. His experiences not only as a captain here at MSU, but also in professional baseball the last four years, will enable him to be a valuable member of our coaching staff."
Roof was a three-year letterwinner at Michigan State from 2007-09 and served as a captain his senior season. He compiled a .314 batting average in 136 career games, including 115 starts, to go along with 10 homers and 83 RBIs. A native of Paducah, Ky., Roof played his freshman season at St. Catherine (Ky.) College.
After batting .308 his junior year in 2008, Roof was selected in the 46th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by Detroit, but elected to return to MSU his senior year. He responded by starting all 54 games and led the Spartans in batting average (.345), hits (69), doubles (14), RBIs (41), slugging percentage (.525) and on-base percentage (.440). For his efforts, he was named Michigan State's Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year.
Following his impressive senior season, Roof jumped 28 rounds in the 2009 MLB Draft and was taken in the 18th round by the Tigers.
Roof played three seasons in the minor leagues (2009-11) in the Tigers organization. He began his professional career in 2009 with the Oneonta Tigers in the Class A New York-Penn League. Roof also played in the New York-Penn League for the Connecticut Tigers in 2010 as well as the West Michigan Whitecaps in the Class A Midwest League. In 2011, Roof appeared in 40 games with the Lakeland Flying Tigers in the Class A Advanced Florida State League.
Roof's family has been very successful on all levels of baseball. His father, Gene, played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Montreal Expos in the 1980s, and is currently a coach in the Detroit Tigers organization as the baserunning coordinator. Eric's younger brother, Jonathan, was also a three-year letterwinner (2008-10) at MSU as a shortstop and was chosen in the eighth round of the 2010 MLB Draft by Texas; he's currently playing for the Triple-A Tucson Padres in the Pacific Coast League. Eric's older brother, Shawn, played at Illinois and is on the New Britain Rock Cats of the Double-A Eastern League.