MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A former West Virginia baseball player has joined the coaching ranks in one of the most well-known organizations in Major League Baseball.
Chase Illig, a former Mountaineer catcher, announced Saturday that he has joined the Boston Red Sox organization as a coach in the club’s minor league system.
“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the organization I grew up loving,” Illig said in his social media post. “Looking forward to this new chapter in my baseball career. Let’s go Red Sox!”
He will join the Salem Red Sox, Boston’s Single-A affiliate, as a catching coach, and will also assist in hitting instruction with the club.
Illig is a Bluefield, West Virginia native, and played two seasons for Randy Mazey and the Mountaineers. He was part of the 2017 WVU squad that played in an NCAA Region, snapping the program’s two-decade-long postseason drought. Illig was on the WVU roster entering the 2019 season, but missed the entire year due to injury.
He was still drafted that year, taken in the 29th round by the New York Yankees – his new employer’s arch-rival.
The former Mountaineer backstop last played professionally in 2021, when he suited up for three teams within the Yankees minor league system. Since then, he has been earning his stripes as a coach, most notably with the Appalachian Aces. He has also held youth baseball clinics within the Mountain State.
Illig earned Academic All-Big 12 honors in each of his two playing seasons at West Virginia. He played in a total of 80 games for the Mountaineers, collecting 43 hits, eight home runs, and 35 runs batted in.