Jack Cressend begins his second season as an assistant coach at the University of Houston. Cressend who was hired by head coach Todd Whitting on July 15, 2010, came to Houston after coaching two years at his alma mater, Tulane University. As a member of Whitting's staff, he serves as the program's pitching coach, assists with recruiting, oversees team academics, summer ball placement and scouting reports.
In Cressend's first season at Houston in 2011, the Cougar pitching staff vastly improved as it posted its best team ERA since 2006. The UH pitching staff also hurled five shutouts, which is the most since 2002. In addition to producing on the field, Cressend made sure the Cougars were successful in the classroom as well. During the 2010 fall semester, the team finished with a 3.10 team GPA, the highest team GPA in program's history. A total of 17 student-athletes finished with a 3.0 GPA or higher, including four who were named to the Dean's List. During the 2011 spring semester, the team continued its academic success posting a 3.05 team GPA, while four more student athletes were named to the Dean's List.
During Cressend's two years as pitching coach at Tulane, eight pitchers went on to sign professional contracts. In 2009, RHP Conrad Flynn ranked 3rd in the nation in fewest walks allowed and was named First Team All-Louisiana after going 8-3 with a 3.93 ERA. Nick Pepitone was a member of Team USA during the 2009 summer after an impressive regular season in which he posted nine saves for the Green Wave to go along with a stingy 3.26 ERA. Overall, the 2009 Green Wave pitching staff finished the year with a 4.63 team ERA and finished 8th in the nation in fewest walks allowed.
Prior to his coaching career, Cressend spent 11 seasons playing professional baseball including five seasons (2000-2004) in the Major Leagues with the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians. In 2002, Cressend was a member of the American League Central Division Champion, Minnesota Twins. The Twins ended up losing to the eventual World Series Champion Anaheim Angels in the American League Championship Series. Cressend's best season in the major leagues came in 2004 with Cleveland when he posted a 2.51 ERA in 43 innings pitched with only nine walks. In 1997, Cressend was named the Red Sox's minor league pitcher of the year after leading Class A Sarasota in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, and games started. Over his entire professional career, Cressend made 370 appearances pitching 953 innings with 820 strikeouts.
As a player at Tulane, Cressend helped the Green Wave to two NCAA appearances (1994,1996) and one Conference USA Tournament title in 1996. In 1996, Cressend was named to the All-Conference USA tournament team after pitching a complete game shutout with eleven strikeouts in the championship game against South Florida. Cressend also led all of Conference USA in strikeouts that year with 138. He remains one of Tulane's career pitching leaders, ranking seventh in strikeouts per nine innings with 9.96, and is ranked eighth in opponent batting average (.257). He also holds several single season records, including strikeouts per nine innings with 10.78, in 1996. He is currently ranked ninth for appearances (29) and eighth for combined shutouts (2) in the Tulane baseball record books.
Cressend also shined in summer ball as he spent two summers in the prestigious Cape Cod League with the Cotuit Kettleers. Cressend was an impressive 14-1 over his two summers on the Cape. He was named to the All Star team twice and was voted Cotuit's team MVP in 1996. In the fall of 2010, Cressend was inducted into the Cape Cod Baseball Hall of Fame becoming one of 108 members to claim such an honor.
Prior to coaching at Tulane, Cressend served as an area scout for the Tampa Bay Rays from 2006-08. He also founded and coached the Louisiana Knights, a traveling baseball team designed to help high school players get more exposure to college coaches. Over the two years Cressend was involved with the Knights program he coached and helped over 40 players reach the college baseball ranks.
Cressend earned his bachelor's of science degree from the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane in 2008. He and his wife, Katy, have two sons, Cole and Cameron, and the family lives in Friendswood, Texas.