(MSU Billings release)
BILLINGS — Announcing the newest member of his staff on Tuesday, Montana State University Billings baseball head coach Aaron Sutton introduced Riley Drongesen for the upcoming 2019-20 academic year.
“We are really looking forward to adding Coach Drongesen to our coaching staff,” said Sutton, who just finished his third season in charge of the Yellowjackets. “He will run our pitching staff and work with our catchers as well. Riley is versed in competing at a high level and is going to bring a new-age development to our arms. Most importantly, his makeup and core values fit right in with what our program stands for. ‘Jacket baseball is excited to be adding him and his wife Sarah to the family.”
Drongesen is a native of Granite Bay, California, and graduated from the University of the Pacific in 2014. He most recently served as an assistant coach at William Jessup University, helping lead the Warriors to a Golden State Athletic Conference title and a runner-up finish in the regional championships.
“I have gotten to know Coach Sutton over the last few years, and seeing what he’s done with the program at MSUB makes me incredibly excited to be a part of it,” said Drongesen. “He wins games, he develops players, and most importantly, his guys hold him in the highest regard. Judging from the pieces he has assembled and the resources he has allotted me as the pitching coach, I think we have a great opportunity to build off the recent success the Yellowjackets have experienced and make something really special here in Billings.”
Prior to his time at William Jessup, Drongesen served as the pitching coach at Yakima Valley College and helped the team to a runner-up finish in the NWAC. The pitching staff finished with a 3.25 earned run average, and led the league with 483 strikeouts to set a single-season team record.
Drongesen coached for the Wenatchee AppleSox in the summer of 2017, where he was an assistant coach for former all-region Yellowjackets Steen Fredrickson and Jalen Garcia. Drongesen’s staff led the league in ERA and ranked third in saves in 2017.
Drongesen’s playing career featured four years at University of the Pacific (2010-14) and a fifth year at Menlo College as a medical redshirt. Upon completing his collegiate career, Drongesen signed as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015. He played for multiple minor league teams over the course of two seasons, before ending his playing career and beginning his coaching tenure in 2017.
Drongesen is a 2010 graduate of Granite Bay High School and resides with his wife Sarah. He will begin his post as assistant coach at MSUB on September 1. He takes the place of Grant Hamilton, who spent two years working with the Yellowjacket pitching staff while completing his master’s degree in public relations at MSUB.
MSUB’s baseball team is coming off the best season in program history, as it tied the school record for wins going 33-20 overall. The Yellowjackets won their fourth Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular season title in the last five years by going 30-20 in league play, before winning their first-ever GNAC tournament title and advancing to the NCAA Division II West Region Championships for the first time.