OMAHA, Neb. - Creighton baseball head coach Ed Servais has announced the hiring of a pair of new assistant coaches, both who bring a wealth of baseball knowledge and a background intertwined in the Creighton program. Spencer Allen returns to the Bluejay staff following a six year hiatus, while Tom Lipari returns to his native Omaha after stints in four other coaching positions.
"I am very excited to have both Spencer and Tom joining our coaching staff," said Servais. "I am thrilled Spencer is back in our program. He is a very talented recruiter and teacher. Tom comes to us from the University of Pittsburgh, and I am so impressed with how he has the ability to break the game down.
"Both Spence and Tom will be positive additions to our coaching staff and program overall and I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with both."
Allen was a member of the Creighton coaching staff during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, working primarily with the outfielders and catchers for the Bluejays. Allen also assisted with recruiting, coordinated baseball camps and worked to improve the academic success of the baseball student-athletes. The program compiled a 79-38 record during Allen's two season's on the bench, winning the first Missouri Valley Conference title in school history in 2005. That squad finished with a 48-17 record, the second-most wins in program history (51 in 1991). Creighton advanced to the NCAA Tournament following the 2005 regular season, defeating 17th-ranked North Carolina State in the Lincoln, Neb., opener. The Bluejays fell to eventual CWS participant Nebraska twice to close out the remarkable season.
The Olympia, Wash., native then served as an area scout for the Detroit Tigers, identifying and tracking Major League Baseball prospects in the Pacific Northwest and Canada.
After one season, Allen had the opportunity to get back into coaching and helped guide the Purdue team to two-straight Big Ten Tournament appearances, working primarily with the hitters, catchers and outfielders. Allen was once again involved heavily in recruiting, as the coordinator from 2008-09. In 2008, the Boilermakers set school records with a .309 team batting average and 124 doubles. The doubles and 44 home runs both led the conference.
Allen has most recently spent three seasons as a member of the Washington State University coaching staff, coaching both the hitters and catchers, as well as coordinating recruiting. The 2010 Cougars team made the program's second-straight NCAA postseason appearances. In his three seasons at WSU, Allen helped the Cougars to a 91-78 overall record, guiding five members of the 2012 squad to be selected in the Major League Baseball draft.
A 2001 graduate of Iowa State, Allen played three seasons for the Cyclones from 1999-2001. An All-Big 12 Academic selection in 2001, he served as team captain during his final season and was a two-time Iowa State Scholar-Athlete Award recipient.
Allen is married to the former Jessica Draemel, who was a member of the Bluejay softball staff in the mid-2000's.
A native of Omaha, Lipari grew up wanting to be a pitcher on the Bluejay staff, following his father, Ted, who played for the Bluejays in the mid-1970's. He returns to Omaha after two years at Pittsburgh, where he brought immediate success to the Panther's pitching staff.
Lipari guided two pitchers to the MLB Entry Draft in his first season, also leading an All-BIG EAST selection (Matt Iannazzo) in his first year on the bench. In 2012, Lipari led Iannazzo to his third All-BIG EAST honor, also being selected into the Chicago Cubs organization.
Before joining the Panthers, Lipari spent two years at Youngstown State, serving as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator in addition to heading the squad's strength and conditioning regimens.
Lipari was a volunteer assistant at Michigan State from 2007-08 after leading the St. Cloud Riverbats to the Northwoods League title as the teams pitching coach in the summer of 2007. He got his start in coaching as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa from 2005-07.
After graduating from Benson High School in 1997, Lipari played two seasons at Indian Hills Community College in Centerville, Iowa, highlighted by a third-place finish at the Junior College World Series his freshman season. He then traveled to the University of New Orleans, where he suited up for the 2001-02 seasons. He was honored as the National Collegiate player of the Week for his nine-inning no-hitter against Southern Mississippi in 2001. Lipari became just the fourth player in UNO history to record over 100 strikeouts in one season in 2002.
He continued his playing career moving on to the San Diego Padres organization, spending time with three different farm teams. He was traded into the Houston Astros organization in 2004, playing with the Salem Avalanche before concluding his playing career with a two-year stint with the Sioux City Explorers in 2005-06.
Lipari and his wife, the former Rebecca Blackman, are both returning home, as the couple are both originally from Omaha, Neb.