NORMAN – University of Oklahoma head baseball coach Skip Johnson announced Wednesday the promotion of volunteer assistant Reggie Willits to associate head coach.
Willits joined the Oklahoma staff in January and served as volunteer coach during the 2022 season in which the Sooners won the Big 12 Championship and reached the finals of the NCAA Men's College World Series. He will continue to coordinate the OU offense and coach outfielders.
"Reggie did an outstanding job with our offense and outfielders this season, and played a large role in our team's success," Johnson said. "We're excited for him to join our staff full time and look forward to building on our offensive and team success from this season into the future."
In 2022, Willits guided an Oklahoma offense that batted .293, averaged 7.5 runs and 9.8 hits per game and ranked fourth nationally with 145 stolen bases. OU registered its most steals since 1989, generated its most home runs (73) since 2010 and its highest team batting average since 2011.
Six Sooners notched double-digit steals for the first time since 1989 and three players (Peyton Graham , Tanner Tredaway  and Kendall Pettis ) finished with more than 20 steals for the first time since 1994. On six occasions, a player tallied three stolen bases in a single game, which had not occurred once since 2013. Prior to this year none of those players had more than seven steals over the course of a season.
Willits, who played at Oklahoma from 2002-03, returned to OU in January after completing a six-year stint with the New York Yankees organization, including the last four seasons as the major league first base coach and outfield instructor. He also served as the club's baserunning coordinator.
A former major league outfielder, Willits joined the Yankees organization as a minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator in 2015 and was promoted to major league first base coach and outfield instructor in 2018.
Willits was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the seventh round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft and played six seasons with the Angels. Following his MLB playing career, Willits served as head baseball coach at Binger-Oney High School in Binger, Okla., from 2012 through '15, leading the Bobcats to two state championships.
In his two-year playing career at Oklahoma, Willits compiled a .335 batting average and .438 on-base percentage, and totaled 144 hits, 105 runs scored, 28 doubles, 54 steals and 63 walks. He earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors with the Sooners in 2003 when he led the conference with 37 stolen bases, a figure that still ranks sixth in program history. His 54 steals over the 2002 and '03 seasons are tied for 10th in program history while his .472 on-base percentage in 2003 is the fifth-highest average of the last 25 years and highest in the last 18 seasons.
A Chickasha, Okla., native, Willits graduate from Fort Cobb High School and transferred to Oklahoma after spending his first two collegiate years at Seminole State College. He received his bachelor's degree in multidisciplinary studies from Oklahoma in 2014.