Head Coach Eric Roof
Roof just completed his third season as an assistant coach in 2016, after spending the prior two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at MSU. Roof serves as the Eagle's hitters, outfielders and catchers coach.
In 2016, the Eagle offense collected 19 more hits and scored 43 more runs in 2016 than in 2015. The team saw a power surge, slugging 35 points better this season, including clubbing 47 home runs, 28 better than 2015 and the most since 2010. The home run total ranked third in the MAC and 51st in the country.
In his first season coaching the catchers in 2015, he helped Tony DiLeo throw out 43 percent of base stealers, which led the Mid-American Conference. As a team, the Eagles threw out the second most would-be base stealers in the Conference.
At MSU with Roof coaching the catchers, the Spartan mask men threw out 39 baserunners on attempted steals throughout the 2014 campaign, leading the Big Ten Conference. Roof coached Joel Fisher, the Danny Litwhiler Defensive Player of the Year and Third Team All-Big Ten honoree, who was the conference leader in gunning down baserunners with 30. Following the season, Fisher was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 23rd round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Returning to East Lansing as a coach in 2013, the MSU battery caught 27 stealing on the base path while Spartan sluggers hit at a .281 clip to rank fourth in the conference.
Roof played three seasons in the minor leagues (2009-11) for the Tigers organization. He began his professional career in 2009 with the Oneonta Tigers in the Class A New York-Penn League before playing in the New York-Penn League for the Connecticut Tigers in 2010 as well as the West Michigan Whitecaps in the Class A Midwest League. Wrapping up his playing career in 2011, Roof appeared in 40 games with the Lakeland Flying Tigers of the Class A Advanced Florida State League.
As a student-athlete at Michigan State from 2007-09, Roof was a three-year letterwinner and served as a captain his senior season. He compiled a .314 batting average in 136 career games, including 115 starts, to go along with 10 homers and 83 RBIs. Prior to arriving in East Lansing, the Paducah, Ky. native played his freshman season at St. Catherine (Ky.) College.
Roof batted .308 as a junior in 2008 and was rewarded by being selected in the 46th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Detroit Tigers; however, he elected to return to MSU for his senior year. The decision paid off as the team captain started all 54 games and led the Spartans in batting average (.345), hits (69), doubles (14), RBIs (41), slugging percentage (.525) and on-base percentage (.440). For his strong season, Roof was named Michigan State’s Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year and jumped 28 rounds in the 2009 MLB Draft as the Tigers picked him up in the 18th round.
Roof is not the only one in his family that has been successful on all levels of baseball. His father, Gene, played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Montreal Expos in the 1980s, and is currently a coach in the Detroit Tigers organization as the baserunning coordinator. Eric’s younger brother, Jonathan, was also a three-year letterwinner (2008-10) at MSU as a shortstop and was chosen in the eighth round of the 2010 MLB Draft by Texas; he is currently a member of the Boston Red Sox’s AA farm club, the Portland Sea Dogs. His older brother, Shawn, played at Illinois and is on the Frederick Keys, a High A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.
Assistant Coach Jonathan Roof
Jonathan Roof was named an assistant coach of the EMU Baseball team for the 2019 season, July 2. Jonathan, the younger brother of Eric, will work with the EMU hitters and defense.
Jonathan comes to Ypsilanti after a stint at the University of Missouri as the teams' volunteer assistant coach in 2018. While with the Tigers, Jonathan served as the defensive coordinator, as well as the first base coach. He helped take the Mizzou defense from 195th in the country in fielding percentage in 2017, to seventh in the nation in 2018.
Before joining the Missouri coaching staff, Jonathan returned to Michigan State in 2016 as a student assistant coach as he finished up his undergraduate degree. While back with the Spartans, Jonathan assisted the infielders and offense, while also helping with camps and other daily office duties.
The Paducah, Ky. native spent six seasons as a professional baseball player in the Red Sox, Phillies, Padres, and Rangers systems, as well as a season with the New Britain Bees in the Atlantic League. He was drafted in the eighth round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Rangers. Jonathan finished his career in AAA with the Pawtucket Red Sox, and batted .254 in 504 career games, while belting 18 home runs, driving in 176 runners, and stealing 35 bags, all while playing every infield and outfield position. He was a Carolina League All-Star in 2014, as well as an organizational All-Star for Philadelphia in 2013.
During his time as a three-year letterwinner for the Spartans, Jonathan native started all 160 games he played in during his three-year career. Roof then bypassed his senior season of eligibility after getting drafted by the Rangers. At the time, he was the highest Spartan drafted since Bob Malek was chosen in the fourth round in 2002.
As a Spartan, Roof hit .299 for his career, registering 188 hits, with 31 doubles, five triples, seven home runs, 95 RBI and 31 stolen bases. Defensively, Roof had a .948 career fielding percentage with 481 assists.
In his 2010 junior season, Roof ranked tied for fifth in the Big Ten Conference in the regular season with 53 runs scored and hit .317 with four homers and 43 RBIs. Roof also collected 72 hits, 16 stolen bases, 13 doubles and owned a .372 on-base percentage.
During the regular season, the slick fielding shortstop led the league in assists (173) and tied for fifth in fielding double plays (43); both of those marks were school single-season records at the time.
For his efforts in 2010, Roof became the first Spartan since 2006 to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors. Roof was also selected in the MLB Draft out of high school in the 39th round by the Boston Red Sox.
Jonathan completed his degree in social science at MSU in August of 2017. He is a 2007 graduate of St. Mary High School.
The Roof family is well known in the baseball world, as Eric and Jonathan's relatives have made marks all over the professional and college ranks. Their father, Gene, played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Montreal Expos in the 1980s, and is currently a coach in the Detroit Tigers organization as the baserunning coordinator. Their older brother, Shawn, played at Illinois and was with the Frederick Keys, a High A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. He is now the manager for the Hillsboro Hops, the short season Class A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Finally, their younger sister, Jacqueline, was a three-time All-American softball player at Campbellsville University.
Assistant Coach A.J. Achter
A.J. Achter was named an assistant coach of the EMU Baseball team for the 2018 season, Jan. 8. Achter, a former MLB pitcher, will work with the Eagle pitching staff for the upcoming season.
Achter will be the only coach on a Division I baseball staff in the state of Michigan to have prior MLB playing experience, while being just one of two in the Mid-American Conference, joining Kent State Head Coach Jeff Duncan.
A native of Toledo, Ohio, Achter spent the last eight years in professional baseball, including three seasons in the big leagues with the Minnesota Twins (2014-15) and Los Angeles Angels (2016). Most recently, Achter was in the minor league system of the Detroit Tigers during the 2017 season. In his three-year MLB career, the right-handed pitcher went 2-1 with a 3.92 ERA in 62.0 innings, while striking out 33.
In his minor league career, Achter was a four-time all-star in the Twins' minor league system, including twice at the AAA level with the Rochester Red Wings. In eight seasons in the minors, Achter racked up 24 wins while pitching to a 3.11 ERA and tallying 442 strikeouts.
Achter was drafted out of Michigan State University in the 46th round of the 2010 draft after spending three seasons as a starting pitcher for the Spartans. Achter and Roof were teammates on the 2008 and 2009 teams while at MSU. A two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Achter had an all-star season in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2010, which led to him signing with the Twins and starting his professional career.
A 2007 graduate of Oregon Clay High School, Achter was a standout athlete for the Eagles, lettering in baseball, basketball, and football. He was a First Team All-Ohio selection on the diamond, as well as being named the Toledo City League Player of the Year in 2007. He gained national recognition by Baseball America, being tabbed as their No. 5 prospect in the state of Ohio.
Achter is the son of Rod and Cindy Achter. His father played football at the University of Toledo, and was eventually drafted into the NFL by the Minnesota Vikings, while also playing for the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets. He has two siblings, a sister, Amanda, and a brother, Austin. Austin played a season of baseball at Ohio State University.
Achter resides in Brighton with his wife, Kaiti, a second degree nursing student at EMU, as well as their dog, Izzy.
Volunteer Assistant Coach Matt Rembielak
Matt Rembielak enters his first season as the volunteer assistant coach for Eastern Michigan baseball. He will assist in the coaching of hitters and infielders.
Rembielak joins the Eagles after spending time as an assistant coach at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. Prior to coaching, Rembielak was a student-athlete at the University of Akron, where he played baseball for the Zips from 2012-15.
While at Akron, he was a four-year starter at shortstop, and graduated in 2015 with his degree in sport management. The Akron, Ohio native wrapped up his playing career in 2016 when he was a member of the Great Bend Boom in the Pecos League.