Frank Avilla enters his eighth season with the Lassen College baseball program. The Cougars are coming off an impressive 2017 playoff season under Coach Avilla that included several players being named all-conference while continuing the four-year placement rate of 100 percent. This list also included a league MVP for the second year in a row, an All Northern California pitcher, and a free agent signing with the Seattle Mariners. The Cougars had 11 players receive athletic scholarships as well as two freshman signing Division 1 scholarships.
Avilla was recognized as the 2017 Golden Valley Conference Coach of the Year for the second time in his career at Lassen College. He also earned the honors of Conference Coach of the Year in his first season as Head Coach in the spring 2012. Under Avilla, LCC Baseball has been dedicated and committed to academic excellence. He has never had a player academically ineligible. In his first eight seasons at LCC, every player has had the opportunity to transfer and compete at the four-year level after Lassen College.
During his career at Lassen College Avilla has also produced over 40 All-Conference players including 2 league MVPs in the 2016 and 2017 baseball seasons.
Avilla first came to Lassen College in the fall of 2010. In 2011, Avilla accepted the position of Head Coach at Lassen College. Avilla is in his 10th year of collegiate coaching and his seventh year as Lassen College Head Coach.
Avilla was born and raised in Sparks, Nevada and graduated from Reed High School in 2003. After graduation, Frank attended Neosho County Community College in Chanute, Kanasa and Yuba College in Marysville, California. Avilla received his A.A. degree from Yuba College while playing two seasons for the 49ers earning several honors which included an All-Conference selection as a freshman and captain his sophomore season finishing 28th in California with a batting avg. of .396. Departing Yuba College, Coach Avilla accepted a baseball scholarship to Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. While at OBU, he played two seasons under Hall of Fame coach Bobby Cox during 2007 and 2008. He produced a batting average of .381 as a junior and .330 as a Senior.
Following his Senior season at OBU, Avilla accepted a graduate assistant position, working as a hitting and infield coach from 2008-2010. While coaching at OBU, Coach Avilla earned his Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology and Sports Management. After Departing OBU, Avilla accepted a position with the Lassen College Baseball Program. He is the son of Frank and Kristin Avilla. In August of 2013, he married the former Terra Shoupe, who is a police officer with the City of Susanville. Avilla and his wife have one daughter, Anna Lynne aka “The Peach”, who was born in the fall of 2014.
Coach Murphy accepted a position with Lassen College as the Outreach Coordinator and Assistant Coach after departing St. Gregory’s University. Coach Murphy works as the pitching coach along with helping out with the First Baseman. After his playing career was over Davis began coaching for the Sierra Sundevils during the summer of 2014 before accepting the job at Lassen College. Coach Murphy is in his 3rd year of collegiate coaching.
Davis Murphy was born and raised in Sparks, NV and graduated from Spanish Springs High School in 2010. After graduation Davis attended junior college here at Lassen Community College. Davis received his A.S. in Business Administration from Lassen College while playing two seasons for the Cougars.
Departing Lassen College, Coach Murphy accepted a baseball scholarship to St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, OK. There he played 2 seasons during 2013 and 2014 earning a Gold Glove in his Junior year. Coach Murphy also became an Academic All-American during the 2013 and 2014 season. While attending St. Gregory’s University, Coach Murphy earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.
Eric returns to the Cougars coaching staff after coaching at Lassen College in 2007 and 2008. Those teams sent 7 players on to the Division 1 level.
Eric played his high school baseball in Dos Palos CA where he shared the home run record with former MLB great David Henderson. He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1987 in the 15th round. In his first year of professional baseball, Eric led the Wytheville Cubs of the Appalachian League in RBI, doubles and OPS. He was second on the team in hits and On Base Percentage.
In his second season of professional baseball he led the Geneva Cubs of the New York Penn League in home runs, hits, Slugging Percentage and On Base Percentage. He was second in RBI, Batting Average, walks, and OPS. In 1989 with the Peoria Chiefs of the Midwest League Eric led all first basemen in the Cubs organization in fielding percentage.
He is currently an Associate Scout with the Kansas City Royals.
Eric has been working with the Foster Youth and operating group homes for over 25 years. He is the proud father of 3 sons Daniel, Quinton and Aarason. Daniel was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 13th Round of the 2015 MLB Draft. Quinton was a catcher/first baseman at Santa Clara University. He led the Broncos in home runs 3 different seasons. He was named honorable mention All-Conference and named to the 2014 West Coast Conference All-Tournament Team. Quinton graduated with a Sociology Degree and a Minor in Business. Aarason collected 50 RBI's in 30 games his senior year at Lassen High. He played baseball and graduated from Simpson University with a degree in Psychology.
Coach Markel returns to Lassen College as an assistant in the Fall of 2016. Coach Markel is in charge of the outfielders as well as assisting with hitting, base running, recruiting, coaching first base, and game day preparation. Coach Markel returns to Lassen College after graduating from St. Gregory’s University. After graduating from St. Gregory’s Coach Markel moved to Las Vegas, NV where he was an assistant coach at Sierra Vista HS, for the fall of 2015 and the spring of 2016. While at Sierra Vista, Coach Markel helped lead the 2016 team to a state runner up title.
Coach Markel was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from Oak Park High School in Oak Park, CA. One year after graduating from High School Coach Markel came to Lassen College, where he played for Coach Frank Avilla. Coach Markel graduated from Lassen College with an AA in Liberal Arts while playing two years for the Cougars.
After his two years at Lassen College, Coach Markel accepted a baseball scholarship to St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, OK. There he played 2 seasons during 2014 and 2015. Coach Markel graduated from St. Gregory’s in the spring of 2015 with a Bachelors in Kinesiology and Exercise Science.
John Deal is entering his 27th year as an assistant coach at Lassen Community College. During John’s tenure he has worked for five head coaches, was on staff for 11 conference championships, two trips to the CCCAA Final Four, and is directly responsible for turning hundreds of boys into men.
This April, John will celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary to the former, Miss Peggy Baker. The Deals have three children, Michael John (49), Lisa Marie (45) and Paulette Mae (42).
John recently retired after 43 years as journeyman line-man with Lassen Municipal Utility District and is experiencing his first year as a “full-time” baseball coach.
Avery Brandon, a former Lassen Cougar baseball player, returns to Lassen College as an assistant coach, after graduating from New Mexico Highlands University. He is in charge of the pitchers as well as recruiting and game day preparation.
Brandon was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada where he graduated from Legacy High School in 2012. After graduation, Coach Brandon attended Lassen College, where he played under head coach Frank Avilla. Coach Brandon graduated from Lassen College with an AA in Physical Science while playing two years for the Cougars.
After his two years at Lassen College, Coach Brandon accepted a baseball scholarship to New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico. There he played 2 seasons during 2015 and 2017. Coach took a medical redshirt during the 2016 season. Coach Brandon graduated from New Mexico Highlands in the spring of 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Performance and Sport: Physical Education.
Brandon played this past summer for an independent professional league, and helped the team to a championship.