Ryan Brownlee

Ryan Brownlee in an American college baseball coach from Evansville, Indiana. He is currently serving as head coach of the Western Illinois Leathernecks baseball program. He was named to that position prior to the 2013 season.

Playing Career

High School

Brownlee was a student and baseball player at Evansville Reitz Memorial High School where he won a baseball state title in 1993.


After high school, Brownlee played four seasons under his father, Jim Brownlee, at the University of Evansville.

Brownlee twice earned All-Conference honors and was an ABCA All-Region selection. Following his senior year, Brownlee received the University’s William V. Slyker award as the Most Outstanding Male Athlete.

Pro Career

He then played a single season with the Independent Evansville Otters. On playing for the Otters Brownlee stated, “It was a neat thing to play for Evansville my entire college career — and it was neat to play for the Otters.”

Coaching Career

Brownlee coached two seasons with the purple aces before moving to James Madison in 2000.

Brownlee worked at James Madison from 2000-03. In his second year, JMU advanced to the tournament championship game, then the following season Brownlee was a part of the 2002 team that won 43 games, the Colonial Athletic Association title and advance to the NCAA Regionals. During those four years, JMU ranked among the national leaders in various offensive categories, including: batting average, scoring, fielding percentage, doubles, triples, and stolen bases.

In Brownlee moved to Iowa in 2004, and added recruiting coordinator duties during his nine seasons with the Hawkeyes.

In September 2012, he was named to his first head coaching position at Western Illinois. Brownlee became the Leathernecks’ sixth head coach since 1955, and in his first season at the helm, Brownlee led the Leathernecks to 19 wins, the most for a first year head coach in program history.

In 14 seasons, Brownlee has had 35 players he coached or recruited get selected in the Major League Baseball draft.

Personal Life

Brownlee resides in Macomb with his wife, Aimee, and their two children, Jackson and Norah.

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