Eric Gilliland
Eric Gilliland
Title: Head Baseball Coach
City: Concordia, KS
Phone: 800-729-5101 ext: 316
Email: egilliland@cloud.edu
Twitter: @gillilanderic
Alma Mater: Fort Hays State University
Years at Cloud County: 4

Eric Gilliland was hired to lead the Cloud County baseball program on June 2, 2016. He is the 10th baseball coach in the history of the program. Gilliland previously served in a brief stint as the school's Sports Information Director. While serving as the Sports Information Director, he helped launch Cloud County's new athletic website www.cloudtbirds.com as well as a social media marketing network for Cloud County Athletics.

Gilliland helped guide the T-Birds program to a resurgence in his first year as the 2017 team tied or set 16 school records during the spring. In doing so, the T-Birds (28-31 overall) also finished with their most wins since 2009 and, following a 5-3 win over Neosho County during the Region VI Playoffs, they notched their first Region VI Playoff victory since 2006. Eight players from the 2017 roster would sign with four-year institutions.

The program took another step forward in 2017-18, finishing 27-26 overall to record their first winning season since 2003 (28-23 overall). Cloud County continued its climb in 2019 as the T-Birds finished 10 games above .500 at 34-24 overall.

The 2019 season marked the first 30-win season for the program since the 1989 team won a school record 46 games. Cloud County also won its first ever home playoff series, sweeping its opening round matchup against Allen County in the Region VI/Central District Playoffs to advance on to Wichita. The T-Birds went 1-2 the remainder of the tournament, winning 15-1 over Butler while having their two losses come against the top-2 seeds in the tournament: Hutchinson and eventual Region VI/Central District Champions, Cowley College.

Under Gilliland's tuteledge, left-handed pitcher Erik Sabrowski finished 2017-18 with a 7-2 overall record, a 3.14 earned run average — 1.56 ERA in conference games — and a school-record 117 strikeouts in 66 innings pitched en route to being the first player drafted out of Cloud County since Jake Diekman in 2007. Sabrowski was selected in the 14th round by the San Diego Padres in the 2018 MLB Draft.

From 2011-2015, Gilliland served as the Assistant Baseball Coach at Garden City Community College. Gilliland spent four seasons at Garden City and was a part of one Jayhawk West Conference Championship team (2012) and two Jayhawk Conference Runner-ups (2013, 2014). While at Garden, Gilliland helped 16 players move on to the Division 1 level, and over 40 players into NCAA baseball. 

As the pitching coach at Garden City, Gilliland guided a pitching staff that ranked in the top 20 in the nation in strikeouts twice (2014, 2015). In 2012 and 2014 the Buster pitching staff posted the lowest ERA in the Jayhawk Conference West Division.  

Prior to Garden City, Gilliland served as a graduate assistant baseball coach at his alma mater, Fort Hays State University. In his time at FHSU, he served one season as the pitching coach, and one as the outfield coach. He also interned in Sports Information under current SID, Ryan Prickett. 
 
The Concordia native was a two-time All-MIAA selection as a pitcher at Fort Hays State in 2008 and 2009 and is currently ranked in the top 10 all-time at FHSU in strikeouts and innings pitched. Gilliland was also a top performer in the classroom as a CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District First Team selection, and Fort Hays State’s male Ken B. Jones Award nominee in 2009.
 
Gilliland began his playing career at Cloud County in 2006. He spent two years at Cloud County as a two-way player, playing the outfield and pitching. He earned Academic All-American honors in Baseball while at CCCC.
 
Following his collegiate playing career, Gilliland played professionally for three years in Independent Baseball. Most recently he pitched for the Wichita Wingnuts of Wichita, KS., in 2011. He played with the Gateway Grizzlies of Sauget, Ill. in 2010, and Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti, Mich., in 2009.
 
Gilliland earned his Bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance from Fort Hays State University in 2009. He obtained his Master’s degree in Sports Administration in 2011 from FHSU. He is married to the former Ambria Menard, also from Concordia, KS. They are the parents of two sons, Jack (7) and Kip (1), and one daughter, the late Hattie Jo Gilliland.