Only child of Garry and Diane Lillpop
Husband of almost 10 years to Audrey Cannon Lillpop, father to Ty (8) and Ace (6)
Wins: 315 (most in program history)
Years as Head Coach: 15 (longest tenured in program history)
2001 graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan College
Apollo High School graduate
Coach Lillpop enjoys playing golf. He counts former Major League Baseball players Josh Fogg, Brian Schneider and Brad Wilkerson (Apollo High School teammate) as golfing buddies.
How does it feel to be the all-time wins leader?
“To be in the company of all the legendary baseball coaches we’ve had here is an honor. To win that many games, you have to have good students who are good players, in that order. We have guys that really buy into what we’re trying to teach.”
On winning a program record 36 games this season:
“It’s a really big deal – it means a lot to this program and this college. Winning 36 games, those past players and coaches – they laid the foundation for us to get where we are today. I owe it to all those guys. They should be celebrating.”
Who would be on your Wesleyan Mt. Rushmore?
“My coach, Ron Clark, is the reason I came here. He gave me a chance to play, so he holds a special spot.
My advisor, Dr. Roger Gardner. He kept me under his wing and made sure I was taking the right stuff, so I thank him a lot.
Obviously, Coach Ray Harper. Just the way he went about his business and the way he coached and the kind of person he was to me.
Larry Moore, the athletic director who hired me when I was 25. He took a shot on a young kid from Owensboro who loved the game.”
You coached Cory Wade, who pitched in the major leagues from 2008-2012 and was recently inducted into the Kentucky Wesleyan Athletic Hall of Fame. Tell us about him.
“Inner-city kid. His team wasn’t very good, just him and Paul Richardson who came here. Cory came here throwing 88-89 MPH. He was skinny. He got here and worked his tail off. He knew he wanted to be in the major leagues. By his junior year, he was up to 96 MPH, and it looked like he was just throwing pitch and catch. That’s when you know you’ve got somebody special. He was one of the fiercest competitors we had, too.”
How does the Cory Wade success story help you recruit?
“When hosting a recruit, I point to his picture in my office and say ‘Look at that kid over there. He was a two-way player for us, and he worked his way to the big leagues, playing for two of the most iconic franchises, the Yankees and Dodgers.’”