Billy Messer | Assistant Coach / Camp Director
Rock alum Billy Messer will enter his seventh season as the lead assistant coach for the Slippery Rock University baseball team on head coach Jeff Messer’s staff in 2019.
In addition to serving as The Rock’s recruiting coordinator, Messer oversees strength and conditioning, works with hitters and infielders and is SRU’s third base coach.
Over the last six years, Messer has helped lead The Rock to five winning seasons, a 156-134 overall record and five trips to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Tournament. Since joining the coaching staff, Messer has played an instrumental part in the development of Slippery Rock’s 12 All-Americans, 26 all-region selections and 36 All-PSAC honorees. Messer has also mentored four players that have been selected in the MLB draft in Alex Pantuso (2018), Jack Graham (2015), Will Kengor (2014) and Lou Trivino (2013).
Messer began his coaching career as the Director of Baseball Operations at the University of Virginia, a traditional NCAA Division I baseball powerhouse, for two seasons in 2011 and 2012. While at Virginia, Messer helped guide the Cavaliers to a 95-31-1 record, two appearances in the NCAA Tournament, one ACC Tournament title, one ACC Coastal Division championship and one trip to the College World Series.
At Virginia, Messer had a wide range of responsibilities as he was involved in every aspect of the program. He served as the team's travel coordinator, and also assisted with all aspects of game day operations and on-campus recruiting.
The youngest son of Rock head coach Jeff Messer, Billy was a four-year starter at second base for the Green and White.
In 181 career games played, 180 of which were starts, Messer hit .317 (197-for-621) with 107 runs scored, nine home runs, 109 RBI and 16 stolen bases. Messer’s name can still be found throughout The Rock’s career record books as he ranks sixth in career doubles (43), seventh in games played, seventh in games started, 10th in total bases (277), 11th in hits, 12th in RBI and 20th in runs scored.
Messer had his quality play recognized during his career by being named an All-PSAC Western Division performer on three occasions as well as receiving All-Atlantic Region accolades during both his junior and senior seasons. He was a part of four Rock teams that qualified for the PSAC Tournament and left college with a .631 winning percentage (123-72).
As a student-athlete, Messer also served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council all four years and was the organization's treasurer his senior year.
A native of Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, Messer graduated from Slippery Rock in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in finance.
Bob Mitcheltree | Pitching Coach / Camp Staff
The 2020 season will mark Bob Mitcheltree’s 17th year as a member of head coach Jeff Messer’s coaching staff for the Slippery Rock University baseball team.
Over his 16 years with the program, Mitcheltree has contributed to all facets of the program. He currently works with The Rock’s catchers in addition to serving as the team’s first base coach.
In his first stint at The Rock, Mitcheltree served as the team’s pitching coach for six seasons from 1999-04. He rejoined the program prior to the 2010 season and has been a fixture in the Slippery Rock dugout ever since.
In total, Mitcheltree has helped guide The Rock to a 458-318-1 record over two stints as an assistant coach. Included in the previous 16 seasons have been 12 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Tournament appearances, one league title, four NCAA Tournament berths, two regional championships and two trips to the College World Series.
A long time fixture in the Western Pennsylvania high school and college coaching ranks, Mitcheltree has over 40 years of experience in which he has coached over 50 teams.
As head coach at Wilmington High school, his 1981 squad captured both the WPIAL and the PIAA State championships. He served as the head coach at Lakeview High School in 1977 and coached in the Youngstown Class “B” League for several summers as well.
Mitcheltree was an assistant coach with Fabulous Goldsteins when they won the 1980 Ohio Connie Mack State championship and his 1983 Buckeye Elks squad participated in the NABF world series. Mitcheltree also served as the pitching coach at Westminster College for two seasons.
Mitcheltree played collegiately at Youngstown State University under the legendary Dom Rosselli. He has scouted professionally for the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, and San Diego Padres in addition to operating his own pitching school for 15 years.
As comfortable on the gridiron as the diamond, Mitcheltree has served for over 40 years as an assistant football coach at Wilmington High School. He has helped lead the Greyhounds to the 2008 PIAA Class AA State championship, state runner-up honors in 1988, 2017 and 2018, two WPIAL titles, eight state semifinal berths and 11 District 10 football championships. His son, T.D., was named first team all-state tight end his senior year as a Greyhound.
His success has been recognized with inductions into the Lawrence County Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and the North County Baseball League Hall of Fame in 2011. Mitcheltree received a 25-year coaching award from the ABCA in 2003.
Mitcheltree taught in the Lakeview and Wilmington School Districts for a total of 37 years before retiring in 2009. He and his wife, Cindy, reside in New Wilmington and are the parents of two sons, T.D. (a former Rock football player) and Ryan. They have one grandson, Chase.