Ferenc Jongejan new Head Coach of UVV
VLEUTEN (Neth.) -
UVV named Ferenc Jongejan as its new Head Coach for the 2013 season.
This season, Jongejan was the Head Coach of PSV.
Jongejan succeeds Frank Koene, who stepped down after completion of the season, as he had announced the week before.
Former pitcher Jongejan will be assisted by Belgian Kevin Knollenburg.
The two were teammates in 1998 when both played for Dutch club Twins.
With his appointment, the 33-year old Ferenc Jongejan returns to the club, where he has played in his youth, but also in recent years when UVV played in the Second Division.
Originally a lefthanded pitcher, Jongejan was first baseman when he played for UVV after retiring from the Dutch big league.
Jongejan started his baseball career with Urbanus in Hoorn, then moved to UVV.
After playing in the main squad of the Utrecht-club in 1995-1997, he made his debut in the Dutch big league in 1998, playing for Twins, appearing in 19 games, including 16 as a pitcher.
After the 1998 season, Jongejan went to Hoofddorp Pioniers, where he pitched in 1999 and 2000.
After the 2000 season, Jongejan, who also played college-baseball in the USA, was to become the closer for DOOR Neptunus in 2001.
However, in December of 2000, he signed a professional contract with the Chicago Cubs, after he was scouted during the Olympic Games that year in Sydney (Australia).
The signing came a few days after he won the Guus van der Heijden Memorial Trophy for best Dutch National Team-player under 23.
Jongejan pitched four seasons professionally (2001-2004) in the organisation of the Cubs, where he reached the Triple-A level in 2003, appearing in 29 games for the Iowa Cubs.
Before the start of that season, he was added to the 40-man Major League-roster of the Cubs and made one appearance during Spring Training.
Due to an arm-injury, his career was cut short and Jongejan returned to Single-A in 2004 and later was released.
He returned to the Netherlands and appeared in the Play-Offs and Holland Series later in 2004 for Neptunus, with whom he won the Dutch title.
While Jongejan remained on the roster of Neptunus for three more seasons, this were to be his only appearances for the Rotterdam-suqad.
Jongejan retired after the 2007 season and went back to UVV to play on a lower level, but didn't pitch anymore and instead became a first baseman.
Jongejan made his debut in the Dutch National Team during the Haarlem Baseball Week of 2000 and went on to make 22 official appearances for the Orange squad.
Later in 2000, Jongejan pitched during the Olympic Games in Sydney (Australia).
In 2001, he also participated in the World Championship in Taiwan.
He then made his comeback in the Orange in 2004 to participate in the Olympic Games in Athens (Greece).
Jongejan was one of the participants in a recent coach-course of the Dutch Federation, which also included Sidney de Jong and Evert-Jan 't Hoen, who recently were named Head Coach of L&D Amsterdam Pirates and DOOR Neptunus respectively.
A few years ago, Jongejan founded Bixie Baseball in Eindhoven, one of the Baseball Academies in the Netherlands.
Former catcher Kevin Knollenburg (33) was the Head Coach this season for Hoboken Pioneers, whom he led to the Belgian championship.
Knollenburg made his debut in the Belgian national team at age 17 and went on to play for the squad for more than ten years.
In 1997-2000, the Belgian played in the Dutch big league for Twins (1997-1998) and Neptunus (1999-2000).
Knollenburg, who started his career with Belgian club General Motors, returned to Belgium thereafter and played for Luchtbal Greys until 2010, then turned to coaching.
Last year, he was an assistant coach with Hoboken Pioneers, who then captured the championship.
This season, in his first year as Head Coach, Knollenburg led Hoboken to another title.