The 2013 LMU baseball team officially started practice on Monday, energetically taking to Page Stadium with the goals of its first WCC Championship since 2000 and much more. The practice opened with a speech from fifth-year head coach Jason Gill before going into discussions and drills.
Former LMU standout left-handed pitcher Benny Bonilla is back for his second stint on the Lion coaching staff in 2013. Bonilla, who played for the Lions from 1997-2000, served as LMU's pitching coach during the 2007 season.
Bonilla spent the last two years as the Director of Baseball Operations at San Diego State, working on a coaching staff under MLB Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn. In that capacity, Bonilla assisted the Aztec coaching staff with all of their administrative needs from travel to academics to tracking recruits.
Prior to arriving at SDSU, Bonilla was an assistant coach at Cal State Los Angeles during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. While there, he worked with the outfielders, coached first base, assisted with recruiting and handled team travel and equipment. Before going to Cal State Los Angeles, Bonilla was an administrative assistant at Cal State Fullerton in 2007-08.
A four-year letterman as a pitcher at LMU, Bonilla received All-West Coast Conference recognition three times in his career. He still holds the LMU single-season winning percentage record after going 9-1 as a senior in 2000.
As a freshman in 1997, he led the Lions in victories (7) before helping guide the Lions to three straight conference championships in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
After graduating from Loyola Marymount, Bonilla signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and played for two years in the organization.
He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Carlsbad High School (Carlsbad, Calif.), where he was the Associate Head Coach for four seasons. He then joined Mission Hills High School in San Marcos, Calif., as the pitching coach and helped guide the team to the CIF semi-finals in just its second year of existence.
Bonilla earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount in 2001.