Jack Cressend returned to Tulane for his second stint with the Green Wave and second year as an assistant coach. A standout player for the Green Wave from 1994-96, Cressend went on to a notable eleven year professional career, pitching five years in the Major Leagues. Cressend assists coach Rick Jones with recruiting, is in charge of scheduling, summer baseball player placement and serves as the team's pitching coach.
In his first season with Tulane, four pitchers from Cressend's Green Wave staff went on to earn professional contracts: Aaron Loup (drafted in the ninth round by Toronto), Josh Zeid (10th round, Philadelphia), Taylor Rogers (26th round, San Francisco) and Jonathan Garrett (free agent, Anaheim). In addition, RHP Conrad Flynn finished third in the NCAA in fewest walks and was named First Team All-Louisiana with a 8-3 record and 3.93 ERA. RHP Nick Pepitone earned a spot on Team USA and tossed 14 innings of shutout baseball, allowing two hits for the Red, White & Blue. For the Wave, Pepitone posted a 3.63 ERA with a team-high nine saves. Overall, Tulane's pitching staff was eighth in the NCAA in fewest walks allowed and finished with a 4.63 team ERA.
A two-way player as a pitcher and outfielder, Cressend helped the Green Wave to two NCAA Tournament appearances (1994, 1996) and one Conference USA Tournament title in 1996. In 1996, Cressend was named to the All-Conference USA tournament team after pitching a complete game shutout with eleven strikeouts in the championship game against South Florida. Cressend also led all of Conference USA in strikeouts that year.
In two summers in the Cape Cod League, Cressend posted a 14-1 record and earned All-Star honors each season with the Cotuit Kettleers, earning team MVP honors in 1996.
Despite being overlooked in the draft, he signed a professional contract with the Boston Red Sox organization following his junior year and went on to play 11 seasons of professional baseball including five seasons (2000-04) in the major leagues with the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians. In 1997, Cressend was named the Red Sox's minor league pitcher of the year after leading Class A Sarasota in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, and games started. In 2002, Cressend was a member of the American League Central Division Champion Minnesota Twins. The Twins ended up losing to the eventual World Series Champion Anaheim Angels in the American League Championship Series. Cressend's best season in the major leagues came in 2004 with Cleveland when he posted a 2.51 ERA in 43 innings pitched with only nine walks. Over his entire professional career, Cressend made 370 appearances pitching 953 innings with 820 strikeouts. His career major league numbers are 160 innings pitched, 104 strikeouts, 5-5 record and 4.20 ERA. Cressend also has the distinction of striking out the first batter he ever faced in professional baseball as well as striking out the last batter he ever faced.
Cressend returned to the college game after serving as an area scout for the Tampa Bay Rays from 2006-08. He also founded and coached the Louisiana Knights, a traveling baseball team designed to help high school players get more exposure to college coaches. Over the two years Cressend was involved with the Knights program, he coached and helped over 40 players reach the college baseball ranks. He remains one of Tulane's career pitching leaders, ranking seventh in strikeouts per nine innings with 9.96, and is ranked eighth in opponent batting average (.257). He also holds several single season records, including strikeouts per nine innings with 10.78, in 1996. He is currently ranked ninth for appearances (29) and eighth for combined shutouts (2) in the Tulane baseball record books.
Cressend earned his bachelor's of science degree from the A. B. Freeman School of Business from Tulane in 2008. He and his wife, Katy, have two sons: Cole and Cameron and reside in Mandeville, La.