After closing out his playing career as a senior on the 2011 team, Payton Bieker remains a member of the program as Purdue baseball's volunteer assistant coach.
Bieker assisted with fall practice while completing his bachelor's degree during the 2011 fall semester. He graduated in December with a degree in health and fitness. In the spring of 2012, he helped lead Purdue to a program-record 45 wins and a Big Ten title.
Bieker works extensively with the catchers. He also assists with outfield defensive instruction and warm-ups, throws batting practice and coaches first base regularly. Off the field, he'll assist with the preparation of scouting reports, travel arrangements and the program's youth camps.
Purdue's 2014 team led the Big Ten in outfield assists (17). Catcher Sean McHugh was selected as one of 15 semifinalists nationally for the Johnny Bench Award. McHugh threw out 26 of 50 base stealers and was selected in the 18th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
As a team, the 2012 Boilers led the Big Ten in team batting average (.316), hits (665) and earned run average (3.16). The Boilers struck out the fewest number of times at the plate and issued the fewest number of walks on the mound.
Big innings were a big part of the successful season. Purdue scored four or more runs in an inning 24 times, including 16 times from the sixth through ninth innings. The Boilermakers were 39-0 when tied or leading after the sixth inning. They also rallied to win in six of the 20 games in which they trailed after six.
Bieker was a two-year letter-winner for the Boilers after joining the team as a transfer from Vincennes University. He started 42 of the 71 games in which he saw action in his two seasons at Purdue. The Fort Wayne native started games at four different positions - catcher, right field, left field and designated hitter - during his career. The Boilermakers went 32-10 in games he started.
Bieker was an Academic All-Big Ten student-athlete as a senior while helping the Boilers match the program's single-season record for victories (37). He batted .385 with 11 extra-base hits as a spot starter in 2010. In each of his two seasons with the program, he tallied more free passes (walks plus hit by pitch) than strikeouts.