Robin Ventura has gone from major league manager to a student assistant.
That's not your typical coaching career path, but it's reality for Robin Ventura, the former White Sox All-Star third sacker who managed the team for five years, from 2012 to 2016.
There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for all this, of course. Ventura has returned to Oklahoma State University to finish his degree, and while he's there completing his studies, he'll be helping out the Cowboys' baseball team as a "student assistant."
Certainly there haven't been many college baseball squads that have been able to count someone with half a decade of big league managing experience among their student assistants. The 2020 Okie State team can.
Ventura, obviously, made quite a name for himself when he was a member of that team in the 1980s, going down as one of the greatest college baseball players of all-time. He had a career batting average of .428 and a record-setting 58-game hitting streak during the 1987 season. The following season, he won the Golden Spikes Award as the top player in college baseball. The White Sox took him with the No. 10 pick in the 1988 draft, and he went on to spend 16 seasons in the big leagues, including 10 on the South Side, a decade-long span during which he won five of his six career Gold Gloves.
"I'm really excited to do this," Ventura said in the team's announcement. "For me, I could do quite a few things, but Oklahoma State and Cowboy baseball is special. I wanted to do and be somewhere that meant a lot to me, not just the baseball part - I love baseball and coaching and being a part of that - but being at Oklahoma State adds an extra layer of specialness to me.
"The people here are family to me, this place means a lot to me and the program means a lot to me."
Best of luck - both in the classroom and in the dugout - to the all-time White Sox great.
Back to school: Robin Ventura to work as 'student assistant' at Oklahoma State originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago