Gophers new baseball coach Ty McDevitt details ongoing battle with Lyme Disease

The University of Minnesota baseball program is starting a new era as Ty McDevitt was introduced as the program’s next head coach on Monday at Athletes Village.

McDevitt is replacing John Anderson, who retired after 43 seasons with the Gophers. McDevitt, who played for the Gophers for five seasons in the bullpen, was a pitching coach for Anderson from 2019-24. He becomes the 16th head coach in Gophers’ history, and fourth since 1948. 

He said it hasn’t sunk in yet that he’s new face of the program. He’s been busy in the transfer portal, recruiting and putting together a roster for next season.

"I’m guessing at some point this summer I’ll have an opportunity to sit down, stare out at the lake and really understand the uniqueness of this position. The last time this position was available I was 10 years from being born, so it’s been a while," McDevitt said.

He’s known for getting pitchers selected in the Major League Baseball draft, having players chosen eight straight seasons, and replaces Anderson after 1,390 wins. McDevitt, an Apple Valley native, was a volunteer assistant with the Gophers from 2017-18. He played for five seasons with the Gophers as a relief pitcher.

He knows the standard at Minnesota, having lived it for five years as a player and another eight as a coach.

McDevitt also talked about his personal battle with Lyme Disease, which goes back to 2001. After his daughter was born, he said he had floaters in his eyes. He felt like he had a lump in his throat, and instability walking. A functional neurologist thought he aggravated a concussion from his football and hockey days.

A tick test revealed he had Lyme Disease, and he started treatment immediately. In January of 2023, he had to take a leave of absence from the program to get healthy.

"In 2022 around Thanksgiving time, my body tanked. My liver was backed up, I had hepatic encephalitis, pneumonia in my brain, I was having a hard time walking, hard time talking, I couldn’t drive," McDevitt said "I could hardly take care of my family. It was a scary deal."

He went to a clinic in Florida to have his toxins flushed through a port. He got back to a baseline through antibiotics. He’s been slowly getting better ever since. 

"I wouldn’t say I’m out of the weeds quite yet. I can’t work out as hard as I want to work out sometimes, I get tired a little bit faster than I normally would. But I can do everything I need to do on a daily basis for my job and also at home for my family."

"I know that our players will understand the privilege that it is to put on the Gopher baseball uniform every day. We’re going to play hard, we’re going to play fast and we’re going to play at a high level of fundaments, that’s a Gopher baseball tradition," McDevitt said.

He said his program will be built on transparency, grit and passion.

"I like to compete in everything that I do. That’s been a hallmark of my life. Every day you show up to the field, it’s an opportunity to compete. We need to find ways to be the best at what we do," McDevitt said.