Mike Willes Athlete Profile

#21 Mike Willes

Mike Willes
Positions: Designated Hitter, Catcher Height: 5-10 Weight: 175 Roster Years: 1983 | 1986-1988 Hometown: Fullerton, CA Mission: France Hall of Fame: 2000 Last School: Fullerton Union High

  • 2000 Baseball




All-America

  • 1987 AABC First Team
  • 1988 AABC First Team
  • 1988 Baseball America Second Team

2000 Hall of Fame Inductee

Straightening curveballs into home runs seemed as natural as straightening teeth is now for baseballer/orthodontist Mike Willes.

As a two-time First Team All-American and a two-time Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Willes did push-ups in the on-deck circle and used a wooden bat during batting practice.

Primarily a designated hitter, Willes also played third base and catcher, batting .403 in 1983, .439 as a junior, and .410 as a senior. After his BYU career the 5'10" contact hitter bypassed professional baseball to concentrate on a career in orthodontics.

The 35 homers he hit in 1988 and the 31 he belted in 1987 led the NCAA and still stand atop the school record ladder. Only 35 of those were hit in BYU's friendly confines. He holds the BYU single-season records for most runs batted in (108) and most runs (86). He also holds the BYU career record for most RBI (285), and his 71 home runs rank second only to Cory Snyder's 73 in career homers.

During a 1988 doubleheader against New Mexico in Provo, Willes hit five consecutive home runs, including a school record four round-trippers in the second game.

In 1987 he and his brother David each tied the school record with six hits in a game. The Willes brothers also tied the BYU record for most at-bats in a game.

As a senior Willes led BYU to a 41-18-1 record. Unfortunately the team was eliminated by USC and host Fresno State in the NCAA Regionals.

In 1988 he broke 11 WAC records and helped the Cougars tie an NCAA record, with 10 grand slams as a team. They also broke the BYU record for team home runs in a season with a total of 161.

In that amazing final two years at BYU, he struck out only 40 times in 465 at-bats and had 199 hits. Among his most memorable moments, however, are those when he played DH on BYU's No. 1 ranked team in 1983.

As a prep quarterback prior to coming to BYU, he broke Pat Haden's California State record, throwing for 477 yards in one game.

The zoology major from Fullerton, California, minored in French (he also served a mission to France), and matriculated from BYU in 1990 before he graduated with distinction from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Dental School (UMKC) in 1994. One of three applicants selected from a pool of 250, he graduated from the UCLA orthodontic program in 1996.

Willes married BYU graduate Heidi Jackson in 1989.

Personal

  • Served an LDS church mission to France
  • Brother David played for BYU
  • Majored in zoology and minored in French at BYU
  • Graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Dental School (UKMC) in 1994
  • Graduated from the UCLA orthodontic program in 1996
  • Married to Heidi 

Career Highlights

  • Two-time First Team All-American 1987-88
  • Two-time Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year 1987-88
  • Second team All-American by Baseball America 1988
  • First team All-Region Nine and All-WAC 1988
  • Winner of BYU's Ed Stein Scholar-Athlete Award 1988
  • First team All-Region Eight 1987
  • All-WAC Tournament 1987
  • All-WAC Eastern Division 1987
  • Holds the BYU single-season records for most runs batted in (108) and most runs (86)
  • Also holds the BYU career record for most RBI(285), and his 71 home runs ranked second only to Cory Snyder’s 73 career homers
  • In his final two years at BYU, he struck out only 40 times in 465 at-bats and had 199 hits
  • As a senior, he broke 11 WAC records and helped the Cougars tie an NCAA record, with 10 grand slams as a team

Before BYU

  • Prepped at Fullerton Union High
  • Was all-league in football, passing for a CIF-record 477 yards in one game, breaking Pat Haden's California State record .
  • Was all-league in baseball

After BYU

  • Works as an orthodontist

Post BYU Honors and Societies

  • One of three applicants selected from a pool of 250, he graduated from the UCLA orthodontic program in 1996
  • Inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame 2000

Stats

Year    Avg.   G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR   RBI    TB   BB   SO  SB-SBA
1983   .403   42  124   32   50   14    0    2    31    70   18   13   2
1986   .330   33  106   26   35    6    0    3    19    54   13   16   2
1987   .439   63  246   75  108   18    1   31   108   221   34   23  14-14
1988   .416   60  219   86   91   11    0   35   100   207   47   17   4-5


1983 | Freshman Year

  • Starred as the designated hitter on BYU’s No. 1 ranked team
  • Hit .403 with 14 doubles, 2 home runs and 31 RBIs 
  • Left after his freshman year to serve an LDS church mission

1986 | Sophomore Year

  • Played as the designated hitter
  • Hit .330 with 19 RBIs

1987 | Junior Year

  • First team All-America by the American Association of Baseball Coaches
  • Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year
  • First team All-Region Eight
  • All-WAC Tournament
  • All-WAC Eastern Division
  • Led the NCAA in home runs (31)
  • He and his brother David each tied the school record with six hits in a game
  • Tied the BYU record for most at-bats (246) in a game
  • Hit .439 with 108 RBIs on the year
  • He holds the BYU single-season record for most runs batted in (108) 

1988 | Senior Year

  • First team All-America by the American Association of Baseball Coaches
  • Second team All-American by Baseball America
  • Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year
  • First team All-Region Nine and All-WAC
  • Winner of BYU's Ed Stein Scholar-Athlete Award
  • WAC Player of the Week for April 11
  • Deseret News Athlete of the Month for April
  • Tri-captain
  • Led the NCAA in home runs and went atop the school record ladder
  • In a doubleheader against New Mexico in Provo, Willes hit five consecutive home runs, including a school record four round-trippers in the second game
  • Broke 11 WAC records and helped the Cougars tie an NCAA record, with 10 grand slams as a team
  • The team also broke the BYU record for team home runs in a season with a total of 161
  • Hit .416 with 35 home runs and 86 runs scored 
  • He holds the BYU single-season record for the most runs scored
  • He also hold the BYU career record for most RBI (285), and his 71 home runs rank second only to Cory Snyder's 73 in career homers