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Author Topic: Coaching stability of the baseball program  (Read 834 times)

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JHicks3636

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Coaching stability of the baseball program
« on: January 26, 2019, 09:21:24 am »

Maybe I should have waited until next year to make this post when it will be 50 years, but in the last 49 years, Arkansas baseball has had only two head coaches. Norm DeBriyn and DVH alone have led what is probably the second most successful sport on campus behind track and field. I doubt there are many programs in the country that can boast of this stability. Both men are of high character, ran clean programs, won, and both deserve every accolade that comes their way. Arkansas has one other sport that comes close to matching this coaching anamoly in track and field. McDonnell starting coaching in 1972 but did not become head coach until 1978. Bucknam has been coach since then so 41 years with only two coaches. No one can deny that it has been the most successful sport on campus and perhaps in the entire NCAA. It does have black marks near the end of McDonnell’s tenure with forfeiting two championships and getting sanctioned by the NCAA.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 10:18:49 am by JHicks3636 »
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rljjr

Re: Coaching stability of the baseball program
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2019, 09:26:54 am »

Good thread and speaks to the benefit of quality coaches being allowed to maintain their elite programs during down times instead of the rush to cut and run.

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Superhog1959

Re: Coaching stability of the baseball program
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2019, 09:55:40 am »

With Dave Van Horn the Hogs may have a down year every now and then, but most years his teams are very good. If there is a better coach in college ball, I don't know who that would be. Maybe there is record wise, but from a coaching standpoint, to me he is the best.
As a long time Cardinals fan I would compare him to Tony LaRussa in some areas. Always had good, sometimes great teams. I wish we had great coaches like him in football and basketball. Coaches who build great programs and endure long periods of tenure.

Smithian

Re: Coaching stability of the baseball program
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2019, 11:53:13 am »

Maybe I should have waited until next year to make this post when it will be 50 years, but in the last 49 years, Arkansas baseball has had only two head coaches. Norm DeBriyn and DVH alone have led what is probably the second most successful sport on campus behind track and field. I doubt there are many programs in the country that can boast of this stability. Both men are of high character, ran clean programs, won, and both deserve every accolade that comes their way. Arkansas has one other sport that comes close to matching this coaching anamoly in track and field. McDonnell starting coaching in 1972 but did not become head coach until 1978. Bucknam has been coach since then so 41 years with only two coaches. No one can deny that it has been the most successful sport on campus and perhaps in the entire NCAA. It does have black marks near the end of McDonnell’s tenure with forfeiting two championships and getting sanctioned by the NCAA.
Has there ever been some serious concern about DVH? Beyond some grumbling here and there?

I admit I didn't buy that he was elite until the Tallahassee Super Regional around a decade ago. From then on, I don't bat an eye at poor regular seasons. I have hope for a good postseason or a quick rebound the next season.

Dave Van Horn is what happens when you connect a top coach with a program ready to invest in success.

Dr. Starcs

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Re: Coaching stability of the baseball program
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2019, 12:26:30 pm »

Hate it for him and the fan base that we couldn’t cash that title in. I don’t think we’ll ever have the table set like that again.
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BroyledNutts

Re: Coaching stability of the baseball program
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2019, 12:31:13 pm »

I hadn't realized that there have only been 2 coaches for baseball ...

It speaks volumes for the vision and capability of DVH and his various staff choices, and it speaks volumes at the legacy that Norm DeBryn built before DVH arrived. Rare indeed is the program with foundations that monumental.
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Hayden1865

Re: Coaching stability of the baseball program
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2019, 12:32:46 pm »

Hate it for him and the fan base that we couldn’t cash that title in. I don’t think we’ll ever have the table set like that again.
I think DVH is more fueled now then ever and he wins three in the next ten years. I believe he is now pissed off and everyone better watch out.

Dr. Starcs

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Re: Coaching stability of the baseball program
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2019, 12:40:07 pm »

Man I’d love for you to be right Hayden. I just don’t see how you recover from something like that.
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Superhog1959

Re: Coaching stability of the baseball program
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2019, 01:09:46 pm »

I think DVH is more fueled now then ever and he wins three in the next ten years. I believe he is now pissed off and everyone better watch out.
Success breeds success. Every player looking at colleges knows who Dave Van Horn is. I would look for some really good teams to come.
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Pudgepork

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Re: Coaching stability of the baseball program
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2019, 08:32:09 pm »

The stage is set for Coach Van Horn to reap rewards on what he inherited and what he has built.

Kudos to Coach DeBryn!  Hell, when he started, all they had to play on was dirt!
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ucahogfan

Re: Coaching stability of the baseball program
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2019, 01:48:30 pm »

It speaks volumes for the vision and capability of DVH and his various staff choices
I don't think it can be understated how much success DVH has had with his assistants during his career.  Now, he has had many volunteer assistants, but his paid assistants have been very good.  Starting out with his time at Northwestern State, his assistants have been:

Rob Childress - Pitching coach at Northwestern State and Nebraska - Childress was one of the first assistants, if not the first, that DVH ever hired.  One of his best friends, Childress is now the HC at Texas A&M and has led the Aggies to many regionals and a couple trips to Omaha.

Matt Deggs - Hitting coach at Northwestern State and Arkansas - Deggs is now the HC at Sam Houston State and took his team to a Super Regional in 2017.  He has had a very successful coaching career.

Mike Anderson - Hitting coach at Nebraska - He was a holdover at Nebraska when DVH got there, but was hired as the HC when DVH came back to Arkansas and took Nebraska to Omaha in 2005.  Was fired after a few years and hasn't really returned as a HC in D1.

Dave Jorn - Pitching coach at Arkansas - He was the pitching coach at Arkansas for a long time.  Now working in scouting I believe.  Think he also served as a manager at the minor league level.

Todd Butler - Hitting coach at Arkansas - Probably the biggest named hired by DVH at that time, Butler had previously been a HC at McNeese State and an assistant at Alabama during their elite times in the late 90s.  Was regarded as a truly elite recruiter.  Now HC at Wichita State.

Tony Vitello - Hitting coach at Arkansas - Another guy who came to Arkansas after a lengthy stint as an assistant at Power 5 programs (Mizzou and TCU), Vitello was yet another truly elite recruiter.  His recruiting ability has already shown as the new head coach at Tennessee.

Wes Johnson - Pitching coach at Arkansas - Johnson was hired after one season as pitching coach in Starkville, but is one of the most highly regarded pitching coaches in the country.  Was getting interviewed for head coaching jobs and is now the pitching coach for the Twins.  Really the first time I can remember a college pitching coach being immediately hired at the MLB level as a pitching coach.

Nate Thompson - Hitting coach at Arkansas - Not a big time name like Butler and Vitello before him, but from all indications, the next rising star assistant for DVH.  He is clearly a good teacher and has shown some recruiting chops.  Figure he will be a HC in the next few years or he could potentially be DVH's replacement.

Matt Hobbs - Pitching coach at Arkansas - The new hire who comes from the same background of analytics as Wes Johnson.  Did a decent job at Wake Forest and was almost hired by Vitello at Tennessee last year.  Think he will be a great hire when it is all said and done.
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PintailKiller

Re: Coaching stability of the baseball program
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2019, 09:38:16 am »

I don't think it can be understated how much success DVH has had with his assistants during his career.  Now, he has had many volunteer assistants, but his paid assistants have been very good.  Starting out with his time at Northwestern State, his assistants have been:

Rob Childress - Pitching coach at Northwestern State and Nebraska - Childress was one of the first assistants, if not the first, that DVH ever hired.  One of his best friends, Childress is now the HC at Texas A&M and has led the Aggies to many regionals and a couple trips to Omaha.

Matt Deggs - Hitting coach at Northwestern State and Arkansas - Deggs is now the HC at Sam Houston State and took his team to a Super Regional in 2017.  He has had a very successful coaching career.

Mike Anderson - Hitting coach at Nebraska - He was a holdover at Nebraska when DVH got there, but was hired as the HC when DVH came back to Arkansas and took Nebraska to Omaha in 2005.  Was fired after a few years and hasn't really returned as a HC in D1.

Dave Jorn - Pitching coach at Arkansas - He was the pitching coach at Arkansas for a long time.  Now working in scouting I believe.  Think he also served as a manager at the minor league level.

Todd Butler - Hitting coach at Arkansas - Probably the biggest named hired by DVH at that time, Butler had previously been a HC at McNeese State and an assistant at Alabama during their elite times in the late 90s.  Was regarded as a truly elite recruiter.  Now HC at Wichita State.

Tony Vitello - Hitting coach at Arkansas - Another guy who came to Arkansas after a lengthy stint as an assistant at Power 5 programs (Mizzou and TCU), Vitello was yet another truly elite recruiter.  His recruiting ability has already shown as the new head coach at Tennessee.

Wes Johnson - Pitching coach at Arkansas - Johnson was hired after one season as pitching coach in Starkville, but is one of the most highly regarded pitching coaches in the country.  Was getting interviewed for head coaching jobs and is now the pitching coach for the Twins.  Really the first time I can remember a college pitching coach being immediately hired at the MLB level as a pitching coach.

Nate Thompson - Hitting coach at Arkansas - Not a big time name like Butler and Vitello before him, but from all indications, the next rising star assistant for DVH.  He is clearly a good teacher and has shown some recruiting chops.  Figure he will be a HC in the next few years or he could potentially be DVH's replacement.

Matt Hobbs - Pitching coach at Arkansas - The new hire who comes from the same background of analytics as Wes Johnson.  Did a decent job at Wake Forest and was almost hired by Vitello at Tennessee last year.  Think he will be a great hire when it is all said and done.

Also - Chris Curry, Head Coach UALR.  He was a 1st base/ Catchers coach under DVH.
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