Justin Hill, a 10-year coaching veteran in the college ranks including the last five years as an associate head coach at Southeastern Louisiana and Louisiana-Monroe, was been named the 13th baseball head coach for McNeese on June 21.
A West Monroe native, Hill has spent the past several years learning from some of the best head coaches in college baseball, including legendary coaches Skip Bertman and Mark Johnson, former Southeastern Louisiana head coach Jay Artigues, and current Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard and ULM head coach Jeff Schexnaider.
Throughout his young career, Hill has coached or recruited 33 players that have gone on to play in the professional ranks (28 drafted and 5 signing as free agents), 12 All-Americans, two conference players of the year, two NCBWA Stoppers of the Year, a conference pitcher of the year, relief pitcher of the year, freshman of the year, conference tournament MVP, and a Louisiana pitcher of the year.
Hill arrived at McNeese after he served the 2012 and 2013 seasons as the associate head coach at Louisiana-Monroe.
Cory Barton begins his career at McNeese after spending the last five seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Louisiana-Monroe where he helped lead the Warhawks to a Sun Belt Conference championship in 2012. Barton joined the ULM staff in September 2008 after two seasons as an assistant coach at Memphis and a two-year playing career with the Tigers.
Three of his recruiting classes at ULM were recognized by Collegiate Baseball as one of the tops in the nation and Baseball America tabbed his 2011 recruiting class as one of the best alongside LSU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Baylor.
Barton worked with ULM hitters. During his five years at the school, Warhawk hitters have hit .285 as a team, including the second highest team batting average in school history in 2009 (.325). That 2009 season also saw the Warhawks post the second most hits (685), second most RBIs (437), second most home runs (85), third most runs (485), third most at-bats (2,109) and third most doubles (126) in school history.
Matt Collins is entering his third season on the Cowboys' staff. He'll be in charge of hitting as well as assist with recruiting and will be the outfield coach. A 2010 ULM graduate, Collins joined the McNeese staff prior to the 2012 season after spending 2011 as a volunteer assistant at ULM.
The past two seasons, he has helped recruit and develop power hitters such as Jackson Gooch, the 2013 McNeese Triple Crown winner (.301, 5 HR, 34 RBI) and Seth Granger, the 2012 team batting (.327) and home run (4) champion.
He is a graduate of Louisiana-Monroe where he played on the school's Sun Belt championship team of 2008 and collected the 10th most hits (79) in school history in 2009. Collins is a career .334 collegiate hitter.
Caleb Clowers is in his first season as a volunteer assistant coach after spending the 2013 season as a student coach at Louisiana-Monroe, his alma mater. He'll work with the infield, take over as camp coordinator and will assist with the hitters and baserunning.
Clower played three seasons at ULM and during his time as a player, Clowers was named to the 2011 Rawlings Gold Glove team and he was part of the 2012 Sun Belt Tournament Championship team. During the 2012 season, Clowers hit safely in 27 straight games and reached base in 31 consecutive starts before failing to reach base against LSU in the 2012 Baton Rouge Regional.
Clowers, a 2012 preseason All-Sun Belt selection, was named to the All-Tournament team at the 2012 SBC Tournament. He finished his Warhawk career with a .314 batting average, 220 hits, 109 runs, 109 RBI and commited just 18 errors in three seasons (.978 fielding percentage).
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
Jason Little is in his first season as the head strength and conditioning coach at McNeese. Little is an established strength coach that has built a very professional and positive reputation in the high school ranks.
A 1989 graduate of Mississippi State where he received his bachelor's degree in health and sports performance, he began his career in July of 1990 at Charleston High School in Charleston, Mississippi as the school's strength coach as well as the offensive and defensive line coach. He has also had stops at Opelousas Catholic High School, Bishop Sullivan High, Elton High School, Vidor High School, Vinton High, Longview High School, South Cameron High School, St. Martinville High School and Livonia High School.
In nine seasons at Longview HS, he was a part of six district championships, two state runners-up and nine playoff appearances. In his 22 years as a strength and conditioning coach, Little has coached and developed student-athletes that went on to win nine football district championships.
Sports Information Assistant
Hunter Bower is in his second full season as a member of the McNeese sports information department. A native of Haynesville, La., Bower is the primary SID contact for the Cowgirls' soccer team as well as the McNeese baseball squad. He was recently recognized by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association after he placed third for his 2013 McNeese Tennis Media Guide in the Division IV Category publications contest.
Amanda Wilhite joined the McNeese State staff in August of 2012 as the new Academic Counselor.
Wilhite earned her M.A. in English from Arizona State University, and while at ASU, she worked in the Office of Student-Athlete Development for Sun Devil Athletics for two years. During her time with OSAD, she specialized in working with football, wrestling, men's golf, and men's and women's track and field.
She received two bachelor's degrees from Sam Houston State, one in english and another in criminal justice. A native of Paris, Texas, Amanda enjoys reading, learning new languages, and antagonizing her two cats, Gwen and Macbeth.