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800...and Counting: Rick Jones Wins His 800th Game as Skipper of the Green Wave
The players, assistant coaches, uniforms and even the home stadium have changed throughout the last 20 years of Tulane Green Wave baseball. But during that time, head coach Rick Jones has been the one constant. On May 10, Jones won his 800th game as head coach of Tulane when the Greenies defeated UCF, 8-1, in Orlando, allowing Jones to become one of only 15 current coaches who have won 800 or more games at their current school.
Tulane Continues Success in MLB Draft
Five players off the 2013 Tulane Baseball team were selected this past June in the Major League Baseball draft. Weekend starters David Napoli (Washington Nationals, 8th Round), Tony Rizzotti (San Diego, 25th Round), and Alex Byo (Arizona Diamondbacks, 33rd Round) joined senior infielders Brennan Middleton (Washington Nationals, 10th Round) and Garrett Cannizaro (Los Angeles Angels, 18th Round) in hearing their name called.
The five Tulane players selected this year ties for the second most players drafted out of Tulane in a single season in the history of the Tulane program. In 2009, Josh Prince, Aaron Loup, Josh Zeid, Sam Honeck and Taylor Rogers were all selected. Six players were taken in 2007.
Head Coach: Tulane University
The winningest coach in Tulane history, Rick Jones enters his 20th season at the helm of the Green Wave. A staple in college baseball, Jones has manned the dugout for 31 years as a collegiate coach and 38 as a coach overall. Jones has lived a life of baseball and the game has given him multiple lifetime's worth of accolades and success stories both on and off the field.
Since taking over as head coach prior to the 1994 season, Jones has led Tulane to the NCAA Regionals in 12 of his 19 seasons. His postseason résumé includes a school-record nine consecutive trips from 1998-2006, three regional championships and trips to the College World Series in 2001 and 2005.
Jones was appointed the head coach of the 2009 United States Collegiate National Team on July 8, 2008. He guided the Red, White & Blue to the championship of the 2009 Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline World Baseball Challenge at Prince George Citizen Field in British Columbia, posting a 5-1 record in the tournament. Jones' squad grabbed the title with a 5-2 victory over Canada in the championship game.
Under Jones' tutelage, Tulane has ten seasons of 40 or more victories, including school-record 56-win seasons during both CWS years. His 2001 club set the school mark for winning percentage at .812 (56-13) and the 2005 club was a shade better at .823 (56-12).
Camp Coordinator/Director of Operations: Tulane University
Brian Meyer begins his second season with the Green Wave as the programs director of operations. Meyer made coaching stops at Wright State University and Otterbein College, where he was a three-year starter at second base, before assuming his role at Tulane in 2012.
While at Wright State, Meyer helped lead the Raiders to the 2011 NCAA Tournament and win a pair Horizon League titles in 2010 and 2011. Meyer worked with the outfielders, aided with hitting instruction and acted as the bench coach on game day. The Raiders ranked among the national leaders in a slew of offensive categories during Meyers three seasons on campus, including finishing the 2011 campaign ranked second in batting average and 16th in slugging percentage.
Before joining the staff at WSU in 2010, Meyer spent three seasons with his alma mater and worked as the co-recruiting coordinator and hitting coach. The Cardinals ranked among the national leaders in home runs, doubles and fielding percentage during Meyer's time with the program and had 15 players selected to the All-Ohio Athletic Conference teams, five players named to the All-Region squad and one player garnered All-American honors.
Meyer also worked with the Licking County Settlers of the Great Lakes Collegiate Summer League, serving as the head coach during the summer of 2010. That season, he was named the GLCSL Manager of the Year after guiding the Settlers to their first regular-season title and a final national ranking of 23. The squad set franchise records for and led the league in wins, batting average, runs scored, hits, home runs, doubles, on base percentage, and slugging percentage.
Assistant Coach: Tulane University
One of the most popular and most decorated players in the history of Green Wave baseball, Chad Sutter is in the ninth season of his third stint at Tulane and begins his fifth season as associate head coach and pitching coach.
A 2004 inductee into the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame and the number nine all-time home run hitter in NCAA history, Sutter also helps with recruiting efforts in addition to his mentoring of the Green Wave pitching staff. Following an outstanding playing career from 1996-99, Sutter returned to the Tulane dugout as a graduate assistant in 2001 and served as the team's pitching coach in 2002 and 2003. From there, he spent a year as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at UNLV before returning to his alma mater in 2005.
Sutter's pupils with the Green Wave dot the Tulane record book, including 2005 All-Americans Brian Bogusevic and Micah Owings, along with 2003 Freshman All-American J.R. Crowel and the top two closers all-time in Conference USA and Tulane, Daniel Latham (43 saves) and Nick Pepitone (31).
All told, Sutter's pitchers have claimed All-America honors twice and earned All C-USA honors on 11 occasions. Despite having so many players move on to pro baseball, the Green Wave pitching staffs have been dominant under Sutter's tutelage, consistently ranking among the league leaders in ERA, strikeouts and victories.
Assistant Coach: Tulane University
Jake Gautreau enters his fourth season on the Green Wave coaching staff, serving as the programs recruiting coordinator, hitting instructor and infielders coach. Gautreau was an All-American standout for the Green Wave from 1999-2001, earning the Conference USA Player of the Year award in back-to-back seasons, and played eight season of professional baseball before returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach in 2010.
One of the most decorated players in the history of Tulane baseball, Gautreau was inducted into the Tulane Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. The McAllen, Texas native earned the distinction of Conference USA's Player of the Decade in 2005 and earned seven All-American honors at third base/designated hitter from a variety of publications while helping Tulane advance to its first ever College World Series in 2001.
Gautreau has worked with the Tulane hitters since his arrival in 2010 and during that time the Green Wave has its fair share of success at the plate. The 2011 season was one to remember as the Olive and Blue led Conference USA five offensive categories and found themselves among the top-three on 13 of C-USA `s offensive charts.
In 2010, Rob Segedin boasted a .434 batting average, becoming just the fifth player in school history to top the .400 mark for an entire season, to rank ninth overall in the NCAA and, in 2011, Jeremy Schaffer ranked 18th nationally in doubles, with 23.
Assistant Coach: Tulane University
After spending two seasons on the Uptown campus as a player, Shooter Hunt begins his first season as a part of the Green Wave coaching staff. The 31st overall pick of the 2008 MLB Draft in 2008, Hunt will work with the programs base runners and act as the first base coach on game days.
Hunt was a first round selection by the Minnesota Twins in the 2008 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. He began his career with the Rookie League Elizabethtown Twins and was quickly moved to the Single A affiliate Beloit Snappers. Over the next four seasons, Hunt made stops with the Gulf Coast Twins (Gulf Coast League) and the Snappers in 2009 before spending the next two seasons on the Fort Myers Miracle, the organizations Single A Advanced affiliate.
In his professional career, hunt made 93 career appearances with 28 starts on the mound and compiled 193 innings. He fanned 219 batters - or 10.21 batters per nine innings - and was used primarily as a reliever during his final two seasons. Over his career he owned an opponent's batting average of under .250 and was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week on July 14, 2008.
A stalwart on the mound during his career, Hunt currently holds the top opponent's batting average in Tulane history at .204, while ranking fifth in strikeouts per nine innings (10.33) an seventh in earned run average (2.65). He earned All-America accolades from Baseball American, Collegiate Baseball Magazine, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers and Rivals.com after his junior campaign, was a two-time Frist Team All-Conference USA selection and played two summers in the Cape Cod Baseball League.