Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics
FAYETTEVILLE (Univ. of Ark)- Brad Flanders, who earned All-America and all-conference honors as a collegiate catcher and has six years of coaching experience at the college level, has been named Arkansas' new volunteer assistant coach, it was announced on Tuesday.
Flanders will work primarily with the Razorback catchers and will also assist head coach Dave Van Horn and assistant coach Tony Vitello with the Arkansas hitters.
"We're excited to have Brad joining our coaching staff," Van Horn said. "In his six years of coaching, he's had the opportunity to coach at many different levels. He's also played at the highest levels of collegiate baseball, earning all-conference honors as a catcher at Missouri. He has a reputation as a tireless worker and does a tremendous job working with catchers and hitters. I know he's excited to be at Arkansas and have an opportunity to coach some of the top players in the country."
Flanders joins the Arkansas coaching staff after spending two seasons as the volunteer assistant coach at Saint Louis, working primarily with the catchers. Flanders worked with catcher Grant Nelson, who was drafted in the ninth round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Nelson hit .338 in his senior season and added five home runs and 32 RBI. Defensively, Nelson threw out 15 would-be base stealers and had a .988 fielding percentage.
"I'm incredibly excited for the opportunity to join Coach Van Horn's staff," Flanders said. "I played against one of his Arkansas teams when I was a collegiate player at Missouri and have always had great respect for the way he runs his program. I'm looking forward to working with the players and coaching staff and helping the team in any way I can."
Before his time at Saint Louis, Flanders spent four seasons at Texarkana College, where he worked with the team's pitchers, served as the recruiting coordinator and was also the first base coach. In 2010, Texarkana's pitching staff finished the season with a 2.91 team ERA and the 2009 team won the conference championship after leading the league in strikeouts (193) and allowing the fewest walks (70). Seven pitchers that Flanders worked with at Texarkana College went on to play at the Division I level, two went to Division II and one was selected in the MLB Draft.
Flanders played two seasons at Hutchinson Community College, earning junior college All-America honors in 2002 and also earning all-conference and all-region honors. Flanders then played two seasons at the University of Missouri where he earned all-Big 12 honors in 2003 after hitting .332 with six homers and 43 RBI. Flanders helped the Tigers to NCAA Tournament appearances in each of his two seasons at Missouri.
A native of Smithville, Mo., Flanders graduated from the University of Missouri in 2005 with a degree in agriculture.