Manny Mantrana has been the head baseball coach of the baseball program for seven seasons. He spent the previous 12 seasons at Saint Thomas University, earning induction into their Hall of Fame and having his jersey retired in 2013-14.
2015: Led the team to an 8-3 start … Helped convert senior All-WAC Second Team selection Logan Landon from a pitcher back into an outfielder, where he hadn't played regularly since college. Landon hit.382, third best in the WAC and 21st in the NCAA, with an on-base percentage of .476, second best in the WAC and 29th in the NCAA, and a slugging percentage of .623, second best in the WAC and 45th in the NCAA. He ranked among the WAC leaders in every other offensive category as well … Utilized five freshman pitchers, had five freshmen pitchers, Johnny Gonzalez, Ryan Jackson, George Lamb, Zach Martinez, and Robert Quinonez, who combine for 196.2 innings (43.8 percent of the team total) across 71 appearances (17 starts), going 7-12 with four saves and a 4.53 ERA. The freshmen combined to strikeout 149 while walking 78 and allowing 224 hits. Jackson, who earned WAC Pitcher of the Week honors after his first start, led the Broncs with 58 strikeouts while Quinonez ranked second with 57.
2014: Led the Broncs to third-straight No. 2 seed in a conference tournament, as the Broncs went 17-10 in their first season in the Western Athletic Conference … The Broncs won each of their final seven WAC series, including taking two out of three from eventual WAC Champion Sacramento State, while completing two sweeps … Coached team to 3-1 win at No. 15 Oklahoma State (3/14) … Helped develop Sam Street into the WAC Pitcher of the Year and one of the final 18 candidates for the National Pitcher of the Year award. Street led the NCAA in complete games and ranked second in wins. He also led the WAC in every major pitching category, becoming the first triple crown winner since 2011 … Coached right fielder/catcher Alex Howe, an All-WAC First Team selection who led the Broncs in almost every offensive category and was among the WAC and NCAA leaders as well.
The UTRGV baseball team hired Jordon Banfield as an assistant coach on July 8, 2015.
Banfield's responsibilities at UTRGV will include assisting with the hitters and base running while working directly with the infielders, as well as recruiting.
In his first season at UIS, the Prairie Stars broke 20 school records, finishing with 28 wins and the program's first ever appearance in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament. Banfield signed 32 new players to the 2014-15 roster as part of a heralded first recruiting class that led the team to 22 wins despite having just three seniors.
Banfield came to UIS from Ann Arbor, Mich., where he was the head coach of one of the top travel programs in the country, the Ann Arbor Travelers, while also working for the Texas Rangers as a professional scout.
The UTRGV baseball team hired Brian Nelson as an assistant coach on June 29, 2015.
Nelson's responsibilities include working with the pitchers and catchers in addition to recruiting.
Nelson spent the previous two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at Lamar, and his impact on Lamar's pitching staff was felt almost immediately. In his first season with the Cardinals, he helped the pitching staff drop its earned run average (ERA) for 4.07 in 2013 to 3.68. The staff's ERA in 2014 was the lowest Lamar had seen in a decade.
In his two seasons, Nelson worked with three Major League Baseball draft picks in J.T. Autrey, David Carver, and Collin Chapman. Autrey, who was 1-0 with a 7.24 ERA in 20 appearances in 2013, improved to 6-2 with a 3.59 ERA in the same number of appearances while working with Nelson in 2014. Carver saw his ERA drop from 5.74 to 4.14 as well.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) baseball team announced on Thursday the hiring of Shawn Redd, who spent last season as the Director of Baseball Operations at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock (UALR), as a volunteer assistant coach and camp coordinator.
Redd's on-field responsibilities will include coaching first base, working with the outfielders and assisting with all of the hitters.
Off the field, Redd will serve as camp director and team travel coordinator.
Prior to UALR, Redd spent four years at TCU as the Facilities Manager and Head of Baseball Grounds. His responsibilities included assisting with the team's catchers and TCU Baseball Camp operations