OXFORD, Miss. – Kirk McConnell has joined the Ole Miss baseball staff as a volunteer assistant coach, head coach Mike Bianco announced on Thursday.
McConnell joins the Rebels after four seasons at Northeast Texas Community College where he has served as the recruiting coordinator and coached outfielders, the base runners and served as the hitting instructor.
He will be taking the position held previously by Rob Francis who left Ole Miss to take the head coaching job at St. Petersburg College. McConnell will coach the infielders and assist with the hitters at Ole Miss.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to come and be a part of Ole Miss baseball,” McConnell said. “It’s a great opportunity for me and my family. I look forward to being a part of the tradition and success that is Ole Miss baseball.”
“We’re excited for Kirk to join our staff,” Bianco said. “He has several years of experience in college baseball and has gained a lot of respect in a short period of time. He’s coming from an outstanding community college program and understands the quality of baseball played in the Southeastern Conference having played at Arkansas for two seasons.”
At Northeast Texas, McConnell helped lead an offense that hit over .315 and posted more than 100 stolen bases in each of his four seasons. The Eagle offense averaged 129 stolen bases a season during his time with Northeast Texas, and is coming of a 2010 season that saw the team lead Region 14 in hitting with a .342 average and runs scored.
Twenty-five players have gone on to sign with Division I schools since McConnell arrived at Northeast Texas and several more have garnered attention for their performance on the diamond, including three All-Americans, four All-Region selections and 15 All-Conference selections.
Prior to joining the staff at Northeast Texas, McConnell worked at Southern Arkansas University, where he held the position of hitting coach in the fall of 2006. McConnell’s duties included overseeing hitters, and assisting with outfielders, base running, and recruiting. Six Mulerider hitters would go on to earn All-Conference honors that season, while one earned All-Region and All-American honors.
After completing his playing career, McConnell joined the Division I coaching ranks at Missouri State University. He served as an assistant coach for one season, working with Bear hitters, outfielders, and base runners. While at Missouri State, McConnell worked with nine players who would be selected in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, including two first round picks, eight all-conference players, and one USA National Team member. MSU finished the 2006 campaign runner-up in both the regular season and Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
An All-State and two-time All-Conference performer at Magnolia High, McConnell began his collegiate career at the University of Arkansas, where he was a Freshman All-American Honorable Mention outfielder, helping the Razorbacks to two Regional Appearances and a Super Regional appearance as a two-year letterman. McConnell then transferred to Missouri State University where he was an All-Conference and All-Region performer. McConnell was also named Bear’s Most Valuable player during his senior season as team captain for the Bears. Following his collegiate career, McConnell played professionally for two seasons with the River City Rascals of the Frontier Professional Baseball League.
McConnell spent two summers as Head Coach of the Columbia Angels (AR) with American Legion Baseball, leading the Angels to two District Championships and one State Championship. During these two stints, McConnell witnessed nine players move on to the collegiate ranks, and one to the professional ranks.
McConnell earned his bachelor of arts in history from Missouri State University in May of 2006. McConnell and his wife, Hannah, are expecting their first child in January.
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