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UNLV hires Jeff Prieto as Assistant Coach


UNLV head coach Buddy Gouldsmith announced the hiring of Jeff Prieto. (Courtesy of UNLV Media Relations)

UNLV head coach Buddy Gouldsmith announced the hiring of Jeff Prieto. (Courtesy of UNLV Media Relations)

LAS VEGAS – UNLV baseball head coach Buddy Gouldsmith has announced that he has hired Jeff Prieto to fill out his 2009 staff as an assistant coach and he will oversee the infielders while working with the hitters, base runners and short game. He will also coach third base, set defenses and develop defensive strategy.

Prieto joins the Rebels after spending the past five seasons as the head coach at Clovis East High School in Clovis, Calif., leading the Timberwolves to the program’s first five postseason appearances in school history.

“Jeff is a coach I have had my eye on for a few years and I have watched him develop his program and was heavily drawn to his passion for the student-athlete experience as well as the game of baseball,” Gouldsmith said. “Jeff has developed some fine young players in recent years at Clovis East and he will open even further a network to Central California that will enrich our recruiting efforts in that area. The relationships that he maintains in an area that has produced some great college players will be invaluable to our recruiting efforts.”

In his final season at CEHS, Prieto directed his team to a 25-7 record and earned a spot in the CIF Central Section semifinals. His team at one point held the No. 1-ranking in the CIF Central Section and was ranked seventh overall in the Golden State. The Timberwolves also won the 2008 Fresno Easter Classic, beating nationally-ranked teams Jesuit HS (Carmichael, Calif.), as well as Clovis West High School in the championship game. He was named the 2008 American Baseball Coaches Association Region 8 Coach of the Year and was the ABCA national runner-up.

Prieto developed 14 prep players who went on to earn Division-I scholarships, including Garrett Olson of the Baltimore Orioles and Jason Donald, who is in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system and was a member of the 2008 USA Olympic team, which earned the bronze medal.

“I am very excited about being a part of the UNLV baseball program and having the opportunity join coach Gouldsmith’s staff,” Prieto said. “UNLV baseball is a program with great pride and tradition. I am looking forward to getting to work and helping our student-athletes reach their full potential.”

Prieto is a 2001 graduate of Fresno State, where he was a four-year starter for the Bulldogs and helped them to three NCAA Regional appearances, including trips to the championship games in 1997 and 2001. He earned Academic All-WAC twice and he led the Bulldogs in home runs and triples, and was second in RBI in 1999.

Prieto comes from a long baseball pedigree, as his grandfather is Bob Bennett, who coached at FSU for 34 years and his 1,302 wins were the fifth most in NCAA history when he retired. Prieto’s father, Bob, coached at Clovis West High School.

Prieto is married to Jamie Prieto, the couple has a son, Wyatt.

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