Hadra joins VMI Coaching Staff

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

Hadra LEXINGTON, Va.- The VMI baseball program has announced the hiring of Jonathan Hadra, a 2004 VMI graduate, as an assistant coach, skipper Marlin Ikenberry announced on Tuesday. 

Hadra, who spent last season at Bradley, brings five years of coaching experience back to Lexington, where he was a four-year letterman for the Keydets.  Upon his graduation in 2004, Hadra coached with VMI in 2005 before working three years at Western Kentucky under VMI graduate Chris Finwood, where he helped the Hilltoppers to a berth in the 2008 NCAA Regionals after capturing the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

 

“I’m very excited having Jonathan back,” said Ikenberry.  “It’s great having another VMI alum on staff.  He’s been at Western Kentucky with Coach Finwood, who I played for here at VMI.  Jonathan knows what it takes to recruit and develop student-athletes to exceed at the next level and to take programs to championships.  He was a part of Western Kentucky’s team that won the Sun Belt back in 2008, and bringing in that kind of championship experience only adds to our program.  He’ll be working with our infielders and hitters, and we’re excited to see the impact he will make in those areas.”

"First and foremost, I want to thank Coach Ikenberry for the opportunity to return to VMI and work toward bringing a championship to my alma mater,” said Hadra upon his hiring.  “I have so much pride in what VMI stands for and the values that it instills in its graduates upon completion of their time here.  The commitment to the program is truly unbelievable with the renovation of Paulette Hall and the addition of Gray-Minor Stadium.  The education, along with the overall improvement of the facilities, has put our program in a position to recruit top student-athletes to VMI and compete year in and year out for the Big South Championship."   

Last season at Bradley, Hadra worked to bring in a freshman class of 16 that was recently named one of the top recruiting classes in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.  Included in the haul was a pair of Junior College All-Americans, a High School All-American and three players that were drafted by MLB clubs last spring.  Under Hadra’s tutelage, Bradley center fielder Nick Mitidiero earned All-Conference accolades, leading the team in hitting with a .337 average.

Prior to his stint in Peoria, Hadra worked for three seasons at WKU.  During that time, he oversaw outfield instruction, base running and bunting while coaching first base.  In 2008, the Hilltoppers were picked seventh in the league’s preseason poll, yet made just the third NCAA Tournament appearance in program history after capturing the conference tournament championship.  Also that season, the WKU defense ranked third in the nation with a .976 team fielding percentage.

During Hadra’s second season in Bowling Green, the Hilltoppers went 15-15 in Sun Belt play, recording a conference record 10-game improvement from their 5-18 league mark in 2006.

Before joining Finwood’s staff in 2005, Hadra spent one season as an assistant coach at VMI.  In his only season as a coach at VMI, the Keydets broke the school record for wins and knocked off a ranked opponent for the second straight year (#21 Coastal Carolina, 3-2).  That season, Hadra worked with the VMI outfielders as well as assisting instruction in base running, bunting and positional defense.

As a cadet, Hadra was a four-year letterman  who graduated with a degree in Economics and Business.  As a senior, Hadra served as team captain, while he helped the Keydets break the school record for wins during his junior season.  His sophomore season, meanwhile, saw VMI finish with a 16-14 mark in the Southern Conference, breaking the program standard for most conference wins.

Hadra is married to the former Allison Toth, and the couple will reside in Lexington.