FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
NATCHITOCHES – New Northwestern State baseball coach Lane Burroughs has completed his staff, promoting holdover assistant coach Andy Morgan to recruiting coordinator and adding Mississippi State staffer GT McCullough and Arkansas graduate assistant coach Sammy Hassen.
Burroughs took over the Demons in June and retained Morgan, who arrived at NSU a year ago, while adding pitching coach Chris Curry. McCullough will serve as director of baseball operations while Hassen is the volunteer assistant coach.
”Andy will remain on staff with us and we are more than excited for that. He played a huge role in putting together this year’s team and has earned the respect of our players, and that was obvious from day one,” said Burroughs. “He has been a huge help in this transition phase. He’s a tireless recruiter and well phased in player development.”
As head coach at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College until last season, Morgan was named the 2010 Jayhawk East Coach of the Year and guided his teams to its most wins (56) in back-to-back seasons in school history. His 2010 squad posted a second place finish at the Liberal (Kan.) JUCO Super Regional. in 2010, Morgan’s team also set school records for 35 team/individual offensive/pitching categories, set the school single-season wins record (29) and had its best-ever finish, third, in the vaunted Jayhawk East Division.
Hassen helped Arkansas reach the College World Series this spring. He worked with former Demon head coach Dave Van Horn, the Razorbacks’ head coach, with the team’s infielders, while assisting with hitting coach Todd Butler. He prepared the Razorbacks’ bunting program and worked with their catchers.
Arkansas was the 2011 Southeastern Conference West Division champion in Hassen’s first year as a graduate assistant. Last summer, he coached the Arkansas Express Premier under 17 team to a second place finish in the state and helped 15 players advance to college baseball.
“Sammy was a part of a tremendous staff this year at Arkansas that led the Razorbacks to the College World Series. He brings a wealth of knowledge at such a young age,” said Burroughs. “He played for coach Curry at Arkansas Tech and was the first name Chris brought up to me for this position. Sammy was tough as nails as a player and will bring the same toughness as a coach. You will be hearing about him for years to come. I can’t wait to see him interacting with our players on a daily basis.”
A four-year letterman as an infielder at Arkansas Tech, Hassen began his coaching career as an assistant coach helping Fort Smith Southside to the league title in a 25-game wood bat summer league. The following summer, he was head coach of the Russellville (Ark.) Mustangs American Legion team, helping five players advance to college baseball and winning the league championship in a 22-game schedule.
McCullough was a student manager at Mississippi State, working with Burroughs and Bulldogs head coach John Cohen, the Demons’ head coach in 1998-2001 following Van Horn (1995-97). In the two seasons McCullough was involved with the program, the Bulldogs reached the 2011 NCAA Super Regionals and won the 2012 SEC Tournament championship, making another regional appearance.
“GT worked with us the last two years at Mississippi State and was an integral part of a Super Regional team as well as an SEC Championship team. He has worked in numerous capacities at a high level and is one of those guys that makes everyone around him better,” said Burroughs. “He is young and hungry and is a rising star in the profession. We are so fortunate to have GT and his wife Sally Beth joining the Northwestern State family.”
McCullough, a magna cum laude graduate of Mississippi State in kinesiology with a concentration in teaching and coaching, has two summers of successful coaching experience in American Legion baseball, in Tupelo, Miss., and Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he was head coach and led the Post 34 team to the Alabama Central Division championship.
He was a student worker in the office of Mississippi State Vice President of Finance and Administration Dr. Mike McGrevey in 2008 and 2009.
Bringing Hassen and McCullough on board to join Curry and Morgan on the Demon baseball staff has Burroughs excited.
“These two young men are passionate about coaching and helping young men reach their full potential. They will make an immediate impact on our program in numerous areas. We are more than fortunate to have these young men as a part of our staff,” he said.
The Demons will begin fall practice at Brown-Stroud Field when NSU’s fall semester begins Aug. 20.