BUIES CREEK, N.C. — Campbell baseball head coach Justin Haire has announced the addition of Jake Wells to the Camels’ coaching staff as an assistant coach heading into the upcoming 2018 campaign.
Wells will work with the Camel hitters with a focus on the catchers. He will also assist with recruiting along with all other aspects of the program.
“I’m extremely pleased to announce the hiring of Coach Jake Wells, and welcome him and his wife, Melissa, to Buies Creek,” said Haire. “I have been able to follow Coach Wells’ career for many years; from his time at Marion Military, going to Omaha with Mississippi State, orchestrating one of the biggest turnarounds in NCAA history at Louisiana Tech and eventually becoming a recruiting coordinator in the premiere conference in the country. He has been a WINNER at every stop and an unbelievably energetic and productive worker.”
Wells spent the 2017 season, his ninth year in the coaching industry, at the University of Alabama as an assistant coach. He served as the Crimson Tide’s recruiting coordinator and worked closely with the team’s catchers.
Wells’ previous experience working with catchers dates back to his two seasons at Mississippi State from 2013-14. With the Bulldogs, Wells tutored two catchers who went on to sign professional contracts and followed up in 2014 by mentoring the program’s first All-SEC freshman catcher in the program’s 124-year history. He was an integral part of the Mississippi State staff that led the Bulldogs to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a finalist finish in the 2013 College World Series.
“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be here at Campbell,” said Wells. “With the new facility and upgrades to the stadium, it’s obvious that there’s some sincere backing for this program. People care about this team and are willing to make moves to make it one of the best in the country. I’m thankful that Coach Haire is giving me the opportunity to be able to work with this staff and to have a place to call home.”
Wells spent the 2015-16 seasons at Louisiana Tech as the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator. Under his tutelage, the Bulldogs were able to improve in nearly every hitting statistic from his arrival in 2015 through the 2016 campaign. The 2016 offense tied the program record for triples with 19, while accumulating 112 doubles and 2,052 at-bats (both third-most all-time).
Wells mentored LA Tech’s first Johnny Bench Award finalist, Brent Diaz, who was the program’s first catcher to pick up Conference USA all-freshman team accolades. Diaz was also later drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers.
In 2015, Wells first season at Louisiana Tech, the Bulldog hitters batted .261, an 11-point improvement from the previous year. LA Tech also scored 100 more runs that season than the year prior and drove in 99 more RBI as a team. The Bulldogs’ on-base percentage also increased by .40 points from 2015 to 2016 under Wells.
“Coach Wells has made himself into one of the top catching instructors in the country, and one of the most innovative hitting guys around,” said Haire. “His experience, energy and enthusiasm on the recruiting trail will further enhance our ability to find the best players in country to come Campbell. We are very fortunate, and excited about his addition to our program.”
Prior to his time at Mississippi State, Wells spent two years as the head coach at Marion Military Institute in Marion, Ala., beginning in 2008 as an assistant and ending with him in the head coaching role for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Over his five seasons in Marion, Wells coached 11 players who earned all-conference and all-region accolades.
Wells has served as camp manager for youth baseball camps in Montevallo, Ala., and Devine, Texas, while also managing the Alabama Special Olympics State Tournament.
As a player, Wells was an all-state catcher at Devine (Texas) High School. After his prep days, he continued his career at Blinn (Texas) College, Lurleen B. Wallace (Ala.) Community College and eventually at the University of Montevallo.
Wells earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and health promotions from Montevallo in 2005. He went on to play professional baseball in the United League with the Laredo Broncos in 2009 and 2010. Wells is married to the former Melissa Sherrod of Longview, Texas.