University of Alabama names new baseball coach
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Brad Bohannon, the 2015 American Baseball Coaches Association and Baseball America National Assistant Coach of the Year, has been named head baseball coach at The University of Alabama, Director of Athletics Greg Byrne announced on Thursday. Bohannon, who becomes the 32nd head coach in Crimson Tide baseball history, will be formally introduced at a press conference on Monday.
“I am excited to announce that we have reached an agreement with Brad Bohannon to be our new head baseball coach at The University of Alabama,” said Byrne. “As we began the search and studied our successful rosters from the past regional and College World Series teams, it became apparent that we needed our head coach to be very strong in recruiting in the state Alabama, the Southeast and then completing the roster with national recruits. The vision that Brad shared for Alabama baseball matched that recruiting philosophy and coupled it with a great coaching pedigree and a commitment to the student-athlete, both as a baseball player and as a well-rounded student. We are confident that he will be able to lead our program to championship levels, which we all value here at Alabama.”
Bohannon brings 14 years of Southeastern Conference coaching experience to Alabama after having served as an assistant at Kentucky from 2004-15 and, most recently, Auburn from 2016-17. Regarded as one of the best recruiters in the nation, he was responsible for signing 13 Wildcat student-athletes that went on to play professional baseball, including 2014 Golden Spikes Award winner A.J. Reed, while his first recruiting class at Auburn was ranked No. 9 by Collegiate Baseball and includes six current starting position players.
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I cannot wait to get started,” said Bohannon. “My goal is to make The University of Alabama the best baseball experience in the country. We’re going to recruit at the highest level, coach and develop our student-athletes and create a positive team culture that ultimately will help us to be successful. Every aspect of our program will play an important part, and Alabama has incredible resources to help us reach our goals. I truly believe we can accomplish anything here.”
Bohannon played a pivotal role in turning around both Kentucky and Auburn within three years on the job. The Wildcats became the first team in SEC history to go from worst to first in only one season, winning 44 games and the program’s first league title in 2006, while the Tigers won 12 more games in 2017 than in 2016 and advanced to the NCAA tournament. In addition to improving in the win column, the 2017 squad is on pace to set the school record for fielding percentage.
While at Kentucky, Bohannon served under two SEC Coach of Year honorees in John Cohen and Gary Henderson. Along with winning the school’s only league title, Bohannon was a part of a trio of record-breaking win seasons, capped off by the 2012 team that won 45 games to set the program mark.
A combined 69 Wildcat student-athletes were chosen in the Major League Baseball draft or signed as a free agent during Bohannon’s tenure as recruiting coordinator. He had nine recruits selected in the 2012 draft, which set a new Kentucky record and was second-most in the NCAA.
One of Bohannon’s most notable recruits was the aforementioned Reed, who was tabbed as the consensus national player of the year in 2014. The 2012 freshman All-American continued to improve each year under Bohannon’s watch and went on to lead the NCAA in home runs and slugging percentage as a junior, while leading the SEC in wins by a pitcher.
Since 2008, all of Bohannon’s recruiting classes have been ranked in the top 25 with the 2008 class coming in at No. 4, the 2009 class at No. 6, the 2010 class at No. 16, the 2011 class at No. 25, the 2012 class at No. 11, the 2013 class at No. 25, the 2014 class at No. 16 and both the 2015 and 2016 classes coming in at No. 9. He has signed recruits from 25 different states and Canada, three of which have gone on to be first round picks in the MLB draft.
Prior to his stint at Kentucky, Bohannon worked for two seasons at Wake Forest as an assistant on George Greer’s staff. In his two seasons in Winston-Salem, the Demon Deacons advanced to the NCAA tournament twice and captured the Atlantic Coast Conference title in 2001.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Bohannon also spent the summer of 2005 managing the Southern Ohio Copperheads of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League.
Bohannon earned an undergraduate degree in finance in 1998 from Berry College in Georgia. He then went on to earn a master’s degree in business administration from Wake Forest in 2002. Bohannon began his collegiate career playing at Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech before finishing up at Berry.
Bohannon, a native of Rome, Ga., is married to the former Kim Traylor.
All such employment contracts are subject to approval by The University of Alabama Board of Trustees.
Bohannon’s Coaching Experience
2001-02 – Wake Forrest Assistant Coach
2004-05 – Kentucky Assistant Coach
2005-2015 – Kentucky Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
2016-17 – Auburn Assistant Coach.
The above release is from rolltide.com.