FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) — With 17 years of collegiate coaching experience that includes two national championships as a head coach, Jad Prachniak has been named as the new head baseball coach at the University of North Alabama.

Prachniak spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Delaware. Prior to that, he spent nine seasons as the head coach at Division II West Chester, leading the Rams to two national championships. He began his full-time coaching career in 2005 and spent six seasons at William and Mary, finishing his time there as recruiting coordinator and pitching coach.
 
Prachniak becomes just the 11th head baseball coach in the 91-year history of the sport at UNA, and only the third head coach of the Lions in the last 39 seasons.
 
He will be the second head coach at North Alabama during its Division I era, following Mike Keehn who retired following the 2022 season after guiding the Lions through their four-year transition to Division I.

“Adding yet another national champion to our head coaching ranks is a significant step forward for our baseball program and athletic department as a whole,” said Looney.” Jad blends a background of Division I recruiting and coaching experience, alongside a national championsh1ip head coaching resume, that will elevate our program into this new era of North Alabama Athletics. As this search process narrowed, we were able to focus on a competitive pool of finalists who built programs and won championships as head coaches. Jad rose to the top of that group and has risen through the coaching profession while carrying a first-class reputation among his peers.
 
“I saw Jad’s 2017 national championship team compete first-hand as an opposing athletic director within the same conference, and I’m excited he’s in our dugout this time around. He is a top-tier competitor with a history of leading teams that are talented, focused, consistent, and disciplined. Most importantly, Coach Prachniak and his teams are respected by the competition. He will write a new chapter of Lion Baseball that will make people connected to our program proud. Jad is well-suited for the road ahead as we build UNA baseball into a consistent and competitive ASUN contender.”
 
“I’d like to thank Dr. Looney for giving me the opportunity to lead a program with such a strong tradition and bright future,” said Prachniak. “The University of North Alabama athletic department has a clear vision for sustained success and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.  I was impressed with everything about UNA during my visit, beautiful campus, a welcoming community, and genuine people.  My family (wife Kelly, daughter Emilia) feel fortunate to be heading to such a special place. Roar Lions!”
 
“I’m very excited about Coach Prachniak being our next head coach at North Alabama,” said former UNA All-American and 12-year Major League veteran Josh Willingham, who served as an advisor to the search committee. “His vision for our program, past success and knowledge of the game are some of the qualities that set him apart. There are great things ahead for our baseball program.”
 
Prachniak compiled a career record of 273-127-1 (.682), while adding two NCAA Division II Regional crowns and three PSAC Eastern Division titles to his ledger. He is responsible for the program’s first ever national championship in his first season in 2012 and won his second in 2017. He ranks second in all-time wins as a head coach at West Chester.