FAYETTEVILLE - Direct from the staff of the Missouri State Bears defeating Arkansas two of three to win the Fayetteville Regional, the Razorbacks have signed assistant coach Nate Thompson as Arkansas’ new hitting coach/recruiting coordinator.
Thompson replaces Tony Vitello, the Arkansas hitting coach/recruiting coordinator under coach Dave Van Horn and recently named the head coach at Tennessee.
Van Horn announced Thompson’s hiring Friday evening via a UA press release.
""I am very excited "He brings a lot of energy and experience in recruiting for this region, as well as Texas. Nate has done a tremendous job working with the offense at top-notch programs like Nebraska, Dallas Baptist, and Missouri State," Van Horn said. "I thought he would be a great fit for our program. I’ve been watching Nate for the last few years and he’s worked extremely hard to get where he is. I’m looking forward to him leading our recruiting efforts and working with our offense."
For coach Keith Guttin’s Missouri State Bears, Thompson coached and recruited three-time All-American third baseman Jake Burger, drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the first round as the 11th player taken in the draft, and All-American shortstop Jeremy Eierman whose 2-run home run ultimately defeated Arkansas, 3-2 in the winner take all championship game of the Fayetteville Regional at Baum Stadium.
Previously Thompson, a two-year letterman at Dallas Baptist and then a student assistant coach at his alma mater and volunteer coach at Nebraska and assistant at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, before joining Guttin’s staff in 2014 as hitting coach/recruiting coordinator.
Thompson and the Bears have seen both sides of it at Baum where the Razorbacks defeated Missouri State in the 2015 super regional to advance to the College World Series.
""Arkansas is a premier place," Thompson was quoted in Friday’s press release. "Coach Van Horn is a legend and a proven winner everywhere he has gone. To get the opportunity to coach at a place like Arkansas, to recruit with the resources and have the fan support that is here is tremendous. Getting the chance to work with Dave Van Horn and the caliber of players they have, it’s a dream and the opportunity of a lifetime. I couldn’t be more excited and I am blessed beyond measure to be a Hog. I can’t wait to get started and working toward championships."