Bellarmine University Baseball Coach Larry Owens has announced several changes to his coaching staff, including the promotion of Nick Eversole and the addition of a recently departed star player in Jes Staples.
A volunteer assistant last season, Eversole is now Bellarmine’s recruiting coordinator. Staples, former Trinity (Ky.) High School coach Steven Tompkins and former Asbury University assistant Austin Johnson have been added to the staff as volunteer assistants and collectively will fill a variety of roles.
In addition to being Bellarmine’s recruiting coordinator, Eversole will be the third-base coach and primarily work with hitters and catchers. In his first season at BU, Eversole helped lead the Knights to a third-place finish in the East Division of the Great Lakes Valley Conference and a berth in the conference tournament. He succeeds Terry Davis, who is now an assistant coach at New Mexico State.
“We were fortunate to have someone in place with the capabilities that Nick possesses,” Owens said. “Nick will recruit more extensively and more exclusively. He’s organized, he’s conscientious. He has every quality that you would want from a guy that wants to coach baseball at this level or higher for a living. We’re fortunate to have him.”
Before arriving at Bellarmine, Eversole was an assistant at his alma mater, Bloomsburg (Pa.) University. As a player, he was a three-year starter at catcher and first base and was named All-Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference in 2011 along with team MVP.
“I am thrilled,” Eversole said. “It makes me feel good that Coach Owens has the confidence in me to step into this role. I feel fortunate and am excited to get going. The support of our athletics department in general is huge. (Director of Athletics) Scott Wiegandt is a former player here and has high expectations, and that’s good for our baseball program. The whole first year was a learning experience for me. On the baseball side, Larry opened my eyes to so many things that I would never even have considered because of his baseball experience. I learned a lot on the recruiting side from Terry as well.”
Staples was a four-year starter in the outfield for Bellarmine, earning his second All-GLVC award last season. He’s third on the career hits list, fifth in triples, seventh in runs scored and tied for ninth in stolen bases. Staples will be the first-base coach and work with the outfielders along with hitters and baserunners.
“Having a former player coach for you is good in that the transition should be relatively easy,” Owens said. “Jes is familiar with how we do things. He’s one of the best players to ever play here. Personality-wise, he’s somewhat quiet and reserved, but that can be good because when he talks, people are going to listen to him. He was a good player who has the ability to teach and communicate.”
A former University of Louisville player, Tompkins coached Trinity for 12 seasons through 2014 and went 282-138 while winning Seventh Region titles in 2004, 2005 and 2009. He’ll work with the infielders and hitters and be a bench coach alongside Owens.
“He’s someone with overall baseball experience who coached a quality team in Trinity at a high level of high school baseball,” Owens said. “He can wear a variety of hats. When it comes to coaching, he can kind of do it all.”
Johnson was an assistant at Asbury for two seasons and primarily worked with pitchers. As a player, he was an All-South Atlantic Conference selection at Lincoln Memorial University. Johnson will be Bellarmine’s bullpen coach.
“Austin gives us an opportunity to have a coach at practice with every position group,” Owens said. “It gives me the freedom to rove if I need to. Plus, it gives us a coach to have in the bullpen during a game, which is very important.”
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