Razorbacks name Nate Thompson assistant baseball coach

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Nate Thompson was named the new Razorback baseball assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, the school announced. Thompson comes from Missouri State, where he spent the last three seasons.

He replaces Tony Vitello, who was named head coach at Tennessee.

“Arkansas is a premier place,” Thompson said in a statement. “Coach (Dave) 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.”

Thompson recently helped the Bears reach the NCAA Super Regionals as part of a 43-20 season and a Missouri Valley Conference championship. The Bears’ offense hit .274 as a team and hit 80 home runs for the second-straight year. With Thompson on staff, Missouri State hit .270 or better in each of the last three seasons and averaged just under seven runs per game.

“I am very excited to add Nate Thompson to our coaching staff,” Dave Van Horn said. “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. 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.”

Thompson spent three seasons at Nebraska as the Cornhuskers’ volunteer assistant prior to his arrival in Hutchinson. In that capacity, he instructed the Husker outfielders and assisted with the infield group, playing key roles in the development of 2008 All-Big 12 performers and MLB draftees Jake Opitz (12th round, Cubs) and Mitch Abeita (19th round, Yankees), who helped Nebraska log an impressive 41-16-1 campaign and earn the right to host an NCAA Regional in Lincoln.

Following the completion of his own collegiate playing career at Dallas Baptist, Thompson began his coaching career as a student assistant with the Patriots. A two-year letterwinner in the DBU outfield, Thompson helped the Patriots claim the 2004 NCCAA national championship after turning in a standout two-year career at Garden City (Kan.) Community College. He was a key figure on the Busters’ 2003 Jayhawk West Division championship team, earning NJCCAA Distinguished Academic All-America honors.

Additionally, Thompson gained experience during the summer of 2007 as an assistant coach with the Mat-Su Miners of the Alaska Baseball League, where he was nominated for the league’s assistant of the year honor. Thompson also served as director of Nebraska’s summer baseball camps from 2008-10, overseeing program development and personnel while assisting with the instruction and skill development phases of the camps.

A native of Goodland, Kan., Thompson graduated cum laude with his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Dallas Baptist in 2006 and earned a master’s degree in sports administration at Fort Hays State in 2008. He married the former Anna Schardt in 2009, and the couple has two daughters, Nevaeh and Natalie.

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