On Friday morning, Louisiana Tech head baseball coach Lane Burroughs announced that Austin Knight would be joining the Bulldog Baseball staff for the 2018 season.
Knight will come to Ruston as the volunteer assistant coach, replacing Travis Creel who was promoted to the Bulldog hitting coach and recruiting coordinator last week.
“I’ve known Austin a long time,” Burroughs said. “He comes from a baseball family and a long lineage of coaches in the Knight family. His dad (Larry – Sumrall HS [MS]) is one of the most respected and successful coaches not only in Mississippi, but the entire country. [Austin] is a student of the game and the classic overachiever. He is an extremely hard worker that worked himself into a starter at Ole Miss, on a squad that played in the College World Series. He’s also learned and worked under two men I have the utmost respect for in Mike Bianco and Chris Curry.”
The former Ole Miss Rebel has spent the past two seasons as a graduate manager at Little Rock working under Currry. During those two years with the Trojans, Knight spent time working with the catchers and assisting with hitting.
“I am so excited about Austin working with our catchers,” Burroughs continued. “He coached Brent Diaz in the Cape last summer and helped Brent develop into one of the best catchers in the country. He is a rising star in our profession and I’m convinced that he will add a tremendous amount of value to our program.”
After spending the 2016 summer with Brent Diaz, the junior saw a significant increase in offensive output. Diaz not only saw an increase in power numbers, but also saw his average rise nearly 60 points from 2016 to 2017 leading to the Miami native being named a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award.
Diaz is not the only high-profile catcher that Knight has worked with. While with the Cape Cod League, Knight also coached Matt Whatley, a third-round pick of the Oakland A’s in this year’s draft and the winner of the 2017 Johnny Bench Award. Overall, Knight worked with five catchers who were selected in the 2017 MLB Draft.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity Coach Burroughs has given me to join the Louisiana Tech baseball coaching staff,” Knight said. “I have known Coach Burroughs for a long time and I know he and his staff are class acts and it is an honor to be able to work with great people whom I have tremendous respect for. I can’t wait to help build on to the success that the program has had in recent years in any way that I can.”
Knight lettered for four years at Ole Miss, helping lead the Rebels to a 2014 College World Series appearance. He received bachelors in Business Management in 2015 from Ole Miss and a Masters in Sports Management from Little Rock in 2017.
“He’s a man of character and integrity and as everyone knows, those are two huge cornerstones of our culture at Tech and play huge roles in what we are trying to achieve here in Ruston,” stated Burroughs.
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