On Thursday morning, Louisiana Tech head baseball coach Lane Burroughs announced that Cory Barton will join the baseball staff for the 2018 campaign.
Barton will serve as the pitching coach for the Bulldogs after guiding the McNeese baseball program to one of the best seasons in its history.
"This was a very important search and hire and we did our due diligence," Burroughs noted. "We essentially had a short list and Cory was at the very top. He checked all the boxes that we were looking for. We needed an outstanding man that has integrity and character. We want to surround ourselves with men above reproach. This is important when you are building a program and establishing a culture."
During his three years at McNeese, Barton served as the program's recruiting coordinator while also working with the Cowboy pitching staff. Barton earned a reputation as one of the top recruiters in all of college baseball as his 2015-16 recruiting class was recognized among the best in the nation according to College Baseball Magazine. Baseball America tabbed his 2011 recruiting class as one of country's best alongside LSU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Baylor.
"Obviously we needed a top notch pitching coach that could develop and foster meaningful relationships with our pitchers and an established recruiter," Burroughs added. "Cory is all these things. I've watched him as a player and competed against him as a coach. His guys compete their tails off for him and his ability to call a game is off the charts. He has established recruiting connections all over the country, but more importantly he has recruited extremely well within our circle. He is an extremely hard worker, he's blue collar, he is a fierce competitor and he's just a good dude that is easy to get along with. These are traits that are extremely important to me and our staff."
Barton was instrumental to the Cowboys' success over the past three years, securing four consecutive 30-win seasons from 2014-17. He also made school history in 2015, as the team posted a sub 4.00 ERA for the first time since the 1993 season, marking just the fifth time since 1990 that a McNeese baseball squad registered an ERA lower than 4.00.
"I would like to thank Coach Burroughs for giving me this opportunity," Barton said. "I have known him since I was a player at the University of Memphis and have always admired not only the caliber of baseball coach that he is, but the type of man he is as well. I am extremely excited to get to work with him, Coach Creel and Coach Knight."
This past season, Barton guided the McNeese pitching staff to the third-lowest ERA (4.19) and the second-most wins (37) and saves (17) in the Southland. The Cowboys' bullpen was regarded among the best in the conference.
"Having coached in this area the past several years, I am very familiar with this program," Barton added. "I have always thought of Louisiana Tech as having incredible potential. I think this baseball program is just scratching the surface of what it could be. I know that I am ready to get to work and do whatever is necessary every day to make Bulldog baseball the absolute best program that it can be."
Prior to his time at McNeese, Barton spent five seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Louisiana Monroe, helping lead the Warhawks to a Sun Belt Championship in 2012. Barton joined the ULM staff in 2008 after two seasons as an assistant coach at Memphis and a two-year playing career with the Tigers.
"Cory has been around some of the better pitching minds in our business; men I respect tremendously. He played for Coach Bobby Sprowl at Shelton State, Daron Schoenrock at Memphis and has worked side by side with Justin Hill for numerous years. He is prepared and ready for this job and the future of Louisiana Tech Baseball is very bright. I know our players, alumni and fans will be more than impressed with Coach Barton and what he will bring to the table."
As a player, Barton played in 94 games, making 86 starts. The 2006 Tiger co-captain hit six home runs and drove in 49 runs. Barton, a native of Trussville, Alabama, graduated from Memphis with a sport management degree in May 2007. He and his wife Robin have a 1-year-old son, Cooper.
"I give the pitching coach a ton of responsibility," Burroughs concluded. "It couldn't be just anyone and Cory is the perfect match. I am so pumped and excited about Coach Barton joining our staff and working with our guys on a daily basis. I know our guys will thrive under his guidance. I want to ask Bulldogs everywhere to join me in welcoming Coach Barton, his wife Robin and young son Cooper to Ruston."
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