Knight, Washam and Boggs Join Bulldog Baseball Staff

July 14, 2017

RUSON, La. - On Friday morning, Louisiana Tech head baseball coach Lane Burroughs announced that Austin Knight, Jonathan Washam and Marshall Boggs 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 Burrough’s has given me to join the Louisiana Tech baseball coaching staff,” Knight said. “I have known Coach Burrough’s 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.

Knight wasn’t the only addition as it was also announced that Jonathan Washam will be sticking around Ruston for another season as the Bulldogs graduate assistant. Well-known for his unmatched emotion on the field by Louisiana Tech fans, the utility player was recently named second-team all-Louisiana by the LSWA.

Another Bulldog from a season ago will also remain with the program as Marshall Boggs will join as a graduate assistant for the 2018 season. Boggs drove in over 50 runs in 2016 and was the first Louisiana Tech players two hit two grand slams in a season since 2009.

“I absolutely love when former players want to enter the coaching profession, especially when they want to stay at their alma mater to continue working on building a sincere winning program with tradition,” Burroughs said. “Jon and Marshall are two guys that got absolutely everything out of their ability. They both have a level of toughness and grit that will be so pivotal in teaching a lot of new players how we operate and do things in our program. They know our culture firsthand and they wore that uniform. These two guys are Bulldogs through and through. They will have instant credibility with our players, because of what they meant to us as players and how they approached the game.”

Washam and Boggs played a pivotal role in leading Louisiana Tech to its first ever NCAA Tournament at-large bid and first regional appearance in 30 years. The duo combined to start nearly every game in 2017 and on a unit that lacked depth, both Boggs and Washam showed extreme versatility moving around the diamond to where they were needed on that day.

“They each bring a unique set of skills to the table and I’m so excited to see them cross over into the world of coaching and teaching the game,” Burroughs concluded. “These are the first steps in building tradition and history and it’s exciting to think of the bright days ahead for Louisiana Tech Baseball.”

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