JONESBORO, Ark. (2/10/22) – A familiar face returns to the Arkansas State baseball program ahead of the 2022 campaign, with head coach Tommy Raffo announcing the hiring of Drew LaBounty as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Thursday.
LaBounty replaces Rick Guarno, who left A-State after four seasons for an opportunity with the New York Yankees organization. The Pensacola, Fla., native recently spent the 2021 season in his hometown with Pensacola State College as an assistant. Also serving as the Pirates’ recruiting coordinator, he helped PSC to a 28-20 overall mark, including an impressive 17-7 ledger in league play.
“We think Drew will make a huge impact on our program,” Raffo said. “He communicates well with our players and can teach the game of baseball. He’s knowledgeable and works hard in the recruiting process. Drew has established a reputation among coaching and scouting circles as one who will “pound the pavement” to identify and evaluate recruits. We are excited to welcome him back to A-State and look forward to his positive impact on Red Wolves Baseball.”
No stranger to the Red Wolves baseball program and the Sun Belt Conference, the four-year letter winner at South Alabama (2014-17) served as a volunteer assistant on Raffo’s staff for the 2020 season.
“I would first like to thank Coach Raffo and Arkansas State University for the opportunity to join the staff,” LaBounty said. “I can’t wait to be a part of the A-State and Jonesboro community once again. I look forward to helping the current players, as well as future Red Wolves, be the best they can be on and off the field.”
Prior to his season at A-State, LaBounty spent the 2019 season at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, Miss., where he coached the infielders and assisted in recruiting. The Wildcats finished the season 41-14 and 19-9 in MACJC play and carried the No. 1 seed into the NJCAA Division II World Series.
In four seasons at South Alabama, LaBounty registered a career .283 batting average with 110 RBI, 35 doubles and 22 stolen bases. He was a two-time First Team All-SBC selection in 2016 and 2017 and spent the summer of 2017 as a shortstop for the Bourne Braves in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 40th round of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT DREW LaBOUNTY
“I am extremely confident that Drew will be an excellent college baseball coach, but more importantly, he will be the type of coach who will have a positive influence on every player. Drew was an overachiever on the field and overcame adversity off the field through toughness and perseverance. He embodies the character, attitude and work ethic every coach should possess.” – Don Norris, Area Scout (Toronto Blue Jays)
“In my 29 years in this business, Drew LaBounty is one of, if not the best person I have ever had the privilege of coaching, a fantastic player and a beloved teammate. Drew helped us raise the bar as a program on and off the field. He was the backbone of several championship teams and postseason appearances. Drew is hands-down the most baseball-savvy player I’ve ever had, and he was another coach on the field at times. He understands the game inside and out. Drew will be an incredible asset to the Arkansas State baseball program. He will work relentlessly on the recruiting trail and the players will absolutely love him. Coach Raffo hit a home run in hiring Drew!” – Mark Calvi, Head Baseball Coach (South Alabama)
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Original article source: https://astateredwolves.com/news/2022/2/10/labounty-returns-to-a-state-baseball-as-assistant-coach.aspx | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council