Hill announces 2020 McNeese baseball coaching staff

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LAKE CHARLES – McNeese Baseball head coach Justin Hill announced promotions and additions to his 2020 coaching staff on Wednesday.

Beginning his fifth year as an assistant, Nick Zaleski has been promoted to Associate Head Coach. He will also assume the responsibility of Pitching Coordinator, assisting head coach Justin Hill with the pitching staff.

“I brought it up to Nick about coming over to the pitching side not knowing if he would be interested, but after a few conversations and hearing the passion in his voice, I knew this would be a great move,” said Hill. “Nick’s a baseball guy and has been involved with the pitching staff more and more each year. Our pitchers will benefit greatly working with Nick on a daily basis.”

Also entering his fifth season with the Cowboys, assistant coach Jimmy Ricklefsen will continue as Recruiting Coordinator and Alumni Relations.

“Success has followed Jimmy everywhere he has been, and much of that has to do with the caliber of player and high character young men he brings to campus,” said Hill.

Last season’s third assistant coach, Will Fox, accepted a position at Texas A&M as the Director of Player Development over the summer leaving a vacancy in Hill’s coaching staff.

He has filled that vacancy with new assistant coach Cass Hargis who will be in charge of the day-to-day offensive training, coach third base, outfielders, and assist with on-campus recruiting.

“With Coach Fox’s departure to Texas A&M, I wanted to get the best possible fit for our program, and I feel like we hit a homerun,” said Hill. “Having coached him in college, we know each other very well. He’s a former head coach, he has also been a college assistant, as well as an All-American player. I’m excited to get to work alongside Cass and I believe our players will feel the same way.”

The final addition to the Cowboys coaching staff will be former Cowboys relief pitcher Peyton McLemore who will assume the role of Director of Player Development & Analytics. McLemore was one of the Cowboys best bullpen arms in last season’s Southland Conference championship run and will now look to continue the Cowboys success by joining Hill’s staff.

Hargis comes to McNeese after serving the past five years as a coach in the high school ranks where he was highly regarded as a coach. Prior to his coaching career, the Meraux, Louisiana native was an All-American and All-Southland Conference standout for Southeastern Louisiana from 2008-11, where he also received his degree. He began his coaching career at SLU for the 2013 season.

“I was ecstatic when Peyton told me he wanted to get into college baseball,” said Hill. “Player development and analytics are at the forefront of our game, and having Peyton dedicated to this position will be a great asset to our coaching staff and resource to our players. This will be a great place for him to begin his coaching career.”

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