FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn has hired Brad Flanders as the program’s volunteer coach.
Flanders will primarily work with Arkansas’ catchers and replaces former Razorback Brian Walker, who has joined Todd Butler’s staff at Wichita State.
“I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to join Coach Van Horn’s staff,” Flanders said in an Arkansas news release Tuesday. “I played against one of his Arkansas teams when I was a collegiate player at Missouri and have always had great respect for the way he runs his program. I’m looking forward to working with the players and coaching staff and helping the team in any way I can.”
Flanders comes to Arkansas after spending the past two seasons as a volunteer assistant at Saint Louis. Flanders worked with Saint Louis catcher Grant Nelson, who was a ninth-round pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft.
The Smithville, Mo., native, also spent four years at Texarkana College. Flanders also was the recruiting coordinator, worked with pitchers and also was the program’s first base coach.
He played at Missouri for two seasons, leading the Tigers into the NCAA Tournament both years. Flanders earned Big 12 honors in 2003 after hitting .332 with six home runs with 43 RBIs
“We’re excited to have Brad joining our coaching staff,” Van Horn said in Arkansas’ news release. “In his six years of coaching, he’s had the opportunity to coach at many different levels. He’s also played at the highest levels of collegiate baseball, earning all-conference honors as a catcher at Missouri. He has a reputation as a tireless worker and does a tremendous job working with catchers and hitters. I know he’s excited to be at Arkansas and have an opportunity to coach some of the top players in the country.”
First baseman Willie Schwanke is transferring after one season at Arkansas.
An Arkansas spokesperson confirmed Schwanke is leaving the Razorbacks after a freshman season in which he hit .214 with one home run and five RBIs. Schwanke played in 31 games with 22 starts, but didn’t earn much playing time late in the season after Dominic Ficociello moved back to first base.
Schwanke is the third player to transfer from Arkansas since the end of the season, joining catcher Jean Ramirez and infielder Isaac Hellbusch.