Alabama Baseball Hires Jake Wells to Coaching Staff
University of Alabama head baseball coach Greg Goff officially announced the addition of Jake Wells to the Crimson Tide coaching staff on Tuesday afternoon. Wells, a former player under Goff at Montevallo, will serve as the Crimson Tide’s recruiting coordinator while also working closely with the team’s catchers. He is the first to join Goff’s Alabama staff, bringing a total of nine years of coaching experience to Tuscaloosa.
“I’m really excited that Jake has decided to come be a part of our staff here at Alabama,” said Goff of his first hire. “He has played for me and coached under me, and he is one of the bright young coaches in the country. We are honored to get him on our staff. He is a tireless worker that will put forth a maximum effort each day.”
Wells has previous experience working with catchers, dating back to his two seasons at Mississippi State from 2013-14 where his primary responsibility was to work with the team’s catchers. While in Starkville, Wells tutored two catchers who went on to sign professional contracts and followed up in 2014 by coaching Gavin Collins to All-SEC Freshman Team honors, the program’s first All-SEC freshman catcher in the program’s 124-year history. He was an integral part of the Mississippi State staff that led the Bulldogs to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a finalist finish in the 2013 College World Series.
Most recently, Wells spent the past two seasons at Louisiana Tech as the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator for Goff. Under his tutelage, the Bulldogs were able to improve in nearly every hitting statistic from his arrival in 2015 through last season. The 2016 offense tied the program record for triples with 19, while accumulating 112 doubles and 2,052 at-bats (both third-most all-time), and swiped 90 bases, a total that ranks fourth all-time in program history.
In 2015, his first season in Ruston, the Bulldog hitters batted .261, an 11-point improvement from the previous year. Louisiana Tech also scored 100 more runs that season than the year prior and drove in 99 more RBI as a team. The Tech on-base percentage also increased by .40 points from 2015 to 2016 under Wells.
While guiding the offense at La Tech, Wells helped junior Jonathan Washam earn All-Conference USA second-team honors in 2016. Washam finished with a .309 (51-165) average, 12 doubles, a triple, two home runs, 26 RBI and 28 runs scored. He was one of four Bulldog hitters to bat over .300 on the season and one of seven bats to collect 50-plus hits on the year. In addition, catcher Brent Diaz was named to the 2015 C-USA All-Freshman Team. Diaz accumulated 24 RBI and 21 runs scored to go along with his four doubles, two triples and four home runs.
“Jake is a player’s coach,” Goff added. “He’s a high-energy guy with a lot of passion for the game of baseball, and he will always be available to help our players. He sets a high standard and expects the players to bring a positive energy and their best effort to the field every day.”
Prior to his time at Tech, Wells spent his two seasons as the volunteer assistant coach at Mississippi State while also serving as the camps coordinator for the Bulldogs. Wells worked with the catchers and also served as the first base coach during his two seasons. In the offseason, he was in charge of coordinating the team’s winter and summer baseball camps.
Before his time in Starkville, Wells spent two years as the head coach at Marion Military Institute in Marion, Ala., beginning in 2008 as an assistant and ending with him in the head coaching role for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Over his five seasons in Marion, Wells coached 11 players who earned all-conference and all-region accolades.
The 33-year old has served as camp manager for youth baseball camps in Montevallo, Ala., and Devine, Texas, while also managing the Alabama Special Olympics State Tournament.
As a player, Wells was an all-state catcher at Devine (Texas) High School. After his prep days, he continued his career at Blinn (Texas) College, Lurleen B. Wallace (Ala.) Community College and eventually at the University of Montevallo.
Wells earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and health promotions from UM in 2005. He went on to play professional baseball in the United League with the Laredo Broncos in 2009 and 2010. Wells is married to the former Melissa Sherrod of Longview, Texas.