FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Dave Jorn, Arkansas Baseball’s pitching coach for a combined 20 years, announced Monday he will retire from his role as an assistant coach.
Jorn, who had two stints with the Arkansas program, finished his 14th season (2003-2016) under current head coach Dave Van Horn. He was the pitching coach for the Razorbacks under former head coach Norm DeBriyn from 1983-88 before working in MLB until 2002.
“It’s been 20 of the best years of my life,” Jorn said. “I love Arkansas. I love the program and I love everything about it. It has just been a wonderful time and a wonderful experience. I want to thank Coach DeBriyn and Coach Van Horn for giving me such a tremendous opportunity. I’ve had a lot of success and it’s been a pleasure, but this is something that’s been on my mind for the last couple of years. I think it’s time to make a change.”
During his tenure as the Razorbacks’ pitching coach, Jorn made a lasting and profound impression on the Arkansas baseball program that included six trips to the College World Series, 18 NCAA Tournament berths, 13 40-win seasons and five no-hitters from his pitchers.
“I appreciate everything that Coach Jorn has done for this program since I got here 14 years ago,” head coach Dave Van Horn said. “He has turned this program into a top-25 program. and has put together some of the best pitching staffs in the country. There’s not a better pitching coach than Dave Jorn and he’s an even better person. He’s been a great friend to me and the rest of the coaching staff and always will be a man of great character.”
A total of 45 Arkansas pitchers have been drafted with Jorn as pitching coach for the Razorbacks. That number includes his years under DeBriyn before coaching in the pros. Eighteen of the last 19 Razorback pitchers that have been drafted improved their draft stock by coming to school at Arkansas and learning under Jorn.
Three of Jorn’s former Razorback student-athletes currently on MLB rosters, include: Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel (Houston Astros), Drew Smyly (Tampa Bay Rays) and Mike Bolsinger (Los Angeles Dodgers).
“There have been all kinds of different personalities and talent that has come through here,” Jorn said. “I don’t want to feel like I’m forgetting somebody or leaving somebody out, but it has just been a pleasure to work with them all. They’ve all grown as men and a lot of them are now fathers and I stay in contact with a lot of them. You hear stories and they write letters, emails and phone calls of appreciation of helping them develop who they are. Ultimately, I see that as one of the best things I could have ever done for them.”
Jorn oversaw three of Arkansas’ 22 All-Americans as Jess Todd (’07), Nick Schmidt (’06, ’07) and Ryne Stanek (’13) all took home college baseball’s high honors. Schmidt and Stanek were both first-round picks in the MLB draft.
Since returning to Arkansas in 2003, Jorn had eight pitching staffs finish the season with an ERA of less than 4.00, including in five of the last seven seasons. From 2011-14, his pitching staffs accounted for four of the 10 lowest team ERAs in program history, including a school-record 1.89 team ERA in 2013, and a second-best 2.63 ERA in 2014.
The 2012 squad had a team ERA of 2.83, the fourth-best in school history, while the 2011 pitching staff finished the season with a 3.20 team ERA.
Jorn first served as Arkansas’ pitching coach from 1983-88. During Jorn’s time on DeBriyn’s staff, Arkansas posted a record of 268-108 (.713), competed in five NCAA Regionals and earned trips to the 1985 and the 1987 College World Series.
Six different Razorback pitchers earned All-Southwest Conference honors during that span, including Kevin Campbell (’84), Tim Deitz (’85), Bobby Edwards (’87, ’88), Fred Farwell (’85), Steve Parker (’86) and Tim Peters (’87).
Van Horn and Jorn coached together on the Arkansas staff from 1985-88. Van Horn was a graduate assistant while Jorn was in the midst of his first stint as the Razorbacks’ pitching coach.
Jorn left the Razorback program in January 1989 to work in player development in the New York Yankees’ minor league system. He then worked in the New York Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks organizations before rejoining the Yankees in 2001 as a scout.
Jorn and his wife Melinda were married in April 2007. They have two daughters, Molly Kuhl and Maggie Gatling. Jorn also has another daughter, Christina.
“We are planning on staying here. I don’t know what’s in my future right now, but I am not ready to totally retire and get out of baseball. I am thinking about going back into professional baseball, possibly scouting, maybe player development, working with some younger players in the minor leagues. I don’t know anything definitive at this point but I am not done working. I still want to keep working and still want to stay in baseball.”
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Jorn By the Numbers (at Arkansas)
- 45 MLB Draft Picks (2 in first round)
- 18 NCAA Tournament appearances
- 13 40-win seasons
- 9 All-SEC Players
- 6 All-SWC Players
- 6 College World Series appearances
- 6 Freshman All-Americans
- 5 No-hitters
- 3 All-Americans
- Finished with nation’s-best ERA (1.89) in 2013